27 May 1980

Getting lost in the Mazurian region

Giallina in the Mazurian forest
After breakfast we get rolling for Augustow. We arrive for lunch and eat at a totally non descript place for peanuts, nothing to write here about but it's filling and reasonably tasty. We decide not to spend more time here and instead try our luck in the beautiful surrounding forests.

After which we keep driving into the Mazurian forest. We decide to be adventurous and veer off the main paved road into a dirt side path lined by very tall trees. We wanted adventure and sure enough we got it, as for the second time in this trip we got hopelessly lost. Luckily this time we did not run into any Warsaw Pact military bases. There are no soldiers around, I think with a sigh of relief. There is no one around at all, actually, I think with somewhat less relief.

We drive through a couple of small villages, farms really, but there is no one around to talk to. We then run into a drunk old, very old man, in his eighties for sure, or at least he looks in his eighties, who is driving a tractor. That is fairly remarkable a feat in itself, as most farmers we have seen in the region have their plows pulled by horses.

He leads us to his nearby farm, where we are introduced to three, possibly four generations of Mazurian farmers.

She can stay in my room, niema problemu

There is a really really old lady dressed in black with a green shawl on her head, who does not speak much. Perhaps because she seems not to hear much either. But she is very friendly, smiles a lot. Then there a a couple of very young kids, maybe five and three years old or something like that. They should be in school, I think.

The drunk tractor driver shows us around a bit. We are invited for tea in the modes but dignified farm house. Here another man, I guess the son of the old lady, in his forties maybe, becomes very friendly. He says we can stay with them for the night if we want, we are welcome. The house is clearly not adequate to host four additional people. We insist that we do not want to disturb. He insists too, specifically indicating with hands and eloquent smiles that Ann can stay with him in his room. Right. He must be the father of the two kids, but where is his wife? Or maybe he is not, who knows, and does it matter? He insists, Ann would not disturb him at all in his room, even if there is only one bed. He really tries to persuade us that this would be best for all, as it is getting late in the day and it might be difficult for us to drive out of the forest and find a place to stay.

It is with some difficulty that we eventually manage to extricate ourselves from this friendly company. After some trying, we even manage to get out of the forest and find a hotel to spend the night.


Mazurian farming

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