Wild Goats

13 Apr

Not everybody dares to go for a winter hike, even smaller number of people enjoy hiking in the mountains after dark. I don’t belong to them but because some of my friends do, now I’m on my way to a chalet, 1.475 metres above the sea level. It’s November, the sunset was at about 5 o’clock – just when we were having sauerkraut soup down in the village. Now I’m fighting my fear of encountering a bear. We all have food in our backpacks and bears are, as we know it, always hungry. I don’t trust that they are hibernating somewhere in a den, this is their habitat and I feel like an intruder. And above all, we are lost. I’m panicking and hope the people who can actually read maps will find a path now. Now. Now? Now!!!

Got it! Back to the waterfall, up its left bank, there is our path. The sign says 30 minutes to the chalet where we are to spend the night. With the power of adrenalin we make it in 15. I’m hopping on the slippery rocks like a native. Well, we should have been there 2 hours ago. Smoke, dog’s barking, light in the window, our friends – those who can have fun hiking in the daylight – on the porch waving and jumping. ‘Hello, hello, let’s go in, there is a fire.’

tatry

After the night in a cosy, although slightly overheated room, we are ready for our next ascent. Inversion induced weather brings sunshine, sunshine, and more sunshine, we were expecting it but, of course, nobody thought of sun protection. Chamois love it too – my first sight of chamois ever, I’m so excited I could fly. I love every minute of this trip. Chamois, weather, friends, the fact that the mountains today belong to us, us only.

Speaking too soon, we are being overtaken by some people with hockey sticks. How weird. To our surprise, they brought them to actually play ice hockey, 2012 metres above sea level. How cool!

Yet another dinner of sauerkraut soup and then we head back long before the night falls. I’m not willing to try my luck in the dark again. Bears, the night is yours.

There have always been thousands of reasons why I couldn’t write. Among the biggest obstacles I would count what about and I’m not good enough. Oh well. I fuelled my passivity with negativism, hatred, self-destruction, prioritising basically everything and anything to justify why I couldn’t write. And then came more self-loathing until I decided to change my tactics and I threw myself into experience; good, bad, weird, funny; didn’t matter, I knew I was doing it for my future characters – for the times when I would be able to put a pen to the paper and leave it there long enough to produce a piece. The plan worked, the first baby was born and here we are, today I’m exploding, I’m happy while creating my little babies and nothing else matters. And when my piece finds a reader, I am flattered. It feels warm.

About the writer: Zdena comes from Slovakia but has made Wales her second home, that is when she is not travelling, which she can’t live without. Two important things in her life are books and Scrabble and she also loves world cinema.

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