Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Vienna To Czech republic hiking:

July 14- 25 2017
Covering 90 some miles hiking, exploring things etc.
It was fun mixed group and REI did great job.

As it has been a trend, things always happen at the last minute and it works out better. Probably too much time into planning and thinking is for some set of people or needed where its required like U have to have permits and all, but not for us. There goes too much waiting period. N'ways have done both kind of things but always in favor of last minute quick things.

This was first time exploring new country, first time solo kind travel for hiking and exploring other things (my other half had 3 weeks break in India so no vacation left for him.) Was in kind of dilemma whether to do this one or the other but all other logistics came together at last minute and decided to do this.

This was the first time traveling in this region. Navigating and traveling these days is way much easier given all the technology available at hands.Language can hardly become a barrier and if one has done train travel in Bombay, one can travel in any parts of other country easily. It's kind of cool experiment not to use technology and interact with locals for information, they are really helpful and one comes to know more. My cab driver in Vienna was kid doing summer job with his mom being teacher and dad a chef, probably he told more about things in Vienna. Using local transportation, walking around is yet another way. 
Most noticeable thing was people are really outdoors kind, biking being primary activity, river floats,
rafting etc. The bicycle routes in Czech are extensive and well maintained and marked. There are color coded different kind of trails, red, blue, green. Educational trails are very well marked and informative. Maintaining old forests, various restoration sites, man made lakes, fish farming, bee farming and hunting are couple other things. Cleanliness and good habits were a nice touch. It was so fun to meet lively, continuously smiling individual in the winery and he proudly sharing his wine shares with everyone.
Really happy go lucky kind of guy and wife has really good voice.

More than hikes I would call them walks in the forests, towns, different places and they could be more intense than they are. But it was good mix of culture, places, country side etc giving you an idea of what is out there. The glimpse into local life and culture in some days.

Visiting these countries and not remembering world wars and things which happened during that era is not possible. On and off one can see remains and cemeteries and untouched , unused equipments reminding you of the times. So far everything you saw in movies and when really being present there and walking through, was a different thing.

Flowers / potatoes / fruit stalls /Hanna pottery maker / nature museum
Getting up really early and having walk/ run early morning or using free time during lunch more efficiently, stroll before dinners and silent nights to watch calmness that falls in place and how the place looks are some more ways apart from regular schedules to do what you want to and explore and enjoy the place. If you are like me, not much into shopping category you will do more hiking around, finding new things and doing them. Walk up the castle towers, night walks in the city, wooden boat rides, doing smith job making coins, nails, visiting nearby area, quick running up the hill, early morning bird watch and many more things.
Finally it's you who decides how best shape you are in.

Well given that it was nice experience in new country!! Music, food, people , culture , history, castles add special touch and good set of fun loving people to do all these things with.

 Some Glimpses:

Monday, July 3, 2017

Roller skating :

Had done this in arena not many but just twice or so and given every time summer was busy with things outside attempt got pushed back, finally today was the day ... being holiday had real fun heavy weight lifting class in the gym and what followed later evening time was the attempt with roller skates, with all possible gear and poles to support. Funny, one has to stand in grass to take picture. Nice sunset and evening by the water. Beautiful day!!

Beautiful, fireworks and music was really good to mark 4th july

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Solo Hike -2

July 2: Bullitt fireplace trail:-
Well beautiful morning today, imagine getting up eating Idli -sambar , coffee for breakfast reading book in kind of cloudy nice weather. Lucky me, made it the earlier night so one gets to eat it next morning. These days mornings start with cloud cover which burns off later.

Initial route
Anyways , so far had never been to Squak mountain state park before, it just went back of the list. Well reached the place sometime around 11, not that many cars, there is no designated parking lot too where I parked ( not sure if there is some other entrance), just parked by the side of the road and there was one couple just getting down new to hiking and they were too doing this trail for the first time. Just walked with them for .1 / .2 some miles and headed ahead. The place really has jungle kind off feeling even the forest is thick, did see deers, birds, banana slugs, something rat like, squirrels, small garter snake etc. Well the trail is not bad, initially wider and in between gets steeper and thin with lots of brush around.


That's the end of signs place
Followed the signs for the fireplace trail, but at the end after the mentioned distance they just disappear,  there comes some area with different trees altogether and signs for other trails, saw people wandering around there, they too were trying to find fireplace if it existed. Just did run around the area on different section to see if there was anything and since this was first time on this trail decided to head back. Saw one runner, he mentioned he runs here quite a bit but has never seen fireplace. Will figure out next time. Overall nice trail, not that much traffic and dense forest, walking in my unexplored area for the first time, not exactly sure but may be walked around 4 /5 miles altogether.

When headed out there were far more cars parked outside. Well should / could have checked report for the trail, just forgot to do that. Nice experience though!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Solo Hike

Poo Poo point :- Chirico trail - 1800 ft elevation, 4 miles round trip.

For first solo hiking experience it has earned to be penned down. However big or small the distance doesn't matter as much as the fact that an individual did it. Beautiful Saturday July 1st , after finishing just the previous day 200 miles challenge which lasted over some days, it was lazy morning. Weather was beautiful though, just that one kick came with tea in hand and decided to head out for Chirico trail - poo poo point. Some 1800 feet elevation with 4 miles about round trip. Have done this before many times, but never solo.

Trail sections remind of Inca Trek with uneven stone walks, cool breeze, each section you observe as if  you have never been there before and relate it to sections of some things you have done previously. Occasional hi / hello , some information exchange with some new people to the trail. Just an amazing thing. Everyone on trail was really in good spirit, may be holidays and relaxed minds are one of the causes.

Many people sitting at first false summit taking in the views and many more at the top real summit.
After drinking water and just spending some time up, headed down, almost in running mode. Overall beautiful day and awesome memory, to be cherished forever!! Yes, it happened !!!

Solo travel and touring around japan last year and hiking around both have their own charm as one might say!!