Muranska Planina- Lower Tatras Slovakia

Wednesday 27th June 2018

Cathy posting,

Pogo likes his sleeping spot at Sedliaky Dvor (N48.795629, E019.728582), his fellow travellers are sitting outside munching toast and local honey from Hungary.

We chilled out on camp yesterday as the weather was a bit hit and miss and we are glad we did as our daughter rang us on WhatsApp for a long chat, she has just recently told us we are to be grandparents and were really happy for them and excited for us too!.

It is lovely and cool, the clouds have cleared and the views are heart-warming, we’ve decided to do some writing again this morning as we think we can catch up to date with the blog, Dave’s done a 90 day costs one which he’s published, we have a 2 hour walk planned and after banging my head a couple of days ago my headache has finally gone! So, if the rain stays away it should be a nice day.

Some people have turned up at the camp who will stay free of charge, in return they do odd jobs around the camp, 2 ladies travelling separately are gardening and grass cutting, another guy is doing some DIY work, another is working on a pond & new Eco pool, Dave says he’d quite like to do something similar, they work 9am to 1pm.

We set off uphill from the camp again, this time heading up to the pine forest, passing a few chalet style houses, this is a busy ski area in winter, we come across a house with 4 snarling and barking dogs, 3 of whom are chained up but one is loose, Dave stops to point at something of interest in the garden asking me to come and look, he hasn’t seen the loose dog, I’m outta there pronto, I like dogs and we have had a dog once, but I’m also scared of loud barking.

The pine forests are cool, the pine smell is strong, we come across some guys chopping them down with chainsaws, they down tools and smile at us, patiently waiting for us to pass, we are following a trail ‘’C” eventually we come to a sheep farm which way to turn? We make a decision and it was the right one, dropping down towards Michalova, we eventually came to the road and 2kms later we are at a recommended lunch spot called Fantazia, we thought the name was interesting and when we sat in the beautiful garden we thought it should be called Fantasy as it felt like a little fairies garden.

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Fantazia garden

Dave ordered garlic cream soup which came in a huge bread roll bowl, he made light work of it and then surprised me by eating the bread bowl! It was huge, forgot to get a picture. We sat a while and then it started to rain heavily, the campsite owner says to call him if you need a lift back anytime but we decided to walk back on the road now, that was a big mistake, to start with there was a path but it eventually petered out and now we were walking on a busy road with metal barriers at the edge lorries full of pine logs and buses thundering past at speeds higher than the limit, the spray drenching us and we had to hold on to our caps!, it took an hour to walk the road, back through the forest would have been 2 hours, we know now which one we should have done, walked 17kms in total.

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Eco pond being built with Pogo behind

They are building an eco pond on the camp, part swimming and part reeds & flowers, it should be nice when its finished

 

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washing eating and prep areas

 

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The owners house which houses a campers kitchen

Hot showers to warm us up and there’s a big pan of chunky minestrone on the hob. More footy, Germany V Korea.

Bye for now

Cathy x

The hills are alive – Slovakia

Monday 25th June 2018

Cathy posting,

We woke to bright sunshine but a nice reasonable temperature at Sedliaky Dvor campsite, fresh bread delivered to camp this morning so it’s a bacon and egg butty before we set off for our walk, lovely sunny day with decent breeze just how we like it, there is rain coming later today though so off we set hoping to miss it, from the book on camp we chose a 3-4 hour route, walking directly from Pogo we climbed a pretty steep hill which I found hard going as I had a dull headache having banged my head the night before, I’d reached out sharply from the bed over our cab to turn the light out and nearly knocked my own lights out! It hurt really bad and the top of my head is so sore, I took some tablets so hopefully it will ease off.

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Will we escape the rain?

Reaching the crest of the hill we were rewarded with a view that brought a smile to my face, looking far across the valley into the Lower Tatras mountains, we had to sit for 15 minutes though because I felt dizzy, that’s not like me, am I concussed?

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Onwards towards another crest and then a nice gentle saddle before a slow descent, the big dark clouds are looming behind and following more quickly than we were moving, I could smell the rain in the air before we felt a few big blobs hit our heads so we took cover under a big tree with big umbrella-shaped weeping branches, noting as we did that there was no thunder or lightening or I wouldn’t have stood under it, thunderstorms scare me, they always have and my kids laugh when I duck and dive! Still under the tree after 20 minutes ‘’I can see a clear spot over there’’ I mutter to Dave ‘’don’t be daft he says the rains will be there before you’’ with that I’m off legging it into the sun Julie Andrews style with my arms in the air! Dave begrudgingly follows and unfortunately the Hills are not alive with the sound of music, but my escape plan worked, no more rain on us but behind I could see our umbrella tree was still being drenched.

