Kozjak mountain, Krka National Park & the coast

Categories Balkan Thru Hike 2018, Blue Trail, Croatia, TRAILNOTES, Updates, Via Dinarica
Krka National Park with Krka river, Croatia

One more mountain to go. One more mountain before the trail would turn flat and take me to Krka National Park, Vransko jezero and eventually back to the coast. Bittersweet. I love those mountains, don’t want them to end. At the same time it’s getting harder and harder, colder and most of all, windier. But okay, that’s the season. I will give my best. And if my best isn’t good enough, I will come back another time.

In Klis I camped on the side of the road, right front of the fortress. Next morning a man woke me up to give me paprika’s. I expected all sorts of questions, but nothing he asked. He just gave me paprika’s. Slowly I packed my stuff, hoping the rain would have stopped by time I was ready to get out of my tent. Not a chance.

Kozjak mountain

It rained all day. Kozjak was the last mountain I had to pass before the trail headed land inwards. Every now and then I got a little glimpse of the spectacular cliffs, but most of the day all I got to see were clouds.

View on Klis fortress, Croatia | BLOG Kozjak, Krka National Park & the Coast
Klis Fortress
Cloudy Kozjak hike | BLOG Kozjak, Krka National Park & the Coast
Cloudy Kozjak hike
Kozjak Mountain Split | BLOG: Kozjak, Krka National Park & the Coast
What a wall!

Planinarski dom Putalj & Malačka

Halfway I decided to head over to a mountain hut. Planinarski dom Putalj is one of the few huts that’s open every day of the week. Although it was a bit early to call it a day, I just didn’t see the point of going on as it wasn’t strictly necessary. In Putalj there was nobody but a friendly Hüttenwirt. The Hüttenwirt convinced me to drink a Velebitsko before he gave me the keys to the dorm. Rest of the afternoon/evening I spent in bed listening podcasts. It felt ultimately lazy, but who cares? Probably nobody but me. I still find it hard to do nothing and not judge.

New day, new chances. In broken Croatian I tried to explain where I was about to go. “Ahh, Malačka” and before I knew it the Hüttenwirt called his friend Željko to open the next hut for me. It’s unbelievable. After work Željko drove all the way up to have me over at the hut. We sat down, had a coffee, talked, had some wine, talked until Željko had to go. I got the keys, a whole lot of food, a warm shower and again a dorm for me alone. It’s unbelievable, incredibly comfortable. Think I could get used to this.

Željko in mountain hut Malačka
Željko in mountain hut Malačka
View on Split
View
View on Split and the mountains above
View to the other side

Krka National Park

After Malačka I made my way to Krka National Park. The Via Dinarica Trail follows “the Dalmatian hiking trail” which is marked, but near Prapatnica I managed to loose this route. I didn’t feel much for walking the road as the Via Dinarica suggests, so I hitchhiked to Vrpolje. From there I continued to Danilo. Not too spectacular, but not a bad walk neither. In Danilo a family let me camp in their garden. Next morning they spoiled me with fresh eggs, chocolate and a big bag filled with nuts. “Today  is Saint Nicholas, here’s some food for you.” Thank you!

Krka National Park is one of those places you have to visit according to almost everyone. Something that makes me doubt whether I would like it or not. I don’t like busy, touristy places that cost a lot of money. Not totally convinced, but I did make the detour to Krka National Park. At the entrance I discovered there’s an huge low season discount. Instead of 200 kuna (€ 25,-) I only had to pay 30 kuna, a very good deal. And yes, Krka National Park is wonderful, I can’t deny that, but somehow it didn’t leave me speechless.

(Central) Dalmatia hiking trail towards Krka National Park
(Central) Dalmatia hiking trail
Biking trail to Danilo from Krka National Park
One of the many biking trails near Šibenik
(Central) Dalmatia hiking trail | Krka National Park
Colorful but not so well marked trail on … towards Krka National Park
Krka National Park
Krka National Park
Krka National Park in winter
Not sure if it was worth the awful asphalted up&down the same road detour, but at least I can tick off another National Park from the list: Krka National Park✔️

Šibenik, Pirovac and Vransko jezero

I’m happy I got to see Krka National Park, but it made me wonder whether I’ve seen too many beautiful places or it simply takes more to impress me. I felt so spoiled. Also Šibenik, Pirovac and Vransko jezero didn’t really do much. What the hell is wrong with me? I definitely did enjoy to walk between the olive fields, along the coast, around the lake, but I didn’t feel excited or anything like that. Not totally numb neither, just neutral. Wow, have I reached the point that I’ve seen enough?

I felt neutral days and days until I saw Velebit rising up at the horizon. Whaaahh Velebit! Wowww Velebit!

Mountains seem to do the trick

It’s not about Krka National Park not being interesting, big or impressive enough, it’s just that waterfalls don’t move me like mountains do.

Mountains do the trick.

Krka river, Croatia
Krka river near Šibenik
Vodice beach, Croatia
Vodice beach
Pirovac on the other side
Pirovac on the other side
Camping Pirovac
Camping Pirovac
Vransko jezero, Croatia
Vransko jezero

My route on Kozjak mountain

Krka National Park, Vransko lake & the coast mapped out

As soon as I have uploaded my GPX tracks on the Outdooractive platform, a map with WayPoints and all the other good stuff you might want to know is gonna show up here. Please be patient 🙂

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