Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Walking across Slovakia: Day 18

No tents, no sleeping rough, two teenagers and two adults, 900km, 4 rucksacks and some maps, a lot of maps: this is going to be fun.

(Source: John Nicholson)

We walked past the King’s Well. We were not impressed – now it’s a cattle watering thing. But I guess it was just a wet hole in the ground anyway. The valley is no less impressive as we climb out of it. You really have to come here. Just stay one night when the weather is nice. Some god created this place and is proud of their work. And they should be.

Up onto the ridge, and were tempted to follow another longer ridge north. But the forest beckoned with Donovaly hiding somewhere on the other side. The kids have seen bears in Donovaly before, but my suspicion is that they were on holiday too. No bears today. I guess this is just testament to the efficacy of our bear drills.

We were climbing one hill with the kids out in front, just in case there were any bears. The wife’s knees were hurting, and she was taking about taking the ski lift down from the top down into Donovaly. This she had rationalised was not cheating but a medical necessity. I asked for a vote, we are a democratic family, on whether we should take the lift down or not. Three to one against.

My wife then asked me if by doing this sort of thing we were creating the quality of determination in the kids. We had discussed stopping at Donovaly before, if we ran short of time. This was brought up again. Why not stop early, do a couple of day walks then go home. The quite aggressively delivered response was “We have walked all of this way. We are not giving up two days before the end”. So I guess we are.

They have been trained to walk from an early age – and in the E-age it’s good to get them away from all things E. People don’t understand why we do it, how the kids manage and what we talk about. I don’t really know the answers but it’s worth it, every sweaty step. It’s quality time with a capital Q.

We are higher and the views getting better and better. The real mountains are coming.

The walk down was hard – and such a pretty lift. But into Donovaly and to our friend’s place for a refreshing shower, some halušky (I need to eat it with one piece of slanina (fried pork fat – really healthy) to one piece of halušky. You have to ask for this.) and a beer. Heaven.

Two more days to go.

Distance walked: 23km (397km in total)
Meters climbed: 1,272m (14,779m in total)
Walking time: 9:19 (129:52 in total)

Start point: Kráľova Studňa
End point: Donovaly

General comment:
Finally, real mountain views. Life is good.
Getting desperate – 14,720 meters 8,000 times me.

By John Nicholson

Topic: Walking across Slovakia


Top stories

In praise of concrete

It was once notorious for its drab tower blocks and urban crime, but Petržalka now epitomises modern Slovakia.

Petržalka is the epitome of communist-era architecture.

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Blog: Exploring 20th century military sites in Bratislava

It seems to be the fate of military sites and objects in Bratislava that none of them were ever used for the purposes they were built for - cavernas from WWI, bunkers from WWII, nuclear shelters or the anti-aircraft…

One nuclear shelter with a capacity for several hundred people now serves as a music club with suitable name Subclub (formerly U-club).