It’s all about the mindset, but how to set your mind when you’re hiking the last leg of a trail which is still 900 kilometers? It’s not like I’m almost done, while at the same time it’s the last part. Also, the word mindset implies that I’m in control of my mind. I whish. Or maybe not? In reality my mind is influenced by how I feel just as much as the other way around. My solution: try not to think too much, just hike. And so I did.Continue Reading "UPDATE: The area of Dubrovnik, island Mljet and Pelješac peninsula"
When I camp in front of a church I usually feel comfortable. It can go two ways. The positive scenario is that being around people, near a village for example, gives me the idea to be protected. The other scenario is that people with bad intentions know where to find me. You never know for sure in which scenario you’ll end up in, but I kind of learned to trust my gut feeling. And that got me pretty far.Continue Reading "Gut feeling, being lucky and the sea"
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.Continue Reading "Staring at the Sea"
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.Continue Reading "EAT SLEEP HIKE REPEAT"
The Via Dinarica in Kosovo is an extension of the Via Dinarica White Trail. 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 its a super beautiful route that is definetely worth to include.Continue Reading "TRAILNOTES: Via Dinarica in Kosovo"
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.Continue Reading "TRAILNOTES: Via Dinarica Green Trail in Serbia"
Trailnotes & thoughts of a route that is connecting Višegrad with Tara National Park, the Serbian Via Dinarica Green Trail trailhead. Note that you have to go to the official border crossing point since there’s no agreement for hikers or whatsoever. So this actually is not a route, but more an attempt to “connecting the dots”.
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"
Jep, I’m hiking again. From Sarajevo I’m heading East on the Jahorina Trailrun Track to Višegrad. Those of you who follow me on Facebook might have read these notes before, yes I’m a bit lazy. Nevertheless I hope this post is either helpful or inspiring for whoever’s thinking of hitting the trail.Continue Reading "Hiking the Jahorina Trailrun Track from Sarajevo to Višegrad"
Last summer I walked a new long distance trail through the Balkans, the Via Dinarica White Trail. A route that finds its way along countless different mountain ranges, ridges, cliffs, canyons, valleys, rivers, lakes and prominent peaks in the Dinaric Alps, Europe’s largest karst field. Hiking Via Dinarica. A great hike, a beautiful journey and an unforgettable adventure.Continue Reading "Hiking Via Dinarica, crossing the Balkans on foot"
After I hiked more than 1200K through 4 different countries and added another 300K in Slovenia. The original Via Dinarica White Trail follows the Javorniki mountain range from Snežnik to Postojna. Although the forest up there is one of a kind, I decided to spend a bit more time in Slovenia, made a detour and set out an more ˝scenic route˝ through the beautiful Green Karst landscape. The last part of my Via Dinarica journey started in Ilirska Bistrica from where I headed back into the mountains, to Mašun, Sviščakih and Snežnik. I was blessed with fantastic weather. Cold, sunny and colorful. Autumn at its best.Continue Reading "Slovenia’s Secrets: Green Karst"
The Via Dinarica is a trail that is still in progress, only in Bosnia and Herzegovina the White Trail is officially open. In the other four countries the route is a combination of old existing trails that all together form a corridor through the Dinarides. With a distance of almost 600 kilometers, the Croatian section covers the largest part of the Via Dinarica. An absolutely beautiful stretch through the incredible Croatian karst mountains.Continue Reading "Incredible Croatian Karst"
“I’m on my way to Slovenia. Hitchhiking the last bit, it’s raining cats and dogs…” Jep, I’m cheating. Either I had to walk 80kmContinue Reading "The third option…"
My mind is somewhere else, I’m daydreaming, not thinking of anything at all. An easy hike on a forest road and then suddenly there is something brown, something big coming out of the bushes. O o. It steps right in front of me on my path.Continue Reading "Whaaah, I just saw a bear!"
Velika Kapela. This part is something special. You’re just a little ride away from the coast and even closer to the mountains. In between there are hills, forests and small villages.Continue Reading "Another day on the road"
Avoiding the bad parts of the trail sounded like an easy way out. Cheating maybe. Skip the “not ready to hike yet” sections and continue with the nice parts…
Now I’m finished with the Croatian part of the Via Dinarica White Trail and looking back on the (almost) two months I spend in this beautiful country, I realize that Velebit made a huge impression in me. I can’t really explain why, so that’s why I will make a photo essay before I try to write about it…Continue Reading "Velebitski Planinarski Put"
“No way! That can’t be…” There was a couple hiking towards me that looked exactly like Sean and Lois. “Ohhh, it would be great to see them again” and IContinue Reading "HikeVibes! "
“What is Ivine Vodice like?”
“Well, it is not as beautiful as this place”, the guy said while pointing at planinarsko sklonište Struge.
“Let’s say it is dirty, really dirty. But you’ll survive.”
“Great.” I looked at Caroline and saw a worried look in her eyes. Struge is a great place, but beautiful is a big word.
I’m almost back in track. After a week not hiking, just hitchhiking, I looked forward to go up into the mountains again. “But it will rain on Monday.” “I don’t care, rain is not my worst enemy. I’m from The Netherlands..”Continue Reading "Bloody Bura"
Jeej, I got company! No, she is not really an hiker or outdoorsie type, but she is my oldest friend… Why is everybody asking? When are you a hiker? What is a real hiker? Are there any rules? Hmm, I think I actually don’t really care. After almost 900K of solo-hiking, my BFF Caroline joined me in Starigrad, super exiting. New company, new spirit, new challenges. New ADVENTURE. Paklenica, here we come!Continue Reading "Hiking adventure: 4 Days in Paklenica NP"
I’m in Velebit in a sweet little shelter on a fantastic spot with white rocks pointing out of the forest all around me. Wooden wildlife keeps me company. Other than that, I’m all alone.Continue Reading "Mali Princ"
“I’m free, I think. I shut my eyes and think hard and deep about how free I am, but I can’t really understand what it means. All I know is that I’m totally alone. All alone in an unfamiliar place, like some solitary explorer who’s lost his compass and his map. Is this what it means to be free? I don’t know, and I gave up thinking about it. – Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore.
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…Continue Reading "Dinara, to climb or not to climb"
I’m afraid of dogs as long as I can remember. Most of the time they just bark, I know that, but they still scare me. At night, when I’m camping near a village,Continue Reading "Another “lud pas”"
Two months ago the opening of the White Trail was here in Blidinje nature park. And one year ago I was here as well, on my bike. It’s one of my favorite places. The immense valley with mountainsContinue Reading "Hello Blidinje"
“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.Continue Reading "Descend from Prenj"
“Don’t miss Prenj!” I certainly didn’t want to, so I stayed as long as the weather forecast let me. Four days, yeahh!Continue Reading "Prenj party"