Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zdiar! Hiking, Mountain Biking and Great Company!


1305 (local time)

Bus Station on the way to Zdiar then to Poprad again…

First off I will start off by saying I have had a moment of absolute stupidity! I don’t know what is wrong with me today but I’ve had what I would say a nightmare!

I had a nice wake up at 8.00am with breakfast, my body feels broken because of all the hiking and mountain bike riding!

But I will get to that later on! I just want to record what has just happened over the past hour.
I’m at the half way point to getting to Poprad when I realise that I have left my towel outside of the hostel, so I get off the bus to head back to Zdiar to collect it. Whilst I’m waiting for the bus I put my sun glasses down, and listen to some music.

All of the sudden the bus arrives I pick up my bags and head back to Zdiar when I realise I’ve left my sunglasses at the bus stop! I cant believe it! So I get off the bus and start to run whilst sticking my thumb out for a ride. Eventually I get one make it back to the bus station. Fortunately they are still there… but now I have to wait another 20 minutes for a bus to take me back to Zdiar to get my towel back!
For you this may not seem like much, but for me… argh! It’s a stupid mistake after stupid mistake! So, I just had to write that down.

Later on ill let you know about what a great time I had in Zdiar!

Cheers Steve

Following on… so I have finally made it too Spisska Nova Ves, to hang out with Diana and her friends and already I’m loving the place. Last night (8th) we went to Pauls, (Diana’s friend) cottage in the forest to have a BBQ. It was so nice listening to music having great chat and eating awesome food. I loved it. But, ill be writing more about Spisska Nova Ves later on.

I want to talk a little bit about the amazing time I had in Zdiar.
So I caught the train and bus from Kosice to Zdiar and there were really no problems, except for the fact that I was extremely tired.

I made it to Zdiar and found my hostel called the Ginger Monkey, checked in and just relaxed in the common room/kitchen watching the Olympics and talking to all the guys and girls that were staying there.
It was a great first night, and I made some friends who were going to go hiking up one of the epic trails in Zdiar.

The next morning I got up at 8am, and enjoyed the lovely breakfast that the hostel provides for free, after a couple of eggs and toast later, myself, Laura, Katia and Damien were starting our epic hike to the saddle and beyond.

I set the pace at the front, and I trekked up the mountain with the other guys behind me. The views were spectacular! The last time I had seen views look this good was when I was in Zurs and Lech in Austria. It was amazing, we took some great photos but more importantly just took in these epic views!

Once we got to the saddle, I was determined to hike another 15 minutes up to the peak of one of the mountains. Unfortunately the trail was closed, but we headed up there anyway! By the time we had gotten to the top, we had been hiking for almost 6 hours. After a quick refuelling we started the epic journey down.
When it comes to hiking, I would much prefer to hike up all day, than to hike down. I cannot stand walking down hill, knees, ankles, shins, toes…  they all hurt when you have to walk down. This time it wasn’t that bad, I spent most of my time talking to Laura, who was an Australian girl from Sydney. Our great chat took away from the fact that my legs were burning after 9 hours of hiking!

When we finally made it back to the hostel the shops were closed so we just ordered a take away pizza and watched the Olympics! Really nice way to end a great day!

Again, I woke up at 8am which I found to be no problem… yeah my legs were aching a bit, but being the elite athlete I am I powered on through. Today I was super excited as I was going mountain biking! The last time I had been mountain bike riding was in Zurs/Lech in Austria so Slovakia had a lot to live up to.

I rented a dual suspension mountain bike from the local shop, it was only 16euros, it wasn’t a great bike but I was fine! Damian tagged along with me which was cool, it was nice to have some company.

I had a rough idea of where the downhill park was, fortunately we found it pretty quickly, and set off ‘walking’ up the mountain. We were about half way walking up the mountain when ‘they’ turned on the chair lift. No problem, it was good exercise to walk up.
Once we got to the top, I set off with Damian behind me! The track was amazing! Lots of jumps, banked turns, nice little drops! Really pushing me to the limit! Get that adrenaline pumping through my veins again!
We did this run twice, and Damian took some photos of me boosting around a bank, I hit the first jump find, but on the second I was a bit off angle and ended up landing badly and blowing out my back tire.
This was my first flat of the day.

I took it to the very local bike shop, and the guy replaced it straight away, at no cost! Legend!
We went back up the chairlift and dropped off to another track, this track we didn’t exactly know where it went, and this was a mistake! It took us way, way, way off track and it meant we had about 30 – 40 minutes of peddling uphill to get back to the bike park.

It was quite amusing, as I thought I could cross a puddle with no problems, instead my front wheel buried and I went arse over tit, and fell into knee deep mud! Check out the photos!

Once we got back to the bike park, I dropped into the extreme/black run! It was awesome, super technical, really steep, lovely banked turns and big drop offs! It was amazing!

Unfortunately for me, I popped my tire again… that was the second flat.

By the time I had it repaired (for free again) it was the last run of the day! There was only 1 more run I had to finished, but I wanted to do it fast to see if I could fit another run in before the lifts stop.
I flew down the mountain, but it was really really slippy and muddy! I crashed several times, but the worst crash by far was went I went straight into a tree! I couldn’t turn as it was mud, and slowing down wasn’t an option so instead of taking the tree to my beautiful face, I turned a took it into my lower right back!
To this day its still sore… Any physios recommend anything I should do to fix myself…?
Nevermind… The day was a huge success, I loved it sooo much! And unfortunately it was my last day in Zdiar.

Which brings me to what I wrote at the start of this post regarding the nightmare I had about almost losing a pair of sun glasses and my towel in one day. (see the top of the post)

Ok, so thanks again Zdiar it was radical! But Spisska Nova Ves was my next port of call!
Till next time!

The Jam signs out!

My hostel, the Ginger Monkey Photo by Damien!

Katia having a quiet moment

How beautiful is that mountain!

They go on for ever and ever!

the valley on the otherside of the saddle!

Katia, Damien and myself!

Laura almost at the top!

it was so windy up the top! 4.2 weather full power!

Laura, Katia and Damien!

im sitting on some sketchy edge, if i fall there is a 30 foot drop! but how beautiful is that back ground!


after hiking to the peak! so beautiful!

Can you believe it!

on the way back down, near Laura a deer was just cruising around!

the hike back down, by this time, I'm knackered!

the single track trail that we followed!

at the moment, my favorite photo of this trip!

walking beside the stream is always nice!


almost getting blown off the mountain!

a good old self timed photo!

at the top of the peak!

a fairly awkward photo!

the day of bike riding had arrived! I WAS SO EXCITED!

and then i crashed into some mud!

sunken bike!

getting up on a bank!

at the end of the day, knackered! And in absolute agony after crashing into a tree!

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