The Foreboding: The Raven.
First Circle: Starting at Rozdroże (767 m) with D. at 10.15 pm. It's the full moon night but, unusually, Luna is mostly behind the clouds. It's warm, though, the last warm night of the summer.
Second Circle: Reaching White Flins Quartz Mine (1000 m) at six past eleven.
Third Circle: Rozdroże pod Cichą Równią (943 m), seven past midnight. Time thickens, we can hear four bucks roaring around us, each from a different direction.
Fourth Circle: Sitting at the place where the hermit Mr. Zbyszek used to live in his shack - now gone, alas - by the bridge on Jagnięcy Potok (Lammwasser) near the entrance to the Iserwiese - we share memories of the man. The night's only rain comes and goes. D. starts performing as we stand on the bridge, and somehow - this bridge has been here ever since industry (quartz mining and gold washing) began in the Wysoka Kopa mountain range in the early Middle Ages - somehow I get the feeling - the certainty - that this is a deja vu, that time now loops, and that this is not the first time that two people stood on this bridge and talked about Matters.
Fifth Circle: We reach the Hala (Iserwiese) at a quarter past two, bunk down under the firs on the edge of the forest, and doze off (kind of) for a few hours, listening to an unending symphony of deer buck roaring, coming from all directions. The one from the Czech side has the mightiest roar, but he has many fine rivals. We also hear modulated roars as well as repeated barks.There are literally dozens of 'em here! Reality, dream and myth all merge, the symphony continues, we lose the sense of time, it's a night like no other.
Sixth Circle: twenty to five, Dawn breaks.
Seventh Circle: The first Stag shows himself, roars and goes. I fail to capture him. But then the second one arrives and this one poses. It's the climax of the Expedition, the moment we came here for. We look at each other: we've been let in, we've been allowed, we've been hallowed. We are Here, we are Now.
Twenty past nine, we're back at the Flins.