Last day of my march trip was to the 891 meters high hill next to the Považská Bystrica called Veľký Manín. I didn’t have much time. There was another rare occasion I wouldn’t miss for nothing. I could meet my cousin. I had not see her for at least thirty years! Crazy isn’t it. This should not happen in family. Well I certainly wanted to put end of it and meet her. That mean I had to be back in city around one o’clock afternoon.
I started even before eight a clock. The weather was rather cold and under snowy clouds. I had to cross the city first to get to the forest on the other side. You not going to believe what has happen while I was walking across the central square. I got phone call from a friend I have not see for almost ten years!!! Yes, what was going on! I was so happy he told me he is in Düsseldorf and if I would not like to meet him. Of course I would. So we setup a date and time. What a great day, so many lost contacts with nice people, and all it is coming back, absolutely great!
After I came to he edge of city I had no idea where to continue. The marking of hiking trail was interrupted by construction site for road and buildings. No d-tour indicated, nothing. I look at the map and estimated that it is going just across the construction site. It was no possible to go around (another buildings and private gardens). So I walk through it for about six hundred meters and then I saw yellow marking of a trail at the edge of forest. There I entered.
Through the forest
That is what I though. Yes I hoped for nice walk through the forest until I would reach the foot of the hill. Well it was nice first, through a little forest then around some vegetable gardens. When I was about the enter the real forest I found myself in the middle of wood harvesting. I can not call it by any other words. It was just terrible. Huge forest tractors riding all around with other guys cuttings trees (luckily on the ground already). The ground was totally destroyed by those machines and I am not talking about the hiking trail. They made highway out of it for their tractors.
I must say, this was not surprise to me, unfortunate. I have seen in all those three days I walked around Považská Bystrica, huge amount of forest destroyed and not recovered by harvesting wood. Absolute ignorance of the nature. I am so shocked by this. They can not call themselves humans, those who do this to their environment.Just terrible.
After I survived this and found trail leading to the Veľký Manín, I started to climb. My cousin (the one I was visiting, not the one coming at lunch time), suggested I should leave the marked trail and go directly to the top (as the marked trail, surprisingly enough, doesn’t lead you to the top, only around it to the other side of the mountain).
Snow was everywhere, it was just a few centimeters from the early morning and there was still some falling, but not much. Temperature was around minus seven degrees of Celsius. I was walking in steady tempo and looking to the map as well to the trail trying to find the point where unmarked path should leave to the left. After some time I saw shoes prints marked in the snow joining me from the village called Podmanín. So we walked together. Me and the footprints. I felt immediately less alone. I sped up. While I was looking at the map where that direct path to the top should be I realized I lost my companion, no footprints anymore, Hm. At the end I missed and couldn’t find the the direct path I decided to follow yellow marked trail further.
The stone’s eye
The trail led around the top of the mountain to the other side. After while it become quite steep. Later when I was home I found out I was going up to 28% climbing. What I did not want to miss was something they call ston’s eye. You can see it in following two pictures. Again, funny enough the yellow hiking path does not lead to it. Because of such a steep climb I decide to get to the same high as stone eye and then based on map leave the trail and continue on the same contour line.
I chose this approach because it would mean when out of path I do not need to climb nor decent. This should make it rather easy to move, but it was not. There was a huge amount of leaves from last year. They where on top of ground which contains too many stones. All of it was frozen and on top of it layer of few centimeters of frozen snow. Yes it was like ice skating ring, only it was 28% steep. It too me quite a while until I cross it not seeing any signs of this stone eye. Only based on map. After while I reach it. It was very nice even quite a strong wind was blowing there.
Through the eye you can see next hills in distance and fields under as well as villages. It was around four hundred meter down. I climb next to it at the edge. And I have got great view. It is always such a pleasure when after steep climb, quite exhausted you came to place and you can enjoy the view. Even weather was not the best still. These are the places one feels close to nature.
Walking on the edge
Now, my first plan was to return to the yellow marked trail. I have reconsider as I didn’t want to cross the ice skating place again and because I found quite nice trail (unmarked) on the edge of the rock. I decided to follow it. Not only because it offers great views, but also I could see from the map that it will meet the yellow path in some point. This way I was walking around the hill, on top of which I wanted to go. After a while I was on its other side. There I had excellent view to Malý Manín. It is a small brother of this hills on which other side I was now. In between them there is very narrow path. In my childhood I remember that Bus was almost not able to cross, there were only few centimeter on each side and driver had to go really centimeter by centimeter not to scratch the vehicle.
To the top
I walked a bit further until I met the yellow marked trail again. Now I had to decide. Should I return down following the yellow trail or should I go further and try to leave the trail little later and reach the top from this other side. I remembered I never been here nor on its top. I was already quite high, maybe 800 meter high. The top is around 891. I also was ashamed I never was here, where possibly my father was countless times. I may even had been here without remembering it, when I was small boy, together with him. Still I tough, I should do it now.
So I did, I walked yellow path until I found the point where another unmarked path led me to the top. What was my surprise when I found my footprints friend there. Those footprints came from the original side (from where I lost them) to the top and they where also returning back. After I eaten something and drink my black tea, I decided to follow it back. What was my shock when back home I realize I decline measured was 47%. Yes it was bloody steep. I managed in crazy tempo downhill.
My shoes did not. I killed them completely. After more the ten years my shoes are gone. Never mind, I already bought new waiting for me at home for next hiking trip in Slovakia.