Saturday, 9 August 2008

The Dunajec Gorge

Above the Three Crowns

The Dunejac Gorge (pronounced Din-eye-ic) is a spectacular river raft ride 18 kms long, falling 57 metres through imressive forested mountain scenery banked by towerng limestone cliffs. The craggy 'Three Crowns' mountain with its summit view point comes in to view several times as the river meanders its way through the gorge. Sadly we didn't have time to hike to the top as I am told the view from the top is staggering...and I don't doubt it, possibly even better than that!

Our front 'driver' gave a hilarious commentry all the way down. Unforunately I don't speak a word of Polish (I do now- hello, yes, no, please and thank you) and my translator couldn't keep up, but he had the rest of the raft in stitches. The back 'steerer and keep-us-off-the-rockser' was much quieter. However he pointed out a Dipper, which my Polish mate didn't think were found in this part of Poland. I picked out a handsome male Brambling on an overhanging tree. Grey Wagtails and Caspian Gulls were all the way down the river. Recent thunderstorms had swollen the river and the place were the Black Stork normally hunted was underwater, so that was probably our biggest dip. My mate had seen a Beaver on this trip a few years ago but scanning the forest on either side we could see no evidence of their tree felling activities.

The blue felt embroidered tunics are traditional as are the felt hat with the cowries around. These guys families have been ferrying passengers across and along the river for around 250 years.

This trip cost just over a tenner - well worth it if you are ever in the area - these are only 3 of nearly 50 photos I took.

Where to next? Don't forget your pots, nets and wellies for tomorrow's Rock Pooling. Meet us at 1.00pm at the Mirror Ball.

In the meantime let us know what you have found in your 'outback'.

PS - Found 4 Great Crested Newts at a secret site less than a mile from Base Camp yesterday (08/08/08) Photos later in the week - Yes, I do have a licence to handle them.

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