We hiked to Slovakia yesterday. We didn’t expect to, when we left the hotel just after 9:00 AM. We stopped at a store to buy some food and water for the trail and off we went. It was about an hour’s walk, gradually uphill, to the entrance to Tatra National Park where there are well-marked trails. We made our choice, and off we went. Up. Up some more. Further up. Hours of up.
The most surprising thing for me at least was the number of people. You would think, wouldn’t you, that hiking in the Polish Carpathian Mountains you could find a little isolation? There were just a lot of people on the trail, and it wasn’t an easy climb. We realized at some point that part of the issue was that there were a lot of people coming down – they’d ridden up in a ski lift and were hiking down. Cheaters.
Finally we got to our high point at about 1:00 or so, having hiked four hours nearly non-stop. Mark pulled out my iPad Mini just to see where Google Maps said we were and saw we were maybe just barely across the Slovakian border. As we rested and ate a little, we then noticed a square white post with a big S on the side that would be Slovakia, and sure enough there was a big P on the Polish side. Yup, we were having lunch right smack on the border.
The trail then ran along the border for another hour – 10 meters into Slovakia here, back in Poland there – before we headed back down for another two hours back into Poland. Today we’re feeling a little beat, so not entirely sure what’s in order. Surprised, though, that we made it into Slovakia a little earlier than planned.