Dinara, to climb or not to climb?

I had a plan, I had maps, descriptions from other hikers and of course my GPS. It didn’t seem difficult to go to the top of Dinara, just a long “climb”. I had enough time, more than enough water and a plan that gave me the opportunity to spend an extra day on the mountain. Mountain Dinara. The only problem was that I was tired…

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Hiking_Via_Dinarica_White_Trail_BiH_Prenj_Bosnia_Herzegovina

“Bare 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 loose the trail again?

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

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rakitnica_canyon_neretva_bih

Sunday I was supposed to meet some friends from Sarajevo at Boračko Jezero. Rewinding time! Instead I got wind up in thorny plants when I tried to take a short cut. Lost on the Via Dinarica. This is my story about what happened on the descent through the Rakitnica Canyon.

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wild tea

Many many wild plants were in my way. If I had known which I could eat, I perhaps would appreciate them more. I’m a city girl, but I’m getting more and more used to the wilderness. Still most of the time, the plants are in my way. Wilderness. Wild Balkans. Of course I also feel thankful that nature actually allows me here. When it’s wild and rough, completely overgrown it shows who is the boss. And that is absolutely not me!

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Two weeks on the trail surrounded by mountains, flowers, cattle and flies. I’m hiking on my own (da, sama). I carry everything I need in my backpack and I’m free to go where ever I feel like going. I try to stick to the white trail, but sometimes the weather, the conditions of the route or people on the Via Dinarica change my plans a bit… It’s a fantastic journey and there is much more to come!

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After the adventure with Drande the sweet shepherd lady from Vermosh, I gained an experience, but unfortunately I didn’t gain much knowledge about a route out of Albania. But I did notice, while looking out over the valley, that there might be another possibility. The valley kind of splits into two branches, of which I only examined one. I hoped if I would follow the river, I would find a path to Rikavačko Jezero, a lake that a local from the valley mentioned earlier. From there I would be able to venture further into Montenegro.

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MAJA JEZERCË | Hiking Via Dinarica White Trail

The Via Dinarica White Trail finds its way through the mountains of the Dinaric Alps. It crosses the highest peaks of every country and Maja Jezercë in Albania is the last in row. I walk the other way around and started in Valbona. Maja Jezercë would be my first peak to climb. It’s a quite demanding one, especially the south-east approach. This time of the year there is still a lot of snow and the weather is kind of unpredictable.

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De geit van Vukov Konak, in Vučja Luka

A few weeks ago while I was still in Amsterdam, I saw a post on the Terra Dinarica Facebook page about a guesthouse named Vukov Konak. They were looking for volunteers to help them during the summer season. Of course my plan was (and still is) to hike the White Trail, but I couldn’t help clicking and scrolling down Vukov Konaks page.

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