A Travelling and Shopping Day
So a leisurely start. Owners had absconded and so had most the campers. We pretty much had the place to ourselves so we spread all our stuff over their cafe terrace to dry, having cleaned mud off first! Kerstin manage a swim in zipped off shorts! She didn’t loose these!
We didn’t leave till nearly mid day and since Decathlon was on our route … Kerstin now has a new cosie, but will she get to use it? I bought base layers and hats for James and I. We have these, but in Crete … never thought we would experience 5C at 6.00 a.m. in August and super chilly, moist evenings! This is our SUMMER holiday! Also tried to find a new electric hob … one ring had a crack and now it had started shorting out. Amazing it didn’t trip the switch in the Glamping site! Oh silly me … what trip switch??
New base layer, fleece and hat.
Our first choice of campsite could only accommodate us for 2 nights as he was going for a rebuild of the facilities. Was this a lucky escape? How much in need of refurbishment were they? So a few miles on we arrived at a HUGE site on the edge of the Paradise Park!!! Ooh err Mrs! The web site states it has room for 600 tents … festival sized perhaps. Initially we were not over keen … large site with chalets and tokens required for showers etc. But it had hot water for washing up and you never had to wait for the toilet or shower.
We’d carefully left space in the middle of our pitch for the table and chairs … they only made it out once … far too cold!
Poddling over Chata Podlesok
My back etc have been playing up. Sleeping on and air bed? Possibly. Lack of Pilates – more probably. 2 months worth of un-stretch! Kerstin and I were up and at ‘em. Morning dew so we threw down our pilates mats (dog bed and reformed tyre mats) on the road. Until a flat bed went past us, then returned with a chap sat on the rear, hanging onto a skip … Bin day! He held up 2 fingers, in a nice way (!), to indicate 2 more skips. So we decamped to the less flat and slightly damp grass. I then braved the shower … 1 token = 3 mins. It was a generous 3 mins but I didn’t brave a hair wash.
Lots of walking directly from the campsite. A helpful chap at the tourist information enthusiastically gave us lots of info … in German. Fortunately I had my personal translator on hand. We set off for a castle / monastery … not sure which as we didn’t make it. Decided to take the river route there. Had been warned there were metal steps, but not quite what we were expecting. After the vertical short section where I had to shove CO2 up, there then followed steps high over the river … proper via ferata style. Our mountain goat Corrie shot across and 40 m around the bend. To start the steps had a criss cross weave, barely OK for a game Oscar. Still a panic for me. But then they were like parallel bits of wire … and a chap coming the other way said the rest of the steps were like this. No good for Oscar. In fact, he really should not have been up there at all. He is not agile like Corrie. J wasn’t happy either. Not sure if I was more worried about O hurting himself or us trying to rescue him! I knew this was one of those situations where I should have listened to me head … so an about turn and back to terra firma.
Ice cream for late brekkie on way up.
This section was just fine!
CO2 were shoved up here.
The solid (!) steps. Would have been easier to swim.
Yes, do come back!!!
Let’s all go back.
Beer and lemonade machine back near the campsite! We used it. Beer was so good, apparently, K and J had two.
Then K and drove to Poprad for supplies … Mahoosive Tesco – even had sofas in stock. Food for next few days. Then after several stores, we found a single electric hob .. that’s fine. Only EUR16 and I’ve a Remoska with me for stews etc.
Proper Via Ferata … ain’t it?
CO2 veers patient waiting for J to arrive with breakfast!
Helpful chap at the tourist information had told K about the Sucha Bella gorge. Ladder, one at 15m, and lots of metal steps. Not one for CO2. K wanted to do it. No pressure on me … but there was … said I’d come too. Can’t let the German grist beat the British! J (Irish neutrality) nobly elected to stay at base camp for doggy day care. But first, so J had a trip off site (and also Kerstin had been told a0 we may not have to pay if we did the gorge in the afternoon and b) it would be quieter). We went to Levoca for a morning coffee. Harassed by a beggar on arrival and all seemed pretty dead so didnt think we would stay long … but then it came to life and the sun came out.
The Cage of Shame, Levoca. Theives, murders, cheats and even gossips would be locked up on market day. People would throw things at them … stocks were our village sport! Apparently spittle was also thrown … thankfully K is just throwing leaves at J!
K and I climbed the 216 steps of the tower. Could see that the large square buildings had courtyards, some covered over. But would give light to the interior rooms.
J and I did the church tour. In Slovak so given an English basic transcript … didn’t have to pay for this one. The ticket last came to practise her English … explained that the town was part of a Pilgrim route … Camino do Santiago. All because a lady called Elizabeth had a vision. She was pregnant so could just have been a baby kick?! A new church was built on the hill During Communism less pilgrims but resurrected since Covid. Other interesting church facts … All the main alter figures are carved from on piece of Linden wood. The alter is the largest in the former Hungarian empire and has no nails. A local sculptor was famous and one of his figures of the Madonna was the dace on an Slovak currency note. Until the reformation, both Protestant and Catholics shared the church.
Once back at base camp, K and I loaded food, drink and chocolate and set off. And yes, not fee and it was not too busy. It is a 9km round trip. At the top of the gorge one can rent mountain bikes, but we were pleased we hadn’t as the track was mostly loose scree.
Initially I didn’t like the rotten looking planks, but got a bit braver, unless up high. Kerstin skipped across!
I walked over some!
If I could avoid balancing across, I walked the river bed.
Old and new ladders.
Series of ladders, the highest at 15m. Fine on these as always 3 points of contact.
Kerstin heading up.
Lunch stop. Followed by hocolate stops.
It was an altogether brilliant experience and I am so glad Kerstin suggested it.