Shut the door and go!
It’s Monday afternoon. Again, locking my cabin door I’m throwing the pack on my back and start cutting first meters. Like the year before I’d like to get to Janicka in Spindleruv Mlyn on my own feet.
However, in the morning I was thinking to go to absolutely somewhere else. Well, a man proposes and circumstances vary. In the end, this substitution showed as quite pleasant.
As it was around 2 p.m. when I set out, the place for spending the night was quite obvious. A castle ruin equipped with an amazing view of the countryside. Kumburk. For the first seven kilometers I was feeling like going for a after-lunch walk in Prachov.
Then I began descending from Brada to Dilce along a dirt road to Zeleznice and finally I passed the green-marked span below the Bradlec ruin. Suspiciously dark clouds were chasing one another overhead. A scene like from a sci-fi movie.
The sunset was coming slowly but inevitably. I put a headlamp on and lingered a while on a cosy place with an interesting view of the night country of opalescent trees flooded in the moonlight. Anyway, why not to try it when I’m hauling the damned tripod. As a result of this experimenting, a quite interesting picture came off.
The sky is clear, the stars are bright, Orion above makes sure the winter sits still on the throne. Finally I’m at the crossroads under Kumburk. Those three hundred meters are a pleasure to ascend. Again, I can’t help making a few clicks from the tripod and in the end I’m inside the keep. I’m climbing up to the upper part of the tower. I’ve always dreamt of sleeping here on my previous visits on a bike. It’ll be nice for early morning shooting. I’m imagining all this but I have no clue that all will be a bit different at dawn.
I’m pondering for a while which niche of the tower to choose for making my bed. After all it seems to me that it’s blowing less in the left one. A tyvek bivouac sack goes to the ground, the inflated therm-rest pad inside, hiking pants off, kidney belt on, unfolded sleeping bag into the sack and let’s slip inside. Boots are put at the head, a pillow is made from the bag cover and the rest of the clothes. Finally, safe and sound in my nest I’m having something to eat and finishing the tea from the thermos. Then, my tuque bumped over the ears, I finally stretched. This sleeping pad with its 320 grams and 6 cm is a blessing. For my back, definitely.
The wind rises fairly but everything seems to be ok. I’m closing eyes but it takes some time until I fall asleep. Around midnight I’m woken by a really strong squall. Peeping out of the bag I can see nothing. The sky is covered. That’s a treason! Where’s the moon, and the stars? And what’s more, the gusts… the wind is putting on strength – from time to time it makes an impression of an eurocity express coming. I’m surrounded by thick castle walls and that calms me down. Being somewhere in the woods now wouldn’t be much fun. Well then, I’m sliding deeper in my feathers. But in a while I feel drops on my face. Damned, it’s snowing! Even though I’m under the roof the wind is blowing snowflakes all across my bedroom. I’m searching for a poncho and despite the storm tearing it from my hands I succeeded in making another roof over the unprotected entry to my bag. Wrapped from head to heels I’m slowly getting covered by snow. Finally I fall asleep in spite of the wind roaring still the same song.
I woke around 7. Digging out of five centimeters of powder I started packing my stuff really fast as it was cold as hell. However, I managed to take a few shots before retreating back to the shelter to make some breakfast.
I decided not to give up and make it to Spindleruv Mlyn even if it snowed all day.
That turned out to be a good decision. Such a beautiful day with comely weather and interesting places to visit I needed.
It wouldn’t matter to analyse the route into details. Perhaps it will do to mention that from Kumburk I headed towards Stara Paka, Levinska Olesnice, then to Martinice, Studenec and Valterice. Through Krizovky I climbed up over to Rovinka.
Country roads marked by tourist signs prevailed. At Rovinka it was around five p.m. when I hesitated if to bivouac in the shelter or to try running up Serin and click a few photos from Cerna skala. The light was extraordinary.
And the winner was… Serin. And so I was struggling along an abandoned path up a freakish slope. At Serin I met a nice guy with two dogs. This Rovinka cabin owner was on his daily stroll. He likes the hills as well so we had a nice chat. After all I was making the descend with him towards the skitracks to Misecky. He turned left and I to the right. And the twilight came falling again. Despite the moon shining like a streetlamp it was pitch-dark in the woods. I got confused and finally lost but Locus didn’t betray me. That handy app always helps me out.
It’s just a stone’s throw from Predni Labska to the door of Janicka. I wasn’t driven off – on the contrary. And so in the evening with a cup of hot tea and punch in hand I could say that those forty kilometres were worth the fun. Therefore I recommend to all of you: “Shut the door and go!”
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