September 8, 2008
(7.55 km; 2 hrs 25 min; 43m ascent; 616m descent)
This morning there were rain showers at about 5 am, combined with strong gusts of wind. Then around 6 am it started to rain hard. We stayed in bed until 8 am, then started our day, hoping the rain would let up. The hut was a zoo. There were line-ups for everything, and nobody was in any hurry to leave. We managed to push some packs aside and squeeze onto a bench in the eating area, where for breakfast we had bread and jam, plus our large cups of tea.
After breakfast we decided we might as well pack up and leave. Luckily, though, the rain had let up and we saw a bit of blue sky. At the top of the steep shortcut down to Dolina Roztoki we could see clouds down below us in the valley. We weren’t even halfway down to the valley before we had to stop and take off our sweaters. But alas, this was not to last, and down in the forest zone we donned our rain capes, which we would end up wearing the rest of the day.
The route back to the car park went by quickly. At Polana Palenica, the souvenir shops were shuttered and the huge parking lot was almost empty. The minibus driver yelled at us that he was about to leave, so we jumped aboard and off we went. The windows of the bus were fogged up and we were driving in a cloud, so we couldn’t see much on the trip back to Zakopane. We were back there in time for lunch.
It was hardly raining at all now, so we decided to look around town before heading up the hill to Kalatówki. We found a café which the locals used, and went in to have tea and pomidorowa (tomato soup), which was really good and not at all expensive. But by the time we had finished, the rain was coming down in torrents. So instead of wandering around, we walked back to the bus station. We had to wait about ten minutes for the driver to show up, and then we were on our way to Kuźnice. Traffic was really busy in town, but soon we were going quickly up the hill.
Donning our rain capes again, we trudged up the cobbled road to the hotel. After checking back in, we retrieved our bag from the sauna, then went up to our room. Our plan of action was to do laundry, have showers, then possibly go back to Zakopane. But by the time we had done the first two, we decided not to go back down the hill because it was still raining.
About 5 pm the weather started to clear up, and we could see the cable car again. Down in the lobby there was an Exodus tour group. One of them was a Scottish woman who we talked to for a while. She said the rain was supposed to clear up and the weather was supposed to be fine until at least Thursday. By the time we had finished talking to them, it was after 6:30 pm, so we had to order from the “light evening meal” section of the menu. Paul had perogies stuffed with meat and Rosemary had a pizza. Afterwards we sat in the lounge and wrote our journals.