Daily Miles: 13
Total Miles: 83
Luckily the six of us sleeping in the bunk room were all quiet sleepers. No snoring, not even SweetPea, who can be a notorious snorer. Everyone started to get up around 6:45am, since breakfast was starting at 7am.
We had some new items this morning at breakfast. Besides the normal eggs (scrambled today) and bread, we had a nice meat and cheese platter that even had venison sausage. We each also got a cup of homemade yogurt which was very good. Instead of our typical scenario of losing weight on a hiking trip, the likelihood is that we will be putting on weight during this trip.
The trail started off going aggressively up right away. There were a number of day hikers around us on the climb, as we were going up to a notable peak, Raduha, in the area. The trail was quite rocky and really had an alpine feel, with very small pine trees.
The view from the peak was quite impressive with views ahead to the very difficult trail we will be starting tomorrow. There was a couple at the top who recommended we backtrack before heading down in order to stay on only “difficult“ trail. We took their advice and headed back and then down. This was our first section of “difficult” trail, as everything up to today has been “easy”. The only real difference we could tell between the two was that the difficult trail seemed to feel a bit more exposed. It was pretty slow going, but it wasn’t too bad.
The trail started to mellow out a bit as we got closer to a hut where we stopped for a break. This hut was also in the process of renovations…it has been interesting to see the work being done during high season.
After leaving the hut, the trail got really rough. It felt like a trail which no one uses anymore…just left to get reabsorbed into the forest. It was very slow and steep for quite awhile. With all the steep downhill trail, our toes have been very sore…SweetPea even has blisters under two toenails. It is impossible to avoid our toes hitting the ends of our shoes when the trail is so steep.
The trail continued to be rough most of the time until we got to the main road in the tiny village of Solčava. At one point as we were coming down on a dirt road, there was a tractor completely taking up every inch of the road. It looked like the tractor had a winch going down the side of the mountain, where someone was cutting trees. We figured that the tractor was pulling the trees up to the road, but it seemed to be automatic, as there was no one in the tractor.
When we got to the road in Solčava, we started to walk towards the grocery store to buy snacks for the next stretch. As we walked into town, it seemed like every house was straight out of a fairytale…flower boxes along the windows, houses that look like they have come straight out of Hansel and Gretel. The valley where Solčava is located is quite stunning. There is a river along the main road, and the mountains go up so steeply on both sides of the road.
We bought our snacks (surely too much, but we were hungry as we walked the aisles), and then headed to our lodging in town. We had about a mile and a half walk, which was a bit tricky as there was very little shoulder on this road with cars going fast.
We made it to our “tourist farm” where we are staying the night. It feel very nice and simple and clean. We have our own bathroom and they were willing to do our laundry which is very nice. We ate dinner here at the farm, which was homemade dumplings and paprikash (basically chunks of pot roast in a delicious gravy) and a strawberry cream roll for dessert. Everything was great and we were stuffed by the end.
We were able to coordinate with someone about lodging for tomorrow on the trail. The hut we would have wanted to stay at burned down several years ago, but we have gotten the ok to stay at a container near the hut site. We have confirmed that there are beds and blankets. At least we are reasonably sure that we have understood things correctly. Being able to stay at that spot really helps us out with keeping our miles evenly distributed for the first few days.
Tomorrow we head into trail that has via ferrata routes. We are a bit nervous to see how it goes.