How we explored the cycling route through the Carpathians.
Walter Hauer: “Initially, I explored the existing road and trail network through the Carpathians, aligning maps and GPX tracks etc. Then I/we set out on our journey from Vienna to the Carpathians, starting in the town of Hainburg near the Austro-Slovak border, to identify the proper sub-routes and eventually connect them into one single continuous route. These activities took place in fall/winter 2017. As I proceeded on my way heading east, the climate got increasingly rough. On one occasion, I got caught in a heavy snow storm amidst the Ukrainian mountains. My tent was blown away and I was desperately seeking shelter in the dark and misty forest. During our exploratory trips in spring 2018, we were more successful and also blessed with fine weather. We set off to the Ukraine immediately after the Easter holidays and got there on the first snowless days after a long and cold winter, as the locals asserted to us. The picture of Ukrainians relieved by the advent of spring, clearing out the remaining stocks of firewood and beginning to restore their frontyards, is still fresh in my mind. (…) I cannot deny the fact, of course, that there were times when we got awfully astray due to unclear indications on local maps or well-intentioned advice from locals that proved not so good at all. These mishaps sent us on many strenuous rides through the Carpathian high forest, up and down, across bumpy and rocky terrains or dried-up river valleys, because we simply couldn’t find a decent track.”