It took me a long time to write this post. The introductory paragraph has been waiting for the continuation of the text for ten days (I am inserting #nedamise appropriately). Today I finally decided that the time had come to bring the text to an end and write my thoughts. It is not difficult for me to write a text, but I needed (without even realizing it) a break from the modern age and technical innovations.
At the end of February, I spent two wonderful days away from everyday life, and when I got home, I realized that in those two days I didn’t even remember the computer or the television. There wasn’t even excessive cell phone ringing. In that relaxing (albeit partly tense) atmosphere, I met a new Tamara, whom I do not meet at home. And I liked it!
Every mountaineer will tell you that continuity is the most important thing for hiking and good fitness. That means you should hike every weekend or at least every other. To achieve this, I joined a mountaineering association. My mountaineering society is one of the most organized societies in this area (and maybe even wider) and I can jokingly say that they only need a gastronomic department (which, of course, I will establish). Apart from the excellent organization and numerous departments, the reason why I joined this society is the mountaineering school. The lectures started in October last year, and at the end of February we took the exam. After graduating from mountaineering school, I did not become omniscient (it is necessary to walk puuuuuuno kilometers in order to improve the acquired knowledge and skills), but I am no longer ignorant.
Mountaineering equipment, knots, compass-oriented orientation, first aid and theoretical knowledge of mountaineering were my main preoccupations at the end of February. I have read the textbook (more than 300 pages) twice and I trust my good memory. I mastered orientation in lectures and I don’t even repeat it. I couldn’t tie a few knots at home, but I hope we will practice them before the exam. I pack everything I need in a hiking backpack and arrive at the gathering place. We wait for everyone to get together, get in the cars and finally move on.
We arrive at our destination, leave our things and a few of us go to the local grocery store, while part of the team is in charge of the fire and heating of the house where we will be staying. My first “enlightenment” is happening in the store – some of the groceries needed to prepare the food we agreed on are missing or not in the required amount at all. That notion of something we need no became completely unknown. If not in a small local shop, a few minutes drive away are Plodine, Lidl, Konzum and Billa, and there for sure have. As we devise backup variants, I think about the comfort we live in without even being aware of it, and I remember my childhood when the shops weren’t open on Sundays and when it was perfectly normal to eat bread “from yesterday”.
The ground floor is lively, we all huddle around an open box of wafers, tidy up groceries, have breakfast and talk about everything and nothing. Most of the hikers go on a trip to the area, some are given the task of maintaining the fire, and I and a few girls head to the kitchen. Kudos to Dubravka for taking on the role of head chef, as she has experience in preparing food for a lot of people. We peel, fish, cut – we make shepherd’s pie. While lunch is being cooked, we are practicing knots and all those that I could not tie in any way at home are now being tied from the first. I am happy! We set the table and wait for the rest of the team to return from the trip. They tell us how they felt, have lunch, have fun and look for volunteers to do the dishes. We stay in the dining room and chat. Jadranka blurred the pancake mixture (I’ve never seen so much pancake mixture). While we wait for the pancakes, we drink mulled wine (I better not drink). Although every now and then someone spontaneously starts practicing knots or talking about material, we are relaxed and enjoying ourselves, as if we don’t have an exam tomorrow. The pancakes were literally grabbed – they were perfect!
It’s ten o’clock and it’s time to rest. I decided to sleep in the spacious attic. I didn’t like the rooms, the bunk beds, next to each other. There are few of us in the attic, most of us settled in heated rooms. I watch what others do. The boys stuffed their clothes into a sleeping bag, and the girls still chose to change into pajamas. I don’t usually sleep on trips. I’ve been up all night waiting for the morning. I’m not nervous, although otherwise I go crazy with nervousness in case of insomnia. I hope that Zoran, our photographer, will be the first to get up in search of motives. And it was like that. It’s six o’clock, we’re going to the dining room, and there’s a learning group downstairs. The others arrive slowly. Everyone is saying something and repeating the material, so they can’t gather their thoughts. I have breakfast and go to the attic. I repeat the material and knots. The writing went well, the practical part as well. We all pass!
This weekend brought me a lot of knowledge – both theoretical and practical mountaineering, as well as life. In nature, far from everyday life and hectic lifestyle, everything is different. Worries are forgotten, everyone is happy and helps each other. I will have fond memories of socializing and I hope that we schoolchildren will continue to socialize on excursions. Thanks to all the lecturers who selflessly shared their knowledge and the examiners who listened to our wise and less wise answers. Many thanks to Zoran who gave me his photos – I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet a true lover of photography (I can’t wait for his photo tours, when we will walk the mountain without haste and enjoy the motives it offers).