As mentioned in the April summary post, I managed two hikes in April. This is a short look back at those two days.
9.4. – The land of ruins
The first hike led me to a place that doesn’t have much in height, but it has a fair share of history. It was a partial return, as I’ve visited the place some 16 years ago, though the overlap is around 5km of trails used both times, and I have forgotten most of it anyway. The first point of note was a place named, by rough translation, “Split Rock”.
The morning was quite windy and the wind itself was quite chilly, but as the forecast promised rain showers, I took windy over rainy. And, given the rain showers before, the paths were sometimes a bit muddy. The next part of my hike led me to the ruins of a castle that was deteriorating since the 18th century and, mid-20th century, it seemed there won’t be much left soon. That, fortunately, changed. Over the last 10 years, a group of volunteers is working to not only stabilize, but also restore parts of the former castle.
By the words of a person in the hiking club who had visited the ruin often in her childhood, the change is major – in her early years, it was possible to enter the tower by climbing the wall.
From the ruin, I continued to a lone rock formation that’s often used by climbers but the chilly weather meant it wasn’t being used by them, allowing me a clear photo.
The last place was the second ruin – a castle that was abandoned in the 15th century or so. All that’s left is a short section of overgrown wall.
23.4. – Unexpected sunny day
Similarly, the forecast for the second hike wasn’t too optimistic. The chance for rain showers was lower, but it was still supposed to be a bit chilly. We encountered a short rain shower during our bus ride but the weather cleared by 10:00 and the mid-day was surprisingly warm (around 17°C by my best guess).
However, most of the hike led us through the woods at first, so lookouts were pretty much inexistent. When we finally found one, it took us a while to get our bearings and realize what direction we were looking. Especially as the major landmark mountain was still in a cloud…
Just near the first lookout is the spring of the Slovakian river Kysuca.
What followed was another section pretty much through the woods, until we neared the main peak of the day, and were graced by a couple of lookouts.
Most of them were northwards, though a couple of places allowed us to look east, towards some of my favorite places in Slovakia. The snow-capped peaks of Malá Fatra mountains were, however, hard to see due to higher humidity. The mountain field on a surprisingly warm day was quite pleasing after several chilly days (and a lot of work moving things, as I mentioned in my monthly update).
Slopes of the field were carpeted by snowdrops which, I admit, I’m not used to seeing in late April, as they bloom in February in the lowlands and I had yet to see them in the hills.
However, the land still has to warm up, so by 15:00, the temperature started dropping. After a chain of warm springs that was going on since… 2012 or so, this April was statistically normal, which made it seem quite cold. In the previous years, mid-day temperatures above 25°C were common in late April. The highest this year was probably this day, around 17°C.
Even though the busy month had allowed me just two hikes, I had made the most of both. I hope May will let me have more fun outdoors…