Terchova, Slovakia, 18 degrees Celsius
It’s a bit chilly today, especially when the clouds hide the sun. We had a beautiful ride through the hills in Northern Slovakia and have now arrived in Terchova. According to the lonely planet you can do some really nice hikes from this town. After a coffee (which is more expensive than half a liter of beer) we visit the tourist office to inquire after hiking directions. The lady at the counter explains us that there is a nice walk along a waterfall starting just 2 kms from the office. It should take about three hours to go up and down again. Stubborn as we are, we decide that we can also go up a bit further and take another route down, it is only 2.30 pm, so all the time of the world, right?!
Armed with our camelbags, some chocolate bars and a sort of abstract skiing map with coloured lines we start the hike. The sun is heating up now and we discover that our riding pants might not be the best outdoorwear… The walk is superb: through small corridors, over iron bridges and steps (sort of klettersteigen/via ferrata, but without the safety gear) along the waterfall. There are some signs along the way, but none seem to refer to the names on our map. “Ah well, it is still early and we can always just turn around.” Then finally there is a sign indicating the green route that we wanted to pick up to go back down again, so we turn left. After quite a long ascent we start to wonder whether we are really on the right track and we set a time limit by which we need to have an indication where we are and whether we are going in the expected direction. Exactly at 5 pm we reach the saddle of the mountain range (1186m) and find some signs again. Somehow we are completely not where we thought we would be, but there is a sign directing us back to the start in about 1,5 hours, perfect! Energized by the information, the chocolate bars and some last sunrays we start descending and by 18.30 we are back at the parking lot. Quite a nice afternoon stroll of 4 hours and 700 vertical meters! After a small ride we pitch our tent at a very tidy campsite with nice wooden huts and enjoy a homemade tomato soup. The next morning we are having our oatmeal, when some locals are already building up the fire for an original Slovakian goulash party. Too bad we cannot accept their invitation to join their festivities, the road calls..