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Srara Lesna, High Tatrys, Slovakia

The food in Poland was generally not that good, slabs of dry boneless meat with potatoes, though I’d taken to having salad, but it was always in a salad bar and seemed to have been sitting there for days. But on the last night in Krakow I ordered ribs, potatos, cabbage and pickled cucumbers, and apart from the fat on the ribs it was quite good. All the restaurants in Zakopane had unvarnished wooden furniture and fittings, and always a group dressed up and playing traditional mountain music.

I went to the hospital yesterday to have the stitches in my finger taken out. This hospital, like the one in Krakow, had building work going on in it. Now I’m sitting in a hotel bar in a small town in the High Tatra mountains of Slovakia, the sound of drilling and hammering coming from beyond one of the walls.

After the hospital I took a walk up into the mountains. All the way up to the top of a ridge, up where you were about level with the clouds, a good three hour walk I think, there were always people right in front of me and right behind me. It’s high season now and it seems like everyone in Poland comes to Zakopane and some point during the summer. Also, today was the first fine day for a few days so I guess people were making the most of it.

I was hoping this hotel would have wifi internet but it doesn’t. It’s an expensive place, so I would have thought it would. I asked about rooms here at the reception, knowing it would be too expensive for me. I’m staying in a private house about 3km down the road from here, in a small village. It was arranged by the tourist information place in Stary Smokovic, about 10km away where everything was full. The woman came to pick me up in her car. She was short and fat, about 50, with curly ginger hair. She spoke a bit of English and was a terrible driver, driving into a rock in the car park because she went forward instead of reversing, stalling a couple of times, then almost running over a couple – and we still haven’t got out of the car park. As we were driving her phone rang a couple of times and so she was driving without changing gear, which didn’t work out so well on the small mountainous country roads.

In Zakopane I didn’t go out much. There was internet in the hotel and though I’d planned on doing some work I got distracted with catching up on the news, then watching some videos online. including The Great Global Warming Swindle, shown on Channel 4 a few months ago, and then I downloaded Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, something I’d been meaning to watch for ages, and had been feeling I ought to watch but thought it would be a bit of a chore, but as it turned out it wasn’t. It was quite watchable and entertaining, though as much a promotional video for Al as for action on climate change. But much more honest than TGGWS, which, with an invisible narrator came across as a Horizon or Equinox programme, presenting an objective truth, which it wasn’t at all. A bit of searching on the internet plus watching a very good Australian TV programme, The Great Global Warming Swindle Debate, which included an interview with Martin Durkin, the films producer, that ripped him apart, exposing his faked graphs and high misleading and frequently inaccurate statements.