|Date||Monday 3 June 2013|
|Distance stage||32,0 km|
|Distance acum.||2770,5 km|
|Quality of signs||very good|
|Quality of the hike||C (good): hills, fields|
Today is supposed to be an exciting day: it is my First Polish stage in the E8, and there is no formal E8-section from where I am now in the next 21 kilometers. There is a local hiking trail though, that leads the way to the E8-signs. I wake up at 4.00, just before a huge rain shower starts outside. I leave the B&B at 5.00am.
It still drizzles a bit when I walk back to the main road. I go left to Barwinek, and after some searching for a sign I go right (the first road after the bus stop). I follow the green local signs to the small village of Zyndranowa, and I continue my way up the hill. Everything in the woods is soaken wet, including my shoes. It has started to rain again, so the prospects for today are not very promessing. Going up the slope of the Czerwony Horka hill is comfortable, it’s not steep. I continue my way to the next hill, the Ostra, which is getting more steep and slippery. After passing the top the path goes downhill to the small river and follows this to the village of Stasiane. There is small, bare, camping location along the road, but it is completely fludded. No, there are no campers. I continue along the main road, still following the green signs. I pass a regular camping site, where even some tents and caravans are located, before I cross the very busy road between Barwinek and Dukla. On the other side of the road there is a clear sign that indicates the path to continue up the hill. Without too much signs I follow some tracks up the hill, crossing some trees, and some open fields. I end up in the forrest of the Dziurcz hill, and consequently the Czertez hill. On some steep parts of the hills it is extremely slippery and I end up with many mud stains on my raincoat to proove it. The trail up on this ridge is very clear, well maintained and the signs are very good. However, due to the trees and bushes I am not able to look any further ahead than some 50 meters. This makes it a bit tiresome to walk, and my pace goes down automatically. After a long while the signs indicate to go down the hill on the right hand side, which turns out to be a very steep slope, covered with chopped trees and branches. After this section the green signs join the red signs that indicate the E8-Trail again. I follow these to the little church in the woods at Pustelnia sw Jana. I arrive there at 12.10, I have some chcolate bars for lunch and I try to get my socks dry, now that it has stopped raining.
I follow the red signs down the hill, but while crossing an open field I loose sight of them, and I decide to continue down the hill straight on, down to the valley, which is some 150 meters below me. I arrive near the main road between Barwinek and Dukla again, the red signs join me 50 meters later on, and I follow them consequently to the east, up the hill to the top of the Cergowa. The first part of the climb is extremely slippery (almost: risky) due to the rain that has been pooring down during the past few days, and the clay soil on that part of the hill. The rest of the climb is not steep, and it is easy to maintain a steady pace. At the top of the Cergowa hill there is no visibilty due to the surrounding trees and the low hanging clouds. In the next few minutes down the hill the path passes some panoramic points that should give some nice views on bright days. The decent gets steep, still following excellent signs, but due to the forrest soil the path is not slippery. At the foot of the hill, where the soil is drenched with clay again the situation is very different; even the flat sections in the forrest are very slippery, and it is inevitable to get dirty, while walking, slipping, falling, etc. I meet a local guy in the forrest who’s looking for mushrooms and he assures me that I go in the right direction. After leaving the forrest I arrive on the main road, which I follow through the sunny fields, to the village of Lubatowa.
I decide not to continue for today, as there are dark clouds building up on the horizon.
This trip was very succesfull. Even though the circumstances were difficult I have been able to cover very good daily distances, the signs and paths in Poland are well maintained and the surroundings are more open than in the eastern part of Slovakia. I look forward to the next trip already.