Delilah and Jack here webcasting from the beautiful Polish countryside. What began as a hastly planned trip into the Czech countryside quickly turned into a 3 day camping trip in the mountians in the north of the country. After the first day of hiking, and after consulting our map, we noticed that the border was not too far off and decided to walk to Poland. No tent, more beers than water, camping on the top of mountains, and minus degree weather made for one of the most memorable experiences of the trip thus far.
Into the wild. Packed too much we didn't need. After two days of solid hiking we made camp at a dilapidated lodge on top of a large lookout peak. We could not get inside but we managed with a few yards of rope, scavenged nails and our tarps to create a make-shift lean-to on the porch.
Hamish gathered dry fire wood and Jack made a delicious meal of potatos, carrots, red pepper and rice. It would seem we had found an epic place to spend the night (the view!) despite the wind and snow still on the ground. Just as beer oclock rolled around and we were about to get down to business getting a fire going, an old man approached. "Anglickski?" we asked, the only Czech word we could pronounce correctly. No english. Jack tried feebly to communicate with his Czech phrase book to no avail...A few other hikers came by. We thought he meant he owned the cabin and we were not allowed to be here. Worried, Hamish and Delilah gathered up the camp gear.
Jack concluded the guy was just another hiker who could not fathom sleeping up here because it is still quite cold up in the mountains. Besides it would seem people have camped here before by the fire pit and discarded and decaying toilet paper behind some of the low lying shrubs. After dinner, we watched the sun set from the lookout, a glowing ball of orange and pink sinking behind the horizon. We hoped it would not rain or snow that night and we were lucky! That was our warmest night due to the ingenuity of Hamish and Jack, who after discussing the tactics of the maori tribesmen to stay warm (hot stones buried in sand) they heated up stones in the roaring fire and place them into our lean-to. Furthermore the aluminum drinking bottles were filled with boiling water to place into sleeping bags to keep feet warm and dry.
Third day of solid hiking. Delilah hit the wall exhausted after climbing up and down hill with a heavy pack. Had to press on! Forward to Poland Comrades! Ran out of water and had to pump stream water. Camped inside a lookout tower, luckily inside for the night. Thermometer read minus two outside and about plus five inside. Coldest night by far. From atop the tower we could see the twinkling lights of the towns in the distance. The fourth morning we awoke early and set out. Physically exhausted we trekked downhill for about an hour. Took about five hours to reach the town.
We arrived in the most picturesque Polish Mountain village imaginable! Walked into a few hotel-chalets far beyond our budget, especially after saving money by not spending anything for two days solid, we did not want to cancel out our saving tactics. We found a tourist information store, possesing no polish currency and no knowledge of the language. The man inside made a call on our behalf, ten minutes later a woman arrived in a car with her husband. For thirty euro's a night (all together) we landed a lovely luxurious apartment with a view of the mountain, a short jaunt into town. Our hosts, who live above were gracious enough to do our laundry and lend us their personal laptop (on which we are writing). Shower! Food! a Bed! We were astounded by our luck. Then we set out to explore the town in search of food and beer. Apparently this is a prime tourist destination for elderly Germans. Not many english speakers but we made use of a notebook and a pen to communicate. Everything is very inexpensive. A bit difficult for Delilah to order off a menu to avoid meat, but ended up with delicious Perogies and homemade tomato soup!
Anyways, more updates, sorry about the hiatus! For some reason we cannot figure out how to load pictures onto the laptop but they will come! We got some beautiful shots of the mountain scenery!
-Salut! Delilah and Jack