The Walker's Guide and 10 places, where it could be useful



We remember "The Hidden Life of Trees" (about what trees feel and how do they communicate), it was a book that everyone should read. Therefore, when Wydawnictwo Otwarte gave us a tip that there will be something similar, this time about the art of reading the signs of nature - we asked for a copy. We read the "Walker's Guide" cover to cover, found some unusual information and creat a list of atmospheric accommodations for amateur naturalists.

We've found isolated and wild places, where you can try to recognize what birds have in mind, use a leaf as a compass and where will be an opportunity to find a rabbit hole or to track a deer. Thanks to the snail trail you'll realize that you stood too long in the sun and staring at the night sky you'll see what month it is now.

We chose Masuria, Bieszczady Mountains, Kashubia - everywhere, where the flora and fauna are still wild enough. There is a chance that soon there will be crowds of Indian trackers, who, with their nose sticked to the ground, will smell the traces of animal poo. Freaks who will mumble numbers and sit under a bush without moving. Don't run away screaming, it's possible that it will be us.

Gościniec Zagaje is located on the trail of Miasteckie lakes, which is the only Polish region, where there are lobelia lakes. If you don't know what they are, we will suggest that they have first category of cleanness, and in the water you can even see that you had pedicure long time ago. In Gościniec it is so quiet that you will understand the language of birds. Right next to the Gościniec there is real deer rut, something completely unique.

Slowhop opinion: Remember that Gościniec Zagaje ia a place only for adults.

Dwór Dawidy is a place for humanists, because lovers of history, geography, nature and cooking will adapt here easily. The building is next door to a nature reserve Lenka, and there are natural wonders that the world hasn't seen, a lot of mysterious hollows and a person starts to thinks that he could live in a hut. Then he returns to Dwór Dawidy, where wonderful bath is in the royal apartment and changes his mind, that this hut maybe another time. In the neighourhood there is an Elbląg Canal - the longest waterway in Poland, recognized as one of the seven Polish wonders. It's extension is Lake Druzno, reserve, nesting area of water and mud birds, especially ducks, grebes, gulls and terns. You can get dressed in camouflage, take pictures and track the footprints of birds all day.

Slowhop opinion: You can take the dog and it will be a good decision. There is where to run.

Leśniakówka is double-forest because not only it's located at the edge of the woods, but also its name was taken from the housekeeper's name. The hostess is a different story which you can read at Slowhop. There is a certified farm, so you can eat quite boldly, without sniffing tracks that lead from the nearest supermarket. Smell the air instead and seek larch and willows. These trees can't stand the smell of sulfur, so you have one hundred percent certainty that the air is free of fumes from the factory.

Slowhop opinion: Leśniakówka is a place family and dog friendly!

Suwalki in the best shape. Not only there is loads of green, because there is so much forest, that it feels like you're Robin Hood and  you live in Sherwood Forest. There is also a lot of water and a view of this water. Nature imposes itself, is importunate in a charming way and sends clear signals that it's time to move into the woods with binoculars. And when you do that - try to be quiet. It turns out that animals have their own warning system, they can keep each other informed about the danger. It looks more or less like that: wren is on the lookout and when it sees a man approaching, it warns with short cough, squirrel begins to stomp, deers and rabbits raise their tail and everyone gets nervous as during the anti-government demonstrations in front of the Polish Parliament. 

Slowhop opinion: You can rent the whole house or individual apartments. Dogs not necessarily, but the owners love animals, so maybe they'll agree:)

In the neighbourhood of Komańcza, in the old Lemko cottage, there live Paulina and Przemek and they receive guests. Here you can come not for the bed only, but for the whole experience of being with interesting people who love the Bieszczady Mountains. For this reason, probably you won't want to go out on the trails, especially in winter, but once you force yourselves - necessarily look out of the window. Is it snowing? If snowflakes are tiny and resemble sand - you should make a mulled wine or coffee and extend breakfast with Paulina and Przemek, because outside you'll freeze your butts off. Increasing snowflakes means that it's getting warmer. "The biggest and most impressive snowflakes are falling at a temperature just below zero."

Slowhop opinion: Smolnikowe Klimaty have five atmospheric bedrooms. The hosts have their own animals, so leave yours at home.

It's probably the only place at Slowhop, where there is no high and low seasons but there are seasons naturally attractive. It should be mentioned, that every season is attractive, because Kuwasy are located between Podlasie and Masuria, in the Biebrza National Park, on the edge of Red Marsh Nature Reserve. Every visitor should take boots and from the morning go to the woods, walk around marshes, admire battalions, poke an elk and stare at the floating cows. And while we're talking about the cows, a small advice: cows are cool, but if you see a lonely bull - stay away. And never come in between the animals and their cubs. And beware of dogs! Dogs disturb cows, and no one knows what can come in cows' minds. 

Slowhop opinion: Zagroda Kuwasy is a new building, but perfectly recreates the old buildings. The hosts love animals and good, regional cuisine. You can arrive with the dog.

In Bieszczady you can specify the time by the stars. We will send to the Chata z Gliny copy of the book, and then be sure to open the page with pictures, look at the south side of the sky at 22.30. If you see Sagittarius - it's certainly August. A Capricorn? "The sea is surprisingly warm, but the days become shorter. There are more jams on sale than economists could ever dream of. It's September." Reading the sky can be quite fun. 

Slowhop opinion: Chata z Gliny is a great example of eco building. Lot of allergy sufferers go there, so book in big advance!

Kashubia, and in the middle of it, a paradise for those who love adventures and apartments in interesting places. In Figlarnia you can stay in the forest huts, treehouses or in a brick building of the former school. The thing is interesting also because it's a mushroom area, with a number of clear lakes, and nearby are the beaches of the Baltic Sea. When you eat a delicious breakfast in the morning in Figlarnia (and Hosts like and are good at cooking) and looking at the sky you'll wonder if it will be raining - we've got good advice from the Walker's Guide: about what weather awaits you inform nature itself. So: "bees fly only in good weather and they won't swarm when the storm is coming", when the bad weather is approaching gulls: "can be seen on the shore, and they circulate above the sea only when it's going to be a nice day" or "ditches, ponds, paddles and wet mud release more smell when it's going to rain".

Slowhop opinion: As you establish the fact that it's going to rain: stay in Figlarnia by one of the two swimming pools and order a dinner. It'll be a beautiful evening.

And again the Bieszczady Mountains with the family place for adventurers, with good food and "I have no idea where I am, but it's good". As you go for a hike from Gęsi Zakręt, armed with sandwiches and a bottle of sweet tea, stick to a few simple, natural principles: "lightnings struck oaks the most, and then the ash trees". So if by a chance there is a storm - keep away from these trees. Advice number two: "Standing back to the wind, look at the highest clouds, and say: When it's blowing from left to the right, it's not going to be fun". And the third thing - if you lose yourself on the meadows and it's just lunchtime and you feel like eating venison - search for peacock butterflies. Not just to eat them. They usually stay close to civilization, so if you see them, some restaurant must be near.

Slowhop opinion: To Gęsi Zakręt come without dog and prepare youselves to cool hosts.

Miła Dolina is a place in Masuria, where nature comes to our home. There is deer farm, several ponds with fish, and foxes come to the door. If you like contact with nature, then this address is unique. Meteor shower is clearly visible, and the whole neighborhood is full of animal life. If you come here with children, we have an idea for an experiment. Ask kids to count sound of crickets within 14 seconds. Then add 40 to the number. The result will correspond to temperature in Fahrenheit degrees. Isn't it amazing?!

Slowhop opinion: Miła Dolina is a holiday home, you will be here completely alone and private.