A doggone good hike

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A post by Jayda. Woof.

Mom and I went for a two-day hike in the Czech Křivoklátsko woods all by ourselves, since dad is out of town on a cookery course. We had everything packed up before going, from rain gear to my doggie treats to a special turistické map mom got at the Neo Luxor bookstore on Wenceslas Square. I just had to get my fuzzy behind up early enough to catch the right bus.

Yeah, that's right. I'm in a puppy bjorn. Got a problem with it?

Day 1 

KM hiked: A measly 4
Missed buses: 1
People met who spoke English: 0
Maps lost: 0

We rode into the town of Rakovník and had plans to switch to another bus... but we missed it; mom had us standing on the wrong side of the rode when it whizzed by. And there wasn't another one to our intended trail-head village for 4 hours! Doggonit! I was pawing at mom to share the hard-boiled egg she was peeling in frustration when an old man hollered at us in Czech from behind a fence. He'd been locked a decaying old track-and-field-complex near the bus-stop, and said something about a "klíč". Mom knew that meant "key," so she ran into the building adjacent to the track and found a lady who could let him out. He was laden in photography equipment and took mom's and my picture; I gave him my best bow-wow.

At least Rakovnik was pretty
With grey clouds looming, mom made the executive decision to walk to the local train station and catch the next carriage to Křivoklát, where we'd booked a pension for the night. So... the first part of our hike was gone to the dogs. We considered getting off early at this station to get at least somewhat of a hike...

It's pronounced MYEH-stetch-koh

...but decided against it as it had begun to sprinkle.  Safely in Křivoklát, the walk from the train station into town was pleasant but wet.

With the rain falling abundantly at this point, we nestled into a restaurant. Mom read and drank grog and planned a more local hike for the afternoon, and I dozed on the bench next to her. The waitress loved me and kept clutching me to her cleavage. 

Waiting for the rain to subside

A grey day

When the rain lessened to a drizzle, we did a mini-hike around the town environs and up to the local castle. 
Oh, the things you find in the woods

Křivoklát Castle

Mom noticed how it was a sort of crossroads for a number of hiking trails; she said she'd like to explore the area a bit more in the future.

So many places for me to mark my territory

Back down in town, we checked into our cozy little pension, which had a castle view!  

And then we went out for a big schnitzel at the local pub and mom got asked on a date by a local yokel. She replied, "Můj manžel bude mít zmatek" and the whole pub erupted in laughter. (Translation: "My husband would have confusion.")
Carbing up

Day 2

KM hiked: 12
Missed buses: 0
People met who spoke English: 0
Maps lost: 1

Now THIS was a proper hiking day. For mom, anyhow; my little legs tired fast and mom had to carry me most of the way. And the first 4km was straight uphill! 

We wound our way south through the village of Roztoky, with some neat garden patches...

So that's where they grow all of the horseradish  
...and into the woods.

Pink-tongued happiness!
It was quite mucky in spots
Someone made a house my size!
If only mom could have read the Czech interpretive signs

On the last 4 km of the hike, we passed a village and a couple of developmentally disabled adults ran over to us so they could pet my cute noggin. Then some Ukrainian construction workers joined and insisted that they give mom and me a lift to our goal town because they couldn't understand why on Earth we'd choose to walk so far. But we persevered. Mom discovered she'd dropped the map somewhere on the trail, but we followed the trail markings and were fine.

Bless these markers!

We reached Novy Jachmov about an hour before our bus left. I made some chicken friends there. 


We caught a bus to Beroun, and then a train to Prague. Despite a couple of mishaps, I give the hike two paws up!

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