|Date||Wednesday 1 October 2008|
|Distance stage||31,5 km|
|Distance acum.||2315,5 km|
|Quality of signs||Good|
|Quality of the hike||C (good): hills some nice views|
Today is the last day of my four-day hiking trip. I leave my luggage in the hotel in Turcianske Teplice, as I plan to be back here tonight. I take an early bus from Turcianske Teplice back to Jasenovo, and I walk up to the pass on the side of the (very!) busy road. When big trucks are passing there’s hardly enough space for me to step aside.
The weather is totally different from yesterday: rain, wind, and of course fog. From the Sedlo I go up the hill past a farm and through the woods up to the Vysehrad hill, which is 250 meters higher than de pass. The visibility is zero and the wind makes it very unpleasant to be up here. I follow the Trail to the south, and later to the southeast. My feet are hurting, the weather is bad, and it’s cold. The Trail is very well hidden between the trees, and it is no big fun to be out here, today. One of the Trail signs that I pass on my way indicates the way, but ignores the hikers as the sign is not readable from the path. I have to leave the path and go between the trees in order to be able read what’s on it.
After a few hours I pass the village of Sklene on my left hand side. It’s 12.45pm, I take a lunch break and I consider my options. I am not amusing myself up here, and I could go to Sklene and take a bus back to Turcianske Teplice. The alternative is to stick to the plan: follow the Trail to the village of Kremnicke Bane and take a bus or train from there. I decide to use the few hours of daylight that are left to get as far as possible. Today is my last day of this trip, and it would not be motivating to break off early on your last day and take that as a memory with you for the time (next year?). In addition, Sklene would be not an easy start location for the next trip, as it is hidden in the hills, with only a few buses per day that go there. I decide to continue my way. After climbing the first hill I manage to keep a steady pace, as the Trail is not climbing or descending anymore fopr a few kilometers. At the Sedlo Pod Vysokou the Trail changes its course and goes straight east. After 20 minutes the Trail leaves the forrest and continues in a meadow or field. The visibility in this section is really poor, some 50 meters, and there is nothing to see. It’s a huge plain field that I am crossing. There are no Trail signs visible and by using the map and compass I am able to walk east, without seeing any landmark. After half an hour I cross a fieldroad. It is marked on the map. If the map is really acurately drawn, then some 100 meters north of me there should be a tree. I decide to check this in order to make sure where on the map my current position is. After 2 minutes I see indeed a tree popping up in the fog. And in addition, it has a Trail sign indicating that I was right on the Trail. I continue my way with more confidence than before. After another half an hour I cross a road, and a Trail sign that indicates that I should follow this road to the village of Kunesov. The small village is situated only five minutes further, and I continue along the regular road to Kremnicke Bane. Walking on concrete I am able to increase my pace a little bit, and finally at 4.40pm I arrive in the village of Kremnicke Bane.
On the map this village looks medium sized, so I hope to find a shop there, for some snack or refreshment. The village turns out to be another Slovakian example of lack of land use planning. In a wide area of some square kilometers there are all kinds of houses built, with much unused land in between. There is also a church and in my Western mindset this is usually the centre of the village. Over here it is on the side of the village, in the middle of much unused land. There is also a gasstation where I buy some chocolate bars. The railwaystation is situated north of the village. I have to wait more than two hours for the next train to Turcianska Teplice. I have the feeling I am really far from home, now.