Sunday, 10 August 2008

Zakopane - Blackpool on the hill.

After Kroscienko we moved to Zakopane on the edge of the Tatra Mountains and over looked by the Sleeping Knight.
Zakopane had a surprise - it was a bit like Ambleside, but then a trip up the hill led to not the solitude of Loughrigg Fell but the Golden Mile at Blackpool. All manner of stalls selling all manner of the usual holiday souvenirs.
We left Zakopane to take the horse and cart ride up to the 'Oceans Eye' lake. What a stunning place - think a large Stickle Tarn in Langdale then change Harrison Stickle for the Alps as a backdrop. The way up through the forest had a couple of houses with elecric fencing around the top of their normal fence to keep the Brown Bears out during the winter. During the summer these are on the high mountain pastures and Juniper scrub, we scanned but had no luck. just as deadly was this Monkshood plant which was quite common around the lakeside.
The crystal clear water held large numbers of Brown Trout, below the smaller ones at the surface where a couple of over a foot long.

The waterfalls were something else. I filled my bottle from one of thse and I have never had water so good.
It was our intention to walk round the lake and climb up to the snow line. We had a flock of about 30 Crossbills on the way.

Snow - I didn't make it and had a lucky escape! My mate was at the snow hole which is about 10 feet high and went back 30+ feet. I clambered on to a lagre rock about the size of a Smart Car and it rolled - I didn't think I was that heavy!!!!!! But it pitched me into a crevass between the rocks about 6 feet down. Thankfully no broken bones or banged head but some blood and the bruises on my back are only just beginning to come out. I never made it to the snow and it took nearly 4 hour to stagger painfully back to the truck. A painfull seven hour drive back to Base followed. But we were rewarded with White Storks coming to roost in the garden the following evening. There had been about 200 at 6 O'Clock in the morning following the plough over the road but we were too tired to notice - the video was impressive! thanks to the farmer for waking the householder up to show him.

There was a bit of a sunset over the forest.

Then the clouds rolled in and boy did it rain!

There ends my Poland trip. Excellent and many thanks to all who put us up/put up with us!

BTW my mate stayed in Poland and rang on my first day home to say he'd just had two Golden Orioles in the tree at the bottom of the garden - - lucky swine!!!!!!

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