In today’s post, I’m returning to the final part of my hiking holiday. Strange to think that it’s a month since my return already…
Day seven: plains and water
The seventh hike (and the last full-day hike) had shown that most people in the group were quite fatigued, considering how many of them had chosen any of the shorter variants. In fact, I was the only one who remained with the original plan and still headed for the upper parts of the mountains. Given that I had walked around 125km during the previous 6 days, I’ve adjusted the plan a bit as well, but the nice (maybe too much, as it was quite hot) weather enticed me to go all-in.
The ascension, to be honest, was quite tough because of the heat and because of the exertion of previous 6 days. So I took it at a slower but steady pace. Most of that part went through the woods, so I was at least partially sheltered from the heat.
After reaching the upper portions, I decided to take a short detour towards a spring. That meant going downhill a bit, but at least I could refresh myself with the cold, mountain water. Then it was back up on a slowly-ascending path to a chalet on the crossroads and following the main trail for a while. At one point, I used a section same as the third day, though in the opposite direction.
I’ve probably mentioned that I have some kind of fascination for the highland plains – but then, I have some kind of fascination for almost any type of landscape, to be honest. I’ve decided to head towards one last lookout for the week, spending a bit more time on the plains. Another spring came handy to splash my hands and head with cold water while I kept turning towards the mosaic across the valley…
…mady by spruces (dark green), grasses (light green), blueberry shrubs (medium green), rock exposed by avalanches (dark grey), boulders (light grey) and lichens (greyish green) with a stream here and there.
The lookout gave me a chance to see towards the places I visited on day two (the only windy and cloudy hike). From there, I had two choices: go down to the town already, which would have me there way too soon, or backtrack 2km and head to the valley I was looking towards, which would stretch the last day’s hike to something over 25km. Given the nice weather and a lot of time left, I chose the longer variant.
Which was quite worth it – a descent along a mountain stream, sometimes steep but still a nice trail. At one point, the trail provided a close look at a rock exposed by avalanche:
And, as the trail descended, the stream also had a couple of smaller waterfalls.
The largest being a set of steps around 4 meters tall.
Day eight: farewell
The final day, due to the lengthy road home, featured a relaxed walk near the lowlands rather than a full-scale hike in the hills. The longer option was just above 10km, enough for an epilogue. Given the hot weather and the short walk, I took the risk and decided to use the broken sandals for one last time so my feet don’t have to suffer in closed boots for a lengthy bus journey.
Maybe not the smartest idea, because the trail started a bit muddy. Anyway, after this short muddy section, it became quite calm for a while. Then, sometime after the mid-way mark, we were often delayed by fallen trees, so the epilogue had a bit more wilder nature than we’d expect. The trail continued like this above the waters of a nearby reservoir built in the early 1900s as a reaction to a devastating flood in 1897. The dam was built in a pseudo-gothic style, which gaves it quite an unique appearance.
The final part of this holiday was reaching a village above the reservoir. For me, the final “score” of those 8 days was 160km walked – around the usual for a week-long trip, but more than I’d expect in this time because the winter and spring lockdowns had some impact on my strength.
With that, we headed home. The journey, however, wasn’t flawless: for a final problem of the week, the AC had a failure, which wasn’t really pleasant in such a hot day. The driver tried to restart it when we had a mid-way break, which worked only for as long as the bus remained standing. Fortunately, no one had any issue from the heat, and we all made it home in one piece.
So, that’s the last part of my August holiday. Fortunately, the remaining summer weekends gave me enough opportunities to spend more time outdoors, so I’ll have more photos to share in future posts, from different places.
I hope the summer is treating you well (preferably without sunburns) and to see you some next time.