Monday, October 26, 2009

CIERNY BALOG summer 2003

I fell in love last summer. With a small village in the middle of Slovakia. OK, there was a girl as well, but that's another story.

Washing in the river, hill walking, a very 'international' game of football, equally international food, very cheap beer, the cheapest ever haircut, singing round the campfire, sleeping under the stars, cycling up a never-ending hill, and most of all, making some great friends - choosing to do a project in Slovakia was one of the best things I ever did.

My first feeling on reaching Cierny Balog was of relief, at having found the place. It had taken several trains, a couple of buses and a plane, but the hot morning sun and beautiful scenery - the village sits in a valley of wooded hills with a river running through it - made it worthwhile.

The project was two weeks long and split into two parts. The first week we lived and worked at the village football ground. As miles from any where, it
is amazing to see that Indians live there too!
Our whole trip went great, we went to Yosemite National Park, and dehydrated while climbing a huge mountain path, we ran out of water and had to go back down. It was Yosemite that we got used to the heat, and the bears!!! I have never had a bear come to tea with me before.

Meeting a bear is scary yet you’re amazed that you are so close to this animal, it isn't interested in you, it just wants some food. On this occasion I was cooking, in a camp site in a forest, it was dark, my girl friend suddenly looked up, never said anything, but thought to herself, my god that's a big dog. When she realised what it was, the bear stuck it nose in my frying pan took
some grub, and left. Yosemite is amazing!!!

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