BLOG | Biking from Skopje to Mostar via Durmitor National Park

After almost three months in North Macedonia it was time to leave the country. Literary, because my tourist visa would expire after ninety days. I choose to head towards Kosovo, partly because I wanted to leave the option open to go for a hike in Prokletije, but mostly because I wanted to ride through Durmitor National Park. Although I was still far from light weight packed, I felt ready to give the mountains another chance while biking from Skopje to Mostar.

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BLOG | Biking from Sarajevo to Mavrovo

Left Sarajevo in the rain, woke up in snow. It’s May, but in the mountains it feels like Spring is still asleep. Alright, then I have another excuse to find myself an easier road. Not that I don’t like mountains, I love them, but it’s damn though and I’m not properly equipped. Or actually, I’m over-equipped with non-biking related equipment. I’m heavy and slow and a tiny little bit in a hurry, because the second week of May I hope to be able to help my friends in Mavrovi Anovi by looking after their house while they’re gone. And thus, I tried to find a relatively easy, but still very scenic route from Sarajevo to Mavrovo.

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BLOG | Biking from Zagreb to Sarajevo | Bosnian Border at Novi Grad

Hey there, it’s adventure time. I’m biking from Zagreb to Sarajevo and further on to Macedonia, Skihut Gorica in Mavrovi Anovi to be precise. This year I’ll travel to only a few locations in the Balkans, because I’d like to spend more time in one place. Visit friends, pick up rock climbing and write. But I also want to learn about organic farming and fishing, do volunteer work and learn to speak the language like I did in Zagreb. As long as the weather allows I’ll use my bike as transport. I sort have a route, but I have no idea what I’m capable off. Guess I’ll find out along the way.

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Hiking on Trebević mountain, Bosnia and Herzegovina

“What are you doing for Christmas? Where will you be at New Year’s Eve? Do you have plans for your birthday?” Same questions every year. More or less same answer every year. “Don’t know, I’ll see.” For me the holidays aren’t anything special. I’d be totally fine hanging out in a hut, shovelling snow, making fire, walk a little, read a little. But to be honest this year I did feel like spending time with friends. Maybe I could do this walking, fire- making and snow shovelling stuff wíth friends?

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At the end of the month I like to look back on what I’ve done and where I’ve been. On how I felt and what was on my mind. It turned out that my Instagram pictures actually give a pretty good impression. So, I decided to put them together in a blog post. Here’s my monthly photo essay, Looking back on December: Slowly sliding towards the finish line.

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BLOG | Mostar, Omiška Dinara and Mosor mountain

On Biokovo it suddenly got cold. Cold, but still sunny. “Little Bura is coming” someone said. Bura, wind from the North can be tricky so I decided to go to Mostar to pick up warm clothes and new shoes before heading on to Omiška Dinara. Smart move, because on my way down my sandals ánd my FiveFingers fell apart. Even without Bura it would have been impossible to continue. Time to dust of those thumbs and get myself a ride to town.

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At the end of the month I’d like to look back on where I’ve been, what I did and how I felt. Usually I upload my Instagram photos in the “Looking Back” blogpost, but the second half of October I hardly had any internet. So, no Instagram updates. Because I want my posts to be chronological and it took me quite a while to catch up, I delayed this post. We’re halfway November, but here’s me looking back on October where I’m leaving North Macedonia to start hiking the Via Dinarica Blue Trail in Montenegro.

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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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Shkodër, Albania

Lately I’ve been reading trail reports of some of this years Via Dinarica hikers. Megan and Brittanie for example. I love to read about their experiences, how they hike it, how they like it – or not – and how they write about it. Both these girls write about how they feel just as much as they write about the trail itself. That’s what I like and probably what I’m trying to do myself. I’m struggling with finding words in English though. My vocabulary is too small to express myself the way I do in Dutch. Therefore trail reports in English are a great way to learn.

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