Don’t eat the bears, you won’t believe what they do in the wood

I feel another anecdote coming on – My wife and I were staying in a small town in Poland called Zakapane at the foot of the Tetra Mountains and decided to make our own way up to a locally renowned attraction, 8 kilometre uphill trek through the forests to a restaurant with stunning views.

A fellow traveller who was staying at our hotel, a lovely Polish chap who had married an English girl after the war and had made their home in Essex.  He told us when he discovered that we intended to walk the route, that it was a “damn long vay”.  Under his guidance we duly found a mini bus which ran from the town centre to our setting off point – the 16 seater mini bus gradually filled up and then the courier/conductor walked up the aisle to the back of the bus carrying wooden planks which he placed under the bottoms of those seated passengers, across the aisle and hey presto! Eight more seats for eight extra passengers – Ha! Result.

As we lurched along in our now 24 seater mini bus, the said courier/conductor made sure that we were aware that the forest we were about to trek through, was the home of some of Poland’s much loved black bears and wild boar and that in this enlightened age they were protected by new and rigid laws. I know that his English was rather broken, unlike my Polish, which is totally non-existent – but I believe the message he tried to get across was that Bear and Boar are protected – rubber-necking tourists were not. We were not to protect ourselves if we were attacked by wild animals!

We have vowed, even if we are not in need of a plumber, that any Polish people that we meet in England and there are rather a lot of them at the moment, we will make as welcome as they made us when we visited their stunning countryside.  Dziekuje posiadaczy Polska.

About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.

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