To late for train
walk from Stratena to Dedinky
No Ski lift
Walk over hill
Ladders and waterfall walk
Walk back down
We have been talked into staying another night to do a different walk today. As if our legs are not already killing us! After a bit of breakfast, we found out we had missed the train to our starting point in Dedinky, and we would have to walk that bit as well. We talked about it, and decided that we would still do the pretty part of the walk, and depending on time decide which way we would come back.
That decided, we headed off down the road. This is not the prettiest bit, but there are hills covered with trees, and as we leave town, we continue to follow the stream. This took us to a small lake, where there are a couple of houses, and a guy fishing. The water is so clear that you can see the fish swimming happily around. They were happy, and to celebrate the coming of spring, they kept jumping up out of the water.
From this lake, we had to keep following the stream to Dedinky, but the hills closed in and became cliffs that you could not walk around. The path takes this into consideration and heads straight up our side. The other side had the train tracks, and they were lucky enough to have a tunnel. Going up was not as bad as we had expected. The path was fairly well used, and although not all the trees that had fallen over during winter had been removed, it was still an easy climb. In one or two places there were old wooden ladders over the steeper sections.
It was evident that this path has been used for years as nearby are the remnants of at least two other rotten ladders.
Winding down the other side through a light and airy forest into the town of Dedinky. This is another mining town. Built around the lake that is now used for summer recreation even though the town is reliant on winter sports. There is not much of interest in town. A few pubs, pensions and houses. Apparently an old church, but it could have been built twenty years ago, and we were only allowed to look through the front door.
From here, we were supposed to catch a ski lift up the hill to the start of a small canyon. We had our doubts about this, and they turned out to be accurate. The ski lift was not working, and we had to make our own way up the hill. This lead to another small village. From here our trek started in earnest.
Just outside of Biele Ville, the small town, is Zejmarska roklina Gorge. It is one of the smallest gorges in Slovenksy Raj national park (Slovak paradise), but also supposed to be pretty good (probably because you don’t have to share it with everyone else). The start of the walk follows the base of the stream, and slowly the two hills come together. Before you realise it, you are basically forced to walk through the high watermark of the stream itself. At the moment it is somewhat swampy, but accessible without getting wet. At other times, you would need a good pair of wellies, or go barefoot. There is a lot of flood debris washed down, and the stream is littered with broken trunks and branches. This makes the views a bit messy, but not less appealing. On coming to the first of the waterfalls, we take our time to get some photos and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the area. Only to have a couple come up the path behind us. We had passed this couple between Dedinky and Biele Ville. Apparently they were planning the same hike.
We took longer than we had planned, and let them go past. Darn it, we didn’t have the place to ourselves. After not seeing anyone on the paths yesterday (well, considering the path we didn’t have in the afternoon, we are not surprised) it came as a bit of a shock and disappointment to have to share today. Especially considering it is Monday, and people should be out there working! Continuing up, after a suitable delay, we came to the next waterfall. The other couple were still here, and if we were not careful, we would be playing leap frog for the rest of the trip. This waterfall was worth hanging around though. The water twists on its way down. Starting off on the left, then going right. There are a few depressions in the rock, changing its course. By now the mountains have closed in, and it is hard to continue upwards. There is a small narrow fissure in the rocks beside the waterfall that is a bit too steep to easily navigate. Possible but risky. However the people running the national parks have taken this into consideration, and for your convenience have placed a ladder a bit further away. This is very helpful, and although Anna was doubtful about it, still made the climb. There had been old wooden ladders here before as well, but had been washed away or rotted only leaving behind traces. Now they have metal ones. Although they will have to be replaced in a few years as well.
In this way we went from steep section and waterfall to easy walk. Sometimes out on barbecue plates hammered into the rock wall, or other rickety ladders, but mostly using tree roots to help facilitate the climb. At the top there is no magnificent view, we had a pretty good one earlier to make up for it. There is just more forest, and a different way down.
What made it special was the start of the stream. It bubbled up out of the ground in a few places. The most impressive place had a little shack built over it. We were not sure if this was to protect it from winter or just to look good. It is not often you see the start of a stream coming out the front door of a miniature house!
From here it was not supposed to be too far to a place where we could get a bite to eat a drink and continue on. This too was closed. It was the end of one of the ski lifts in the area, and again only open in winter. They did have horses grazing in the fields, with a few goats and pigs in nearby yards, so was not a complete waste of time. Looking up at the sun, we chose the long walk back, and got started.
This was a nice easy walk along the road, as it winds through the tops of the hills. Going down, we found pockets of very cold air with snow still around, and assume that the ice caverns run all through the area and this is one air vent.
Eventually we made our way back to the hostinec, exhausted but happy we had done the whole walk. Still no bears or deer, but plenty of fish, a couple of snakes, a few frogs, hundreds of beetles, tadpoles and much more. It was only small things, but they say that the small things in life are often the best.