Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Kresanica - an introduction to the Tatry



Koscielska Dolina - the solo walker's dream
The pain in Zakopane seems to be the traffic and finding somewhere to park. So I decided to cycle from the Pod Krowkia campsite in Zakopane to the start of the day's walk at Kiry. I felt hot sweaty and a little tired even before I started walking up the very busy track in the Koscielska Dolina. Thankfully, the majority of the people and the horse drawn taxis stay in the dolina (Norwegian 'dalen', English 'dale'?) although I am not sure where they all go.


In the buff at Malolaczniak
A fair proportion of the people though took the same red marked path as me through the forest on the northern slope of Saturn to come out onto a ridge that leads to the first summit and the Slovakian border at Ciemniak (2096m). The border path drops to a bealach - the Cicerone guide book warns of a 'sudden vertiginous drop at the edge of the grass' - I must admit I didn't notice it. Then it is up to the main summit Kresanica (2122m/P323) which was too crowded to hang round on. So I went down and up with the border path to the next summit Malolaczniak (2096m) where there were far less people.

I took the blue marked route down which was a bit exposed at times and there was a chained section - meaning it was more fun than the way up. There was even scope for a bit of scree running - although this generated some cross looks from other walkers. The path then seemed to go on an endless and intriguing traverse throught the forest before emerging back into the sunlight at Mietusi Przyslop. For some reason I had got it into my head there was going to be a refuge here and a chance to get a cup of tea or even a beer. However, I was misguided. Never mind it was only a 1.30 hours walk back to Kiry from here.

Kresanica from below

As I was cycling along the rough switchback track of the Droga pod Reglami the caliper on my front brake snapped off and I was thrown to the ground. This meant I was wheeling the bike down the steep bits as well as up the steep ones. Was I pleased to find a cafe still open at one of the places where the reglami met a road?
At the end of the reglami it comes out at the base of a couple of ski-lifts and what can only be described as a permanent fairground. Most incongruous, given the setting in the mountains.
The campsite is fairly close by - but far enough not to be heard.

Of course, Zakopane has loads of souvenir and outdoor gear shops, but not a single cycle repair shop.

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