Today is the start of my photography trip so, after spending a final couple of hours working on my assignment, I was picked up at midday by Tereska, from Mountain Paradise to join up with the rest of the group who had flown in from the UK. During the drive, we got to know each other a little, and I was surprised to find out that she has lived for four years in the Manchester area, including a stint as an au pair in Bowdon, just down the road from where I grew up.
We’re based in a village called Veľká Lomnica, 15 minutes away from the town of Poprad, close to the Polish border. In fact, the Polish town of Zakopane, which Dad and I visited on our trip to Krakow a couple years ago, is only half an hour away, and turns out to be a favourite day trip spot from Slovakia.
The rest of the group were waiting at the chalet along with Chris, our photographer-guru for the trip, and Matt of Mountain Paradise. With the addition of Eric, the driver, we have a total of 4 support staff to support the 4 clients – pretty good service!
I spent the afternoon getting to know the other 3 participants on the trip, and catching up with Chris, who I haven’t seen for a couple of years, since I went on a trip he organized to South Africa. It turns out that two other participants, Bob and Alison, have also travelled with Chris before, doing similar trips to Alaska (grizzlies) and South Africa as I have done. It was particularly good to hear news of Chobe, the orphaned lion cub I played with in South Africa, and Savannah, the cheetah, who has had cubs since I visited.
The photography starts tomorrow, with a leisurely start (we leave the chalet at 7.30) to visit a waterfall.