“Keep in mind that you have still some challenging sections, particularly the descend from Prenj.” That was not the first time someone warned me for this part. Of course this became a big thing in my head. How difficult would it be? What if I can’t make it? What if I lose the trail again?

I felt nervous. It really took some time before I could enjoy the hiking.

From Milanova Koliba I at first ignored the markers pointing down without a signpost. Although they were in the right direction, I wanted to check if there was another marked path that matched my GPS track. But nope, so I went back to the hut and gave it a go.

“I’m on the Prenj descend.”

Down through the forest DESCEND FROM PRENJ
Down through the forest

Descend from Prenj

A good path, most of the time. Footsteps and footprints. Clearly visible red and white markers and until the shortcut from the hut joined the Via Dinarica GPS track it was not steep at all. Hmmm, but what will follow next?

A surprisingly great walk! I totally enjoyed the hiking on the forested ridge! Occasionally, the trees made space to have a view over the valley below, but most of it was through a wonderful dense forest. Absolutely beautiful, I felt kind of privileged to be there. Yes, I really liked the hike!

Some parts were steep, but I’ve seen worse. Or I got myself into worse ;-). To be honest, I was glad I was going down, it would have been a long sweaty way up for me. Close to Ravna I found fresh water, a nice little stream. Time for a bath! First I splashed my face and my arms a bit, but I couldn’t resist the water and took of my clothes. The moment I stepped out I saw someone. A man alone, tall, blond hair and a backpack. Another hiker. I quickly grabbed my clothes together and smiled.

Hello other Via Dinarica hiker!!
Hello other Via Dinarica hiker!!

Another Via Dinarica hiker

“Are you Eva?” he asked with a German accent. Haha, this must be Gerald who contacted me on Facebook. I actually wondered that morning where he would be. Our timing was perfect, we sat down in a nice shady spot next to the stream and talked for several hours.

He is really a though one. A month ago he started in Slovenia and hiked every single step. Didn’t skip any section and he even managed to follow the trail through the though forests in Slovenia and Croatia. That’s what I call a true thru hiker!

I’m not sure if I would enjoy it, bushwhacking is not my favourite, but it was good to meet someone who said that is doable if you really want to. Someone who made the horror stories a little less scary. However, he is a forester and I’m a city girl. Have to bare that in mind.

No Lynx (or wild cat) on the photo, but Prenj is still spectacular
No Lynx (or wild cat) on the photo, but Prenj is still spectacular

Hike your own hike

His journey is completely different from mine, but that the charming thing about it. All hikers have their own adventures and their own approach. Although it’s most of the time the same route, the experience is unique and personal. You can share them by telling stories, but not compare. I think.

Gerald told me he saw wolves and a bear and showed me the photos. Bears are beautiful! I told him I saw something that wasn’t a bear or a wolf. Not a fox, dog or deer, because it moved like a cat. A very, very big fluffy cat with point ears. Could it be a lynx?! “No, I don’t have a photo.”

He still had the challenging Prenj climb ahead of him and I wanted to go to Čvrsnica. But it was actually a bit too late for that. A cold beer in Ravna sounded like a better plan. I made it through Prenj and I loved it! Stunning and surreal. Desolate valleys, popular high peaks and unexpected encounters. Beautiful world, beautiful Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Planet Prenj.

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Hiking & Biking the Balkans

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