niedziela, 13 lutego 2011

Trekking to Ornak (Zakopane)

I must say the Polish people are lucky.
They have a sea, mountains, hills, lakes, caves, rivers, forests and even a small desert.
To be sure, you cannont get bored visiting Poland.
Of course you can always complain that the weather is capricious (it's like a woman, frankly speaking) but I would rather say that it's a bit surpising, that's all ;)
'Cause I love mountains, there we be a lot about popular trails on
And to start with, I'll take you to Ornak.

It's not a high mountain to someone who loves climbing but to a complete amateur it could be a challenge to get to the top.
Ornak is 1854 meters.
A lot?
If you compare it to Mount Everest, what is it? Just a short, pleasant walk ;)
The views are worth it, believe me.

Last summer we spent a few days trekking in the Tatra Mountains. We didn't plan Ornak. We just wanted to go somewhere high... and there was Ornak on the way.
They say there is not such a thing as a coincidence ;)
First you need to get to Zakopane (there must be always a starting point, I know... but I often forget, sorry!).
The route from here is well-marked so it would be hard to get lost.
Start from Koscieliska Valley (pol. Dolina Koscieliska)- there is a big car park nearby so you can leave your car there.
And walk, walk, walk about 9 kilometres the main route... till you get to the youth hostel.
There you can make a short stop, buy something to eat or just relax lying on the grass.
Most people spend at the hostel about two hours and come back to the car park. Taking the same route.
Some decide to spend a night or two there (about 10euro/night) as it is a great starting point to trek a bit.
We were tired of the crowds (there are almost always crowds in Zakopane but we never got used to it) and Ornak seemed to be quite close.
So we moved on...

First we got to Iwanicki Pass (pol. Przelecz Iwanicka) and then took -as far as I remember - the green trail to Ornak.
As I said, it's well-marked.
How long does it take to get to the top?
9 kilometres in Koscieliska Valley plus the route to Iwanicki Pass (about an hour) and then 2,5 hours to Ornak.
When we were coming back, after spending some time at the top, from Iwanicki Pass we went in opposite direction to Chocholowska Valley.
It's a good idea. First, you see something new. Secondly, you can rent a bike there and just ride, not walk and walk for 9 kilometres.
We were the only ones who walked then :-)
From Chocholowska Valley you get to Koscieliska Valley and the car park. No problem!
Just look at the marks.
And enjoy wonderful views. There's no need to hurry in the moutains...

I am going to write more about Koscieliska Valley soon. That's why I only mentioned it...
If you have any quesions, just ask!
Prices change often so I won't always write how much something is... (about means it can be cheaper a bit or... a bit more expensive when you come!)
Here - website of the youth hostel in Koscieliska Valley (so far, only in Polish)

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