From Vrbanj I went down to the sea. To Herceg Novi. With pain in my heart I skipped Subra’s amphitheatre. Too much wind. A warm wind, but still too windy to go for an exposed klettersteig-hike-climb. At mountainhut Vratlo I was in doubt, maybe I could try to go from there. But no, that wouldn’t be the same. I mean, I could hike to the peak of Subra, but I would still miss the spectacular climb and that’s what this stage is all about. This will be another place I sooner or later come back to.

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Primorska Planinarska Transverzala Montenegro

I’m not much of a mile-maker, but last few weeks I’ve been walking in circles, exploring, climbing, bouldering, jeep touring and most of all: I’ve been chilling so much that I’m up for some real long distance hiking again. I want to get back to my hiking rhythm. EAT SLEEP HIKE REPEAT. Also, if I want to finish all Via Dinarica trails this year, I’d better get on moving, because days are rapidly getting shorter.

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Dark thoughts, Macedonian mountains

The Macedonian Traverse is a hiking trail through the mountains of Western Macedonia. It runs from mountain hut Ljuboten to Crvena Voda or Ohrid if you don’t mind a roadhike at the end. Some see it as an extension of the Via Dinarica or promote it like that, but the Macedonian Traverse has an history of its own. In 1975 a bunch of Macedonian mountaineers set the trail as the “First Macedonian Traverse” or “Prva Makedonska Transverzala”. There’s a documentary of their undertaking where they (try to) hike the traverse in summer ánd winter.

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Heaps of sheep on the Macedonian Traverse

After a fairly late start I left Popova Shapka, crossed the ski piste and walked the makadamroad to Bogovinjsko Ezero. This route goes more or less parallel of the hiking trail to Titov vrv. It’s way less demanding and much more “in the fields”. And thus there are sheep. Heaps of sheep.

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Hiking Titov Vrv

Shar mountain (Shara, Šar, Sharr, Sharri) has been on my list for years. Ever since I first read about the First Macedonian Transversal (Transferzala), a hiking trail that crosses the entire Shar mountain range, I had the wish to explore Shar mountain. I could try to describe what it looks like, but I suck at that. I don’t have the vocabulary and the words I make up probably won’t be much of a help. I’ll stick to sharing my personal experience and add a whole lot of photos to give you an impression. So here we go, here’s my “Exploring Shar Mountain Photo Story”.

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The Via Dinarica in Kosovo is an extension of the Via Dinarica White Trail that ends in Valbona, Albania. When I hiked the White Trail two years ago I had no idea about this Kosovo part, maybe it didn’t even exist yet. I don’t know. What I do know now is that it’s a super beautiful route that is definitely worth to include into your Via Dinarica journey.

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BEARS ON THE ROAD

Close to, or right underneath Rusolia mountain my eye caught two fluffy creatures. I held my breath. Oh my! Bears. I almost bumped into two bears. They were too busy playing with each other to notice me. Quickly I looked around to see where the mother was. Maybe one of them wás the mother, but they both looked small. Slowly I walked a bit backwards, started to talk and made some (not too disturbing) sounds. Nothing happened, they kept on playing.

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The Via Dinarica Green Trail in Serbia goes through the lower mountains north of the White Trail. Those lower mountains often look like hills, peaks aren’t as prominent as in Durmitor for example (or Prokletije!), but on the other hand the route often stays around the 1000 meter above sea level. In those “hills” there are many farms, villages and weekend houses, vikendica. Therefore the Green Trail in a way is much more alive.

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BLOG | Connecting the Dots, hiking in Tara National Park

Nobody said it would be easy, but I’m not looking for easy. I wanted to hike from Višegrad to Tara National Park, to the Serbian Via Dinarica Green Trail, Veliki Stolac, without making a detour on the road. Hiking beyond borders is one thing, hiking beyond overgrown border is another. My plan was to find a a route, a green line. I tried my best “connecting the dots”.

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I’m in my tent. Camping at a wonderful place next to a church in the middle of a forest. There are picnic tables, there’s water and a lot of grass. In two months there will be a guesthouse as well, but for now that building is an unfinished building. They’re working on it though. I met the guys in charge earlier, they gave me permission to put up my tent here.

Continue Reading "Worst night ever"