BIESZCZADY

by Mario
Day 1
Last time we were in Bieszczady mountains two years ago. It was a special time for us, because a few weeks earlier we had found out that we are pregnant. Now we are coming back with 17-months Marianka and Jan, who appears in the world in less than 5 months. “Pragnancy trips” to Bieszczady  slowly become our tradition :-).
Autumn is the ideal time to go to the mountains, which – like Bieszczady – are covered mostly deciduous forest. Colors which covers the trees, ranging from yellow, the ocher, saffron, plum and purple with deep saturated red and eggplants are so amazing that sometimes it’s hard to believe in what you see. Especially if you’re lucky and the weather will be good, meaning sunny. We also recommend the trip after the season – then trails are empty, it is quiet, calm and the sky is at your fingertips. We had impression that the mountains belong only to us.
Bieszczady are not too high, making it an ideal place for active rest even for a woman in the 5th month of pregnancy. It is also an ideal place for the first serious climb with Mania on the back. For the first time we also travel with another family – Anne, Paul and 4-months old Julek.
We left Warsaw on Sunday morning, but we are aware that we had no chance to reach Dwerniczek village before dusk. Therefore, we overcame the way unhurriedly. We did a two-hour stop in Sandomierz, where we had a very good lunch at the Bistro Podwale. Eventually we reached the place just before 19. We had booked room on agriculture farm named Rusinowa Polana. Place, which as it turned out the next day, charm us completely.
The next day in the morning Anna, Paul and Julek joined us. We decided due to the first time Julek in a baby carrier and Karola’s unknown capabilities to go to Polonina Wetlinska. Four different routes lead to the summit. Shortest route begins at the Wyzna Pass and it takes about half an hour to get to the Winnie the Pooh’s shelter at the top of Polonina Wetlinska. We eventually decided to take the yellow trail, from Wetlina (village). The signs showed 4.5 hours to the summit. Along the way, “must” stop at the Orlowicz Pass.
Mania first couple hills literally sing in her new tourist backpack. Moment before the Pass she began to show dissatisfaction due to lack of sleep. We reached Orlowicz Pass in six persons. There, our companions decided not to test any longer the patience of Julek and return the same way. We  decided to move straight up to the shelter. Mania after 20 minutes of whining and final adjusting the backpack seat, felt asleep.
Ten minutes before the shelter she woke up with a huge weeping. She could not calm down. Probably she was chilled to the marrow. We dressed up her in layers, in the wind and rainproof suit which we had in Iceland. It seems to us that in the previous ergonomic baby carrier, we warm her up with our own body. In this backpack unfortunately this is not possible. Another lesson for us.
After drinking hot tea and eating sandwiches in the Winnie the Pooh’s shelter, we have to come down, just to the aforementioned Wyzna Pass. From there we took bus to Wetlina where we parked our car.  At the house we arrived before 18.00. After a whole day walking, climbing we felt extremely tired, but the views reward us. 🙂 I hope you appreciate photos anyway.
Day 2
Awoken by Mania at 6:30 :-), barely get up from bed. Muscle sores are coming. It’s known, the best remedy is another physical effort. Today should be shorter, but higher. We decided to breast the Polonina Carynska (1287 m). This time, one car we had left in Brzegi Gorne, where trail ends. In second and went to Ustrzyki Gorne. Julian had felt asleep quite quickly, as well as Mania. From lesson learned day before we dressed up Mania in more layers and warmer boots. A huge part of the route  leads through the high beech forest. Hence it was warmer than during trekking to Polonina Wetlinska. The entire route should takes about 3 hours. It took us 4.5 h. Despite the wonderful weather, dew and rain in previous week didn’t allow soil to dry and in few places it was very muddy and slippery. Particular attention was required during descening. Every step was a challenge. At least one time me and Paul slid on the mud. Neither on Julek nor Mania it exerted much of an impression. Today they both had a good day it did mean without much whining. At farm we were before 15.00. We spent the rest of the day relaxing ‘cos we really needed it.
Day 3
Next morning we spent doing nothing: short walks on the San River near Rusinowa Polana, getting to know with animals on farm: horses, dogs and cats, and games with chestnuts, pinecones and leaves. There were also racing (Mania’s dad and new friend of her –  Wojtek), naps in beautiful autumn sunshine (Mania), reading books (Mom and Dad) and eating delicious homemade preserves (all :-)). It was such a pleasant chill day.
In general the place we find ourselves is unusual. The hosts are welcoming and helpful, the cottages cozy, the food, such indeed slow-food, prepared according to traditional recipes (such as from her grandmother in the warmest childhood memories), lots of animals, wooden playground for children (resembling sculptures of Joseph Wilkoń!). Pond with wooden monster :-), a small ski lift, a stud farm. And silence, the stars and the mountains all around. Rusinowa Polana is undoubtedly a magical place – I think we found our Bieszczady marina.

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