Tatra National Park 1/1 by Tripoto
Kevin and Ruth
It's a little difficult to plan a route because there are so many marked hiking trails in this park. We decided on a 16.8 km (10.5 mile) hike with an elevation gain of about 700 metres (2,300 feet). This is a route that took us to three small lakes high up in the mountains, to a place called Rohacske Plesa. But first, we had to take the local bus about 9 kms (5.5 miles) from the town of Zuberec to a little village called Zverovka. We left our place at about 9:00am, and paid €0.80 ($1.00) each for the one way bus ride. When we turned onto the blue part of the trail, it became much steeper. This trail was very rocky. It opened up onto a small picnic area, where we came across a strange site! This woman is wearing a different hiking outfit! And she was hiking...up the same trail we were. Never checked to see if she had hiking boots on! This is about the half way point. There are three small lakes up here. There is another trail that leads along the top ridge of the mountain in the background. And then there was a gradual paved yellow trail that led us back to the bus stop. We did 16.8 kms (10.5 miles) in six hours. Didn't stop very often, so it was a good workout. We got back to the flat, and the landlady came and knocked on our door. Keep in mind that she speaks no English, and we don't speak enough Slovak to be of any use either! Turns out she needed our passports for the invoicing. No problem, she disappeared for a while and then came back with a bottle of something. She grabs a couple of glasses off the shelf and talking away in Slovak, prepares us each a drink. One thing we noticed on our hike today is that there are a lot of wild blueberries. I tried some and found them not sweet enough for my liking, but Ruth thought they were okay. Well it turns out that they are used to make a popular homemade type of blueberry liqueur, and that's what this lady poured us. And there were still blueberries in it. Enough that you had to eat them with a spoon! And these blueberries tasted like they were full of rocket fuel! Heavy duty stuff! Obviously some kind of Slovak specialty.