"How should we hike up?" we asked a guy with a gigantic backpack on his back.
There is no marked hiking path to Slepý vrch mountain. The paths leading there were marked by the shadowy footsteps cast by paragliders.
"Just follow your nose," he answers and continues on.
We follow him briefly. But suddenly he disappears behind the trees.
And we were alone again.
The Small Carpathians are inwrought with many paths.
You often just guess where you are, and where your route will end. All paths look similar.
But often it is a surprise.
Sometimes a herd of deer or mouflons crosses your way.
Sometimes they jump out in front of you.
But it is also freedom.
The most beautiful and exciting things happen when you lose the path. When you think outside the box.
A discovery walk
Every time we think we know something perfectly, a wonder appears. And we always feel this way always while hiking in the Small Carpathians.
When the known becomes unknown.
And this is how it was when we decided to explore the Orešanský hrebeň ridge.
This 500-metre-high dominant Small Carpathian ridge, located between the villages of Horné and Dolné Orešany, invites visitors for a long discovery walk.
Our 11km hike starts in Horné Orešany village. With a route through the forest, passing the lean and majestic beeches, which in spring caringly gaze down at the carpet of snowdrops and wild garlic, we reached the Holý vrch mountain. The ridge tour continued to the 543-metre-high Slepý vrch mountain.
This mountain attracts the plodding steps of all keen paragliders. The summers here are mild. But the winters are really cold. And all year round a strong wind blows.
In the 5th century B.C., the oldest Celtic settlement in Slovakia was located here. And the Celts mined iron ore.
Today, you can see here colourful parachutes, extended lines, and the eyes of paragliders, sparkling, before taking flight.
More to discover
We hiked down to the Orešanské sedlo saddle, to hike up again to Bolehlav mountain. Then the blue marked hiking path led us to the Šisoretné massif with its mountains, Predné, Stredné, and Zadné Šišoretné.
On the route back, we passed the former famous chemical factory, established by the Pálffy noble family, which produced acetone and wood coal, later used for the production of dyes and iron.
And at the end, one of the largest water reservoirs in the Small Carpathians, Horné Orešany reservoir, spread in front of us. And above us, those paragliders, in the colours of the rainbow, bid us goodbye.
If you carry a heavy backpack, as the High Tatra Sherpas do, this is strength.
If you walk off the marked path to discover new magical corners, this is bravery.
And if you take flight, with a paraglider, from Slepý vrch mountain, this is freedom.
VaGa Agency is an incoming company concentrating on active, adventure, cycling and sport tours and camps in Slovakia, in the unique, authentic and safe country, far away from mass tourism; offer undiscovered and amazing places, tailored-made solutions and very professional individual guiding. For more information please visit: Vaga.agency and www.vaga-camp.com.