Well… I was given two instructions when planning this trip: no hills and no gravel roads. The only map of the Tatra Mountains that I could find was Google Maps. Ninety-nine percent of the roads were on street view, so I was pretty sure that there were no gravel roads. On the other hand, Google did not offer any help as far as elevation went. We were going around the mountains, approximately 290kms around the mountains. We were not going over any white bits, so presumably things would be mostly flat and undulating. I was so very, very wrong.
This was a great mountain cycle trip with all the usual challenges. A water bottle leaking in a pannier, no low gears, handle bars locking up, not enough warm clothes, morning ice and much, much higher mountains than expected. We also came across quaint streams, birds of prey, quiet villages, glorious downhills and great steak.
Again this was a great ride, I have fallen in love with mountain cycling, however I was not ready for this one. Please do read on and enjoy our adventure with us.
The Tatra Mountains straddle the Polish and Slovakian border; it took us two days to drive there from our home on the west coast of Lithuania. Polish drivers leave a lot to be desired and we were quite relieved to arrive at our start and finish point of Zakopane, Poland. It was our plan to cycle five days around the mountains and then spend five days recovering in Zakapone. However because of rather fortuitous accommodation issues, we spent four days cycling, had a rest day in Zuberec and a day cycling back to Zakopane. Then five days rest and two days driving home.
The Tatra Mountains and surrounding foot hills are simply stunning. It is my hope that maybe someone will find this blog entry, its maps and photos and decide to embark on the same challenge.
Watch this space, blog entries, complete with photos and maps will be coming over the next few weeks.
Day 1. Mountain Mist and Burbling Brooks
Day 2 Lonely Roads & Hectic Highways
Day 3 Up, Up & Up
Day 4 Into the Heavens
Day 5 Quiet Pizza
Day 6 Polish Roads
Day 7 The After Chapter
Click on the map for more detailed maps.