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Karkonosze – Conquer Snezka

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Hiking Boots Men

November 1, 2014 Comments (3) Destinations, Hiking

Karkonosze – Taking a shortcut

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You learn by your mistakes. And on day 2 we were still learning from our mistakes of day 1. If you have not read the first blog post of this series, you should go back and do so right now. Because getting out of bed this morning was as painful as a brutal thai massage. Never had one? Another thing you should go and get right now :D

Anyway, due to our pain in every bit of our body, we decided to change things.

  • Point 1: our route should be short and should not take longer than 3 hours.
  • Point 2: not to steep and stony.
  • Point 3: no car! We want to start at our flat and come back here. So there was no chance we could forget to calculate the way back to our parking spot.

We found a route that fit our criteria and went by right behind the house. Well… almost. And that was when everything started. Lean back, this will be a bit of a story.

To reach the route which was almost behind the house, we had to cut through a small part of woods. Well, it was small on the map. We followed a what we decided had to be a path into the woods that should lead to our route. The “path” got smaller and kind of disappeared, but since we´ve been already walking for 10 min, turning back was not an option.

We knew, we had to go south and we tried our best to keep it that way. After another 15 min of walking, jumping, tripping and smashing through trees, bushes, moss and swamps. We reached our route. YEAH! It was fun! We were very proud of ourselves and we were very glad that we bought the real hiking shoes.

We followed the green route from the point on where we came out of the bushes and made our way to the summit – Skalny Stół (the rock table). We came to the 4-way-crossing where the green and yellow route intersect and took the right turn. Or was it not that crossing? No it was not. It was a 3-way-crossing, but in our euphoric adventure mood, we didn’t notice. So we followed some road, were happy, took some pictures…

After about 20 min suddenly we stood at the end of this road. But there was a small “path”. That must be it! FOLLOW IT! That “path” was quite short – about 50 meters. Well, what now? Back? No way. After a quick look at the map we were sure that if we go up the hill we have to get to a path or street or something. So we went. We fought our way trough trees and bushes, took the first bruises, climbed over huge rocks and were in middle of the wild. LOST. Great. Point 2 of our list for today was definitely invalid.

I can’t really tell how long we wandered around. A bit back and forth and up and down, found some “paths”, lost them again. It was not funny anymore. At some point we took out the map and the compass and checked exactly where we were (Paulina: actually Daniel did it, as he’s an awesome compass user). “Aaaaaah, there we are! How did we even get here?”. But we knew which way to go, so we went! :D

I guess after about 30 min we took out the cellphone and checked on Google Maps where exactly we were. Well, not too bad. Up ahead should be the black route. So, on we went again. Next surprise: we found some fresh animal poo and tracks… We didn´t even know what actually lived in this area. So we came up with wolves, bears, mooses, wild pigs and other stuff that might be happy to have us for lunch. Our footwork got faster and after 30 min we reached a brook. Another 5 min later we found a big path, where we met humans! Welcome civilization!

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Quick shot before being potentially eaten by some wild animals.

They were very friendly locals who adviced us to go up the hill, turn right and simply get to the black route. Great. So… up the hill and… at the end was a stone with an arrow in blue and pointed left (that meant that we would reach the blue path at some point). According to the map the blue route would be even better than the black one. So we turned left. Little tip here: always listen to the locals.

After another 20 min of steep walking we reached the end of the path. Who would have thought of that. Going back was not an option for us (we don’t really know why), so into the wild we went again. We´ve been to worse places before, but we were tired, so we took a break to look back at our miserable situation and at least enjoy the view for a while. At this moment an owl scared the crap out of us! She took of out of the trees about 5 meters in front of us, huge and beautiful. That moment alone was probably worth all the pain of that day – we saw a rare while owl with caramel sprinkels.

We catched a breath and kept stumbling over dead trees. Listening to the strange sounds of an unknown animal but not seeing it made it to dangerous creature which could eat us. A tree in the distance cloaked himself into a wild pig costume. The top of the hill we were trying to reach, was actually only the top of the hill in front of the hill we were supposed to reach. There was just no end in sight.

We found a house in the middle of nowhere, but of course nobody was home. After over 4 hours and 20 blueberry fields we reached the summit without ever seeing the right route even once. Wow. Point 1 of our list was invalid, too. It was late, again. We enjoyed the view, laughed at our mistakes, cuddled a bit and decided to go back the black route.

The clouds were flowing across the hills like dry ice – an amazing natural spectacle. The thick fog has covered our route.  The way down was beautiful, easy and long ;)

Since we were not in the mood to take any “shortcuts” we had to go all the way around, through the town and back up the hill to reach our flat. Point 3 didn´t work out that well, neither. And for the last 30 min we´ve been very glad that we bought the head lights. It was already dark and there could have been wolves and bears and tigers and zombies and… you know :D

It was a hell of an adventure, even though I took a big scar out of this. And we spend a great time together after all. Did we learn anything? Yes! You better know how to use a map and a compass. Besides, good shoes might save your life!

3 Responses to Karkonosze – Taking a shortcut

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  3. […] I think these shoes saved my life in a way. Or at least my legs as we were trying to go through those dead forests and busches. The feet are stable and can breathe even after walking for few hours. They are a little bit heavy […]

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