Day 330 to 332 – Belá

They are holding the 2018 European Championships of endurance mountain biking here on 3 June. A family from the Isle of Man turned up on Sunday, the father taking part in the race, expecting to complete about 40 laps of the course. Curious, I took Meg for a walk of the route. The uphill section was a bit steep, but I reckoned I could get my Brompton up it. The downhill sections had some very sharp bends, but again I reckoned I could do it on a non MTB folding bike. And then we were back at the campsite 55 minutes later. That wasn’t hard… I could manage 40 laps over 24 hours on my Brompton!

I spoke to the competitor about this and was distressed to learn that I’d just walked the small loop of a 9.5 Km figure of eight. The bigger loop goes up, up, up, up, up into the Nízke Tatry hills, apparently. I decided then that I wouldn’t enter the race on my Brompton.

We are almost back to Bulgarian prices now. We ate out on Saturday night, for the four of us (the boys splitting an adult meal) the bill came to 14.60 Euros including drinks for Clare and me. I had goulash and dumplings, Clare had sausage and lentil soup and the boys shared pork schnitzel with chips. I had a beer and Clare’s wine was aweful. In comparison, Jack’s two course birthday meal in Bulgaria came to 15 Euros, so that was better value.

We spent most of Sunday trying to hunt down Slovakia’s highest waterfall. We drove for miles across the mountain range, but failed to locate it. Instead we settled for number two, the second highest waterfall.

Clare, Ben and Jack were fed up with me for hauling them up a mountain trail in our failed search for #1, so it was down to Meg and me. After an hour trudging up a damp mountain trail we found it, but it wasn’t really a waterfall, it was more of a water drip. With a volume of an average 3 litres per second, it wasn’t quite the scale of the Ystradfellte falls (I wasn’t expecting Niagara). But at 55 metres high, the Brankovský Vodopád drip beats Niagara by 4 metres.

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This is the photo of the drip from a Slovak tourism website.

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I think my photo represents what the drip is really like much better than the website’s photo.

We like the feeling of this campsite. There are various covered areas for camp fires and BBQs, with tables and benches. A group of female colleagues spent all day at one, sizzling sausages and getting sozzled, protected from the occasional thunder showers.

The boys spent their time playing in the river.

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And we found the most enormous tick on Meg, right next to a nipple.

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Ticks on dogs are expected, but with spot on treatment we rarely had to deal with them. With this collar we use on her now we keep on finding ticks. We have probably extracted 20 over the year, compared with perhaps four over the previous four years.

Campsite fees were 12 Euros per night plus 30 cents per shower. Ticks were free.

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