Friday, 12 August 2016

The first trek of the season (Štrukljev verh - Paški kozjak -Dobrna)

My Maja's dad agreed to have me along to their weekly trek with his seniors hiking group (one of three he belongs to, I think, to keep moving), so I joined them yestermorn to drive a little to Dobrna, a spa resort from the Austrian times, and drive a little more to a neat crossroads parking lot at a farm. From there we hiked to the tallest peak of the region and the group then hiked back. It was a nice two or three hour run, with foggy, drizzly weather, which was perfect, because I wouldn't have liked it if it was too hot...
In fact I enjoyed it so much, I detached from the group and decided to hike for another five hours on my own. My footwear was not entirely appropriate – it was good, but not for the rocky ridge, should I stumble or get my ankle stuck. Other than that (and the act I tend to stab my own feet repeatedly with the hiking sticks) the Karimmor  sandals were incredibly effective. Granted, it was so cold I couldn’t feel much pain in my feet until I got home and took a shower, but they really were very good.

I hopped from ridge peak to ridge peak, my least favorite parts of any road, until a tiny high village of Paški Kozjak with the neat cemetery and a small church and regional primary school. I washed the mud and insects off my feet, heading a little further to the cottage to warm myself up and have some cocoa. I only had water with me, no food or map or cap other than my fedora. The cottage keeper made me the cutest cocoa ever, which would have lifted my spirits if those needed lifting at all. From there I headed back to any town that would offer transport home – the northern way was Velenje (and you can always see Šoštanj power plant from anywhere for the tall pillar of steam rising into the clouds) and the southern Dobrna. Velenje has a train station and Dobrna a bus.

The road was wonderfully a-changing. It was supposed to be only three hours, but I walked very slowly. I could feel my hips, knees and ankles all the way. The reason I wanted to walk as much was to get them mobile anyway. Sometimes it was a wide flat white gravel ordeal, or sometimes a near vertical flash-flood carved slippery horror that required the use of all four limbs. Thankfully I did have my hiking poles and

A resting bard at the crossroads or in a landmark shadow
Appreciates the simple things:
Good shoes. Thin Band-Aids. Light poles.
Waterproof things.

Eventually the weather cleared and I made it to Dobrna, where I misread the timetable for the bus and had to wait an hour and a half. It was well spent – I got to a hotel and ordered myself some food, reading Pride and Prejudice. I knew that the General was going to be angry with me for detaching from the safety of the group, but it occurred to me that I feel guilty when thinking about him A LOT: for enjoying my time alone, hiking, or enjoying food other than the one he prepared for me, or spending money which, technically, I made, on things not household. That has to get attuned a little. Guilt is not an emotion I am too particularly fond of, unlike solitude (even loneliness) or any of the happy ones.

The bus brought me nigh to the doorstep, where I spent the last of my coins on two Belgian waffles with ice-cream and whipped cream and chocolate, bringing them home as dessert. After a long shower to get my feet moderately clean again, and a decent massage on his part, I passed out. I’m awake now, at midnight, and it’s stopped raining again. Seriously, I can hardly stand and yet I am already plotting my next adventure…

I may want to invest in some Gore-Tex trainers. Hm… Google Google…

The one thing I did not have on me, out of character, was Mark. Not ready to share everything with it yet, again. Soon. But My Maja’s dad took some pics, so here you have it: :)

Before I left the group and changed my shoes to sandals :p