Nearly 30 km to go, no time to waste. Hiking or not, breakfast is always an important meal and somehow it just sets the mood for the rest of the day. I went for pancakes with cheese and red berries at Andrzejówka Hut. The portion is huge. Finished the first pancake and took the second to eat later, somewhere in nature.
Route: Andrzejówka Hut to Zygmuntówka Hut
Distance: ~ 28-29 km
The track begins rather moderately and after less than a kilometre, I am at Turzyna (898m a.s.l.) from where it’s another 3 kilometres to the ruins of Rogowiec castle. For castle enthusiasts – nothing much to see here, but as a viewpoint, it’s totally worth a stop. To get to the ruins I have to leave the red track and follow the yellow one which later on merges with red again, making it a super easy detour.
Now it’s time for 2 kilometres of easy descent through the forest towards Rybnica Mała. I am not far from Jedlina Zdrój but first I need to go up to Wawrzyniak Pass (568m a.s.l.) and cross the railway tracks before entering the town.
The track crosses the road 381 and leaves the town immediately, but it is worth to take a short detour and check out Jedlinka Palace. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the place was open for tourists only on the weekends, so I couldn’t go inside. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful building to see from the outside and have a lunch break on the grass in front of it. The building was built at the beginning of the 17th century as a baroque manor house. In the years 1944–1945, it housed the design office of the Nazi Todt Organization and is closely connected to many other Nazi locations in the Owl Mountains and Włodarz Massif.
After the lunch break, it’s time to sweat. The track climbs to Marcowa Pass. It’s already after 1 PM, so the temperature doesn’t make it easier. It’s a scenic fragment of the track though! After Marcowa Pass (Przełęcz Marcowa) it becomes flatter and here I met a couple following Main Sudetes Trail as well, but not in one push like me but they split over a couple of visits in the region. The guy seems to be a real hiker with huge experience in Polish mountains so it’s a pleasure to listen to his stories and the time (and distance) flies fast until we reach the Eagle’s Pass (Przełęcz Sokola).
First issues with the weather appeared when I saw dark clouds on the horizon, the sun was burning like crazy and I couldn’t stop the feeling that it had to end with a storm. 8 kilometres left to Zygmuntówka Hut but on the most difficult terrain of the day.
I started the ascent from Eagle’s Pass (754m a.s.l.) to the Great Owl (Wielka Sowa – 1015m a.s.l.). There was a lot of people on the track, going to the observation tower. Dark clouds were getting closer and I could already see the lighthouse-like construction at the top of the Great Owl when I heard the first thunder.
I didn’t go up the viewing tower but rushed towards my final destination. Seems that not too many people venture beyond as the track became totally deserted. Luckily it’s mainly downhill so I was moving really fast. Unfortunately, the wind was getting stronger and stronger and I knew it’s only a matter of minutes to feel first drops of rain on my head. It started around Kozia Równia, so 2 kilometres before Zygmuntówka Hut. I put a rain jacket and rain cover on my backpack and continued walking for another 1 kilometre. Suddenly, the rain started to be simply insane and thunders were getting launder. Luckily, I noticed a wooden structure, full of rubbish and empty beer bottles inside, but good enough to spend next hour there waiting for the storm to calm down.
I knew I am very close to the hut, but it really didn’t make sense to push in such weather conditions. After a perfect sunny day with blue sky, a few hours later everything was covered in clouds and the temperature was dropping together with heavy rain. Quite common in the mountains, isn’t it?
I reached the hut totally soaked, yet satisfied. It was a challenging day without the happy ending but damn, so enjoyable. After all, that storm will stay in my memories and I created my own happy ending – with the Owl’s beer (Sowie).