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Dave tried to get a landscape photo

It really was a lovely walk green and orange patchwork meadows mingle with large pine forested areas, we stopped for coffee near the railway and got back just in time before the next downpour.

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The rain clouds chasing us!

After hot showers, the best we’ve had on any site yet, these are huge roomy affairs with lots of hooks, the measure of a good shower in my opinion is do I have to press the button for water every 15 seconds? Is there at least one hook? And does it drain properly? This shower gets 5 stars, continuous hot water and 4 hooks! Plus, a bench for a Brucie bonus, I’ve had showers where the cubicle is the width of your body, other body sizes are available! Haha! Which means leaving your clothes and towel outside and I have had to adapt to my European neighbours let it all hang bravado hoping I don’t fall flat on my face before grabbing a towel, hope you’re not eating your dinner if I’ve created an image for you heehee!

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A Pied Wagtail Dave thinks

We spent the rest of the day blogging and watching the Russia V Uruguay game and Portugal V Iran and enjoying helping ourselves to the €1 chilled beer and wine.

Dave thinks he may have figured out what’s going wrong with the mi-fi usage, we had not turned the laptop to manual updates for wWindows 10 and it’s a hungry beast!  he’s done this now but to be sure he has also set the mi-fi to metered connections this means that windows will not update on a metered connection. He sorted that out and then Tesco O2 say he can’t use any more data because of their fair usage policy abroad on his home package, he can only use it for 2 months, we’ve been away a bit longer than that but had to buy a SIM in Montenegro as the home policy wasn’t covering that, he didn’t realise the clause was there?! I’m with O2 direct and I don’t have this clause, Tesco say that they will charge 59 pence per MB after the next 14 days, no way José! he’s really fed up now.

We’ve stayed up too late again silly sods!

Good night

Cathy x

Mixing with the wildlife in the Lower Tatras – Slovakia

Sunday 24th June 2018

Cathy posting,

We slept well at our riverside pitch It’s time to get our skates on and move to the Lower Tatras, we had a lovely relaxing evening last night by the river, we like free camping more than camp sites but we’ve located one camp site that sounds idyllic, at the base of the Lower Tatras at Muranska Planina near Brezno, we’ve calculated 2.5 hours to get there and the weather is cooler so we’re happy to travel and I’ts time to empty the loo so a camp is a good idea as we’ve got plans for more free camping later.

Dave has discovered that the mi-fi in Pogo is gobbling data like the jolly green giant, literally as soon as he opens WordPress using our mi-fi it counts down about 1mb per minute, what is going on?!

He’s so frustrated!

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Mr Grumpy!

MB

Is this excessive? 3GB usually lasts one month when using it for 1 hour per day

The views from the river free spot to Sedliaky Dvor campsite improves, it looks more like Scotland, there are lots of forests and 49% of Slovakia is forested apparently, there are little villages with colourful houses and window boxes spilling out their floral contents dotted around with the odd scruffy communist looking block of flats or building thrown in to the mix, further along the hillsides become more soft and round reminiscent of the English lake district in Cumbria, approaching a large town Banská Bystrica it’s like Spain in the countryside of England, shops lining each side of the road and more new car showrooms and dealerships than I’ve seen anywhere BMW, Skoda, Ford, Fiat, Hyundai, Mazda and more to boot! A huge O2 building comes into view, seems like this is a commercial hub, we reach a road that Dave calls the toboggan road, round and round we go left, right, left, right, co-op shops are everywhere in Slovakia.

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Are we going the right way?

We reach the campsite and it’s a beautiful place surrounded by nature, chickens roam the site.

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Camp Sedlaiky Dvor

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Národný hills all around, motorhomes caravans and tents mingle in amongst the fruit trees, camp where ever you like, this works well as you’re not lined up in a row and most people respect space, a young guy appears and explains he is the son of the owner, we ask him the most important question of the day “where can we go to watch the this afternoons England vs Panama game ?” right here apparently! got to be joking in the middle of nowhere! we seem to drop on lucky every time there’s a match that we want to see, they’re currently building a large outdoor/indoor barn complete with benches, tables, help yourself bar and TV, when its finished it will have a fireplace for winter too but it’s being used now so we settle down with 5 mins to spare before kick off,  we get a beer from the fridge, they even have dry rose wine which I like, €1 per 500ml bottle, a glass of wine also is €1, help yourself to a drink and write it down, we like this place already.

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footy in the hills, beer on tap

We were all alone until the 2nd half when we were joined by the Dutch owner and a few other campers mostly Dutch or German, what a great day and what a great score for England 6-1 we don’t normally score that many goals in the whole of a tournament do we?

Maps to the ready and walking trails book taken from the campers kitchen we plan tomorrows walk, left over curry for tea and back to watch the Poland Columbia game, we had good fun talking to Patrick and Frank two Dutch lorry drivers who go regularly to the UK.

Bye

Cathy