With the COVID-based restrictions, hiking became the only unbanned outdoor sport in my country for a while, provided you were alone or in a group only with household members. And I, as someone who often wanders alone, had no issue with such a limitation.
There was also the usual ‘face mask’ order, which had a tolerated exception in case of total solitude – if you were alone without mask and put it on when you were about to pass someone else, it would be no trouble for you. At the most-visited places, that would mean having to wear a mask all the time.
Good thing that I know where to go to be (almost) alone.
So, here’s my look at my april 2020 hikes.
4.4. – A lowland start
With the wet February and not so good March, my 2020 hiking record so far looked miserable. Thus, I decided to go for something easier. Something in good reach but not visited too much.
And so, being alone on the fresh air, I took joy from quite an ordinary landscape. The day started cloudy, but eventually the skies began to clear. First above the hills in distance, illuminating the last bits of snow on the highest peaks (the snow remained above ~1350m ASL by my best guess).
Ascending the first peak was easy as I took a route from the quite flat backside, but I took the sharpest path to the second peak (well, also the only decent path). And it was this 10-minute ascension that had shown me how damn awful it is to go uphill with a face mask, so I was really glad to be alone and put it down.
After a short break, I descended the peak and walked though the village below it, eventually turning towards the reservoir, though the trail keeps some distance from it. By the time I got closer, the skies cleared.
I’ve walked this part of the trail almost 10 years ago, and as in many places in my homeland, the spruce forests were pretty much destroyed there. A side result of this spruce calamity is that some once-hidden minor rock formations are now clearly visible…
Still, there’s not much more to talk about this one as it was more a relaxing stroll (for my standards, at least), at least by the fact I was done at 13:00.
11.4. – Not so flat anymore?
A week later, I went for a place I knew well. It was not lowlands anymore, though I wasn’t going too high either.
In was returning to a place I know well, but from a different side than usual, so most of it led me through new places. The ascension through forest (or, what’s left of it, in some places) was not hard in any way. The forest was hit hard around one of the rock formations – which is good for taking pictures of it…
… as well as the landscape in distance, the highest peaks still covered by remains of snow.
Then it was a flat part around one more rock formation (that one not as exposed, though, and poorly positioned for photos), then down to a village, another slow ascension, and descent to the ‘finish’. Just before then, I took one more photo, aimed for the highest peak (and the TV tower on it).
25.4. – Flowers and wind
The third hike began almost at the same place as the second one, though I went in the opposite direction. The morning was sunny and I had a chance to take a few close-up pictures fitting for a mid-spring.
But spring is not just about the small flowers – there’s something I find particularly charming on the color of birch leaves in April, the green tends to seem really full of life…
After starting the slow ascension from the valley, the weather changed: cold wind brought clouds, though the sun still poked through them here and then. I found one more picture-worthy flower, this one likely being half-wild (I guess a bulb was tossed away by one of the locals and it took root on the field).
The next target was an insignificant peak with a hint of some ruins. Many of these ruins have the same origin: a fort built on a rock outcropping in 10-12th century that fell to disrepair around the 13-14th.
Then, I turned towards a known marshland, reaching it by a not-so-used back path.
And it was when reaching the moss lake where the short drizzle came.
Then, I walked towards two rock formations. The first one was a bit off the path and took me a while to find (and reach).
While the second was right next to the path, so no searching was to be done.
Then, I walked towards the nearby lookout tower, which was closed for until the lockdown gets lifted, but the weather would make climbing it useless even if it was open. Then, a descent to the city and a lengthy way back home.
So, that’s my return to hiking in these strange times. Looking back, I’m glad I decided to take this year without pressure after giving myself a challenge in 2019. I don’t dare to guess how much I’ll travel during May, but I’ll definitely try at least one hike, preferably 2-3.
Stay healthy everyone, and see you next time.