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Through the Carpathians
Slowly we enter the Tatras, this unique alpine sanctuary. Lacerated ridges and granite spires give a spectacular character to these mountains. They are the highest part of the Carpathians. We climb this road to the top of the pass. The slow ascent allows us to take in the change of scenery, and the atmosphere of the country.
At the top, the high peaks of the Tatras are visible. At more than 2'700 m elevation, they are majestic, elegant and powerful. We camp at the top of the pass with a view on the mountains. On the other side, as far as the eye can see, tree-covered hills intertwine. As there is no river nearby, we filter the large puddles of water left by the morning rain for drinking and cooking. It still tastes slightly earthy. It's already getting cold, we are at an altitude of more than 1'000m. Nayla and Fibie play in this vast expanse, in this protected biosphere. Brown bears live in the area as well as wolves for large mammals. We are present at every cycle, being part of this fascinating, sometimes demanding nature.
A bellow echoes in the dark
A sound from another time. A distinctive and powerful sound that grabs you by the gut. The call of the red stag resounds in the forest. It echoes in the mountains. Intended to attract the female during the rut, it also serves to ward off adversaries. We feel the power of this bellow, its seductive force and this demonstration of masculine strength. Nayla and Fibie find it hard to believe that few people have heard the magic of this mating song, this passionate cry of love. It is present when we fall asleep and when we wake up. We even witness the roars in the middle of the day. Sometimes the silhouette of a large male appears in the mist. He is the master of the place. Every evening we can hear him. He will be representing our experiences of Slovakia.Nayla et Fibie profitent de jouer sur les pistes de VTT et traverse un pont suspendu! Prête pour le défi. Elles enfourchent leur vélo en parfait équilibre, malgré le balancement de la construction.
The Slovakian paradise
In Betlanovce we are at the foot of the Slovensky raj national park, the Slovakian paradise. We follow the path of the Sucha Bela, a clear stream with a melodious singing. Its flow is gentle, purifying, liberating. We walk along the riverbed. We then discover small ladders placed horizontally. At 1m high, Nayla and Fibie are hilarious to walk on them in a balancing act. However, the further we go, the longer, higher and sometimes more impressive the passages become. Slowly, this path in the river turns into a via ferrata, without protection. Nayla and Fibie are still excited by these balancing acts and we sometimes have to help them focus and keep their concentration. The passages become more and more aerial and this time we arrive in front of the first fall. Ladders climb up beside the water that plunges into the void. We climb above the chasm. At over 30m high, the second ladder is vertiginous. We continue into the gorge, following the steps placed in the void and in narrow ways in the heart of the rock, climbing along other waterfalls. The girls are as happy and agile as ever, even though they are getting tired. We finally reach the top and join a ruined monastery down the ridge. There, in front of us, the snowy mountains of the Tatras appear, sumptuous, majestic, elegant. They invite us to take a deep breath, to pause and contemplate.