When I finally did arrive to the Ginger Monkey, I was happy to find good company and a kettle waiting. This hostel was really cozy and had a group of good people staying there. They all seemedto have inside jokes and such already developed, so clearly I came a few days late to their party. They were affable and I was soon ‘in’. As it was already on in the evening, I didn’t do anything more than sip some tea and go to bed. The next morning, I made good on my free breakfast, which included all the toast and jam I could eat, and a single egg.
That morning I did some major catch up on The Daily Show and then got ready for some hiking. Although I’ve been on a death march to and fro, it hadn’t included much for mountains and scenery. The hostel lent me some shoes and a dog to go conquer the High Tatras, the mightiest peaks of Slovakia. Walking outside in the daylight I could better appreciate the beauty of the hostel and town.
There were a couple different paths the hostel staff suggested, and I went with the river route. I was also going to add the forest route to it, but in the end got sidetracked and skipped it. Things were looking pretty flat throughout the hike, so I veered up a path pointed at the mountains. I was to hike, not walk.
This was going splendidly, and I was making great time, but the acclivity started incinerating my thighs. I was really enjoying my canine company, who would run around but always always stay within twenty paces.
I thought that the trail I was taking would see me to the peak, but in the end it just stopped at the top of a mini mountain. My efforts were still rewarded with a nice view. I scaled a rock for a better view, while Wally whimpered below.
On the way down the hill I ran for a few minites. This was a lot of fun, though I wouldn’t recommend the video I took of it for those with motion sickness. I sound really gaspy and appear to be moving quite slowly, but I assure you that the emasculating pieces are not an accurate portrayal of my spectacular state of health.
The second half of my hike took me through some grassy ski slopes and the length of the quaint town. There were actually a lot of runs, which looked like they were operated by whomever owned the land. None of the equipment seemed very safe.
When I finally made it home, I relaxed a bit and then we went out to one of the few restaurants in town with some of the others. It was a pizza shop with a lot of atmosphere, and after all my hard work I was very much in the mood. They had an XXL pizza challenge, which I debated doing, but in the end decided it lacked any incentive. I did opt for the habanero pizza of the normal size and completely disregarded the four chili peppers on the menu next to it, since in Japan that would mean almost nothing. Chatting with the international bunch in the attic of this place was good.
The pizzas came and upon taking my first bite, had my mouth ablaze. We had agreed to swap slices with each other, but as soon as they tried mine they gave it right back. Sly way of getting an extra few pieces I suppose… I did eat all of the pizza before we left, but I had to go up for a few drink refills.
The next morning my insides were burning so I had to dash to the bathroom. And then several more times as well. This slowed my departure, for I was fearful of being more than a few strides from a water closet. I calmed myself, and then took off to go to a massive castle complex a ways away. The bus never came though, so I just bailed on this plan and instead took it as a sign to enjoy the mountain air before continuing onward.
This little town of Zdiar was a perfect place to bring about some balance for my trip. I had been seeing an abundance of cities, so a little green was just what I needed.