Last but not least I’m hiking Maglić peak, the grand finale of the White Trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the official Via Dinarica Trail goes to Trnovačko jezero before it climbs up to the peak, I choose an alternate route: the adventurous approach from Prijevor directly to Maglić. From sweet solitude to a not so sweet nightly surprise visit to an extraordinary encounter on top. Via Dinarica VLOG #4 Hiking Maglić peak BLOGS I wrote in 2016 while on the trail “Polako polako” that’s…Continue Reading “Hiking Maglić peak, Via Dinarica VLOG #4”
In this video I’m hiking Lelija and Zelengora mountain, the second to last section of the Via Dinarica White Trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina. From Kamp Lalović in Jelašca (near Kalinovik) I crossed Zelengora all the way to Sutjeska National Park, to Kovačev Panj. A perfect combination of crazy green wilderness, white karst, cold lakes and endlessly wide views. Via Dinarica VLOG #3 Hiking Lelija and Zelengora mountain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM1U4Li01EE&feature=youtu.be BLOGS I wrote in 2016 while on the trail Wild Balkans, nature versus mankind “Polako polako”,…Continue Reading “Hiking Lelija and Zelengora mountain, Via Dinarica VLOG #3”
In this video I’m hiking from mountain hut Jezerce on Prenj via Boračko jezero to Lukomir. A trip down memory lane through Bjelašnica’s crazy green wilderness and the unapproachable Rakitnica canyon. Three years ago I got stuck in the Rakitnica canyon. At that time the trail was terribly marked and the path totally overgrown. I took a shortcut, which was stupid. Thorny plants everywhere. Everywhere. My friends who were waiting for me at Boračko jezero called the GSS, the mountain rescue, I could only sit…Continue Reading “Hiking the Rakitnica canyon to Lukomir, Via Dinarica VLOG #2”
It’s been a while, but I’m back on the Via Dinarica. I’m section hiking the parts I loved the most when I was out there in 2016, new routes that will be included in the near future and peaks I skipped because of bad weather. In this video I explore a new old route that’s connecting the Via Dinarica White Trail at Ruište with mountain hut Fortica above Mostar and I’m walking across Prenj. An adventurous hike followed by pure beauty. The typical Via Dinarica…Continue Reading “Hiking from Mostar to Prenj, Via Dinarica VLOG #1”
The 5th of May I arrived in Mavrovi Anovi, at Ski Hut Gorica to be precise. This mountain lodge has been my home base for May, June and July. In the first place I helped out with the usual things like cleaning and making the beds, helping guests to find their way around and providing them with information to have them explore Mavrovo National Park. But there were also quite a bunch of other jobs such as painting furniture, building lockers and gardening for example. And if a good weather window opened, I couldn’t resist running off into the mountains. So, yeah, no reason to be bored.Continue Reading "Work Away at Ski Hut Gorica, how I spent my time"
“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?Continue Reading "Trebević Tales #1 “The Wild One & Me”"
In the Netherlands it’s a tradition to dive into the ocean on the first of January. In Bosnia and Herzegovina they hike upon a mountain. So, this year no New Year’s Dive, but a New Year’s Hike for me. And which other mountain than the one and only Trebević could it be? In this video I show you more of the beauty right above Sarajevo. Or well, Sabina shows you, cause she’s the real star of the vlog. Together with Ana, Hana, Branka and Đon we happily hike to Trebević peak. Here’s my second vlog from the mountains, hike on!Continue Reading "New Year’s Hike to Trebević peak WINTERVLOG #2"
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.Continue Reading "Slowly sliding towards the finish line"
In Sarajevo I met up with Sabina, a sweet sweet friend ánd crazy-cool outdoor buddy I met three years ago. We stayed in touch and try to meet at least twice a year. Whenever we see eachother we go for a hike. Mostly in the mountains. This time Sabina took me to Trebević, thé mountain above Sarajevo. We made our way up from old town to mountain hut Jure Franko. Although Sarajevo is one of my favourite cities, I prefer breathing fresh mountain air. Especially during the winter Sarajevo is extremely polluted. Unfortunately.Continue Reading "Hiking from Sarajevo to Jure Franko WINTERVLOG #1"
Bura, Jugo, Bura, Jugo, Bura and there’s the Jugo again. Jugo brings clouds and rain from Italy, Bura blows it with a good dose of freezing cold air all away. In between it’s calm. So serene. Although I’m constantly checking the weather, it’s actually not bad at all. It’s exactly what I wished the winter to be like. Fresh air, clear skies and a whole lot of quietness. I learned that my tent can’t do wind, but even that’s okay. Just have to be a bit more strategic and opt for a room when there’s no other way out. Now I’m this close to Učka Nature Park, I will give everything I have to cross the finish line. Or in this case the finish top.Continue Reading "Island of Pag and Rab & Učka Nature Park"
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.Continue Reading "Kozjak mountain, Krka National Park & the coast"
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.Continue Reading "Mostar, Omiška Dinara & Mosor mountain"
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 November BLUE TRAIL it is ✌️👣.Continue Reading "Looking back on November: BLUE TRAIL it is"
There are moments I feel proud and thankful at the same time. Proud of where I am. Thankful that I can be where I am. The Via Dinarica website writes that the Blue Trail after the Baćinska lakes, the most southern part of the Biokovo Hiking Trail, is neglected and therefor not hikable. I had to walk the Jadranska magistrala, the main coastal road. Not my first choice, so I decided to be stubborn and check out the state of the hiking trail. Turned out that I would get to experience one of my favorite Via Dinarica moments on exactly this part of the trail. On an insignificant peak of an insignificant mountain. Insignificant, but indescribably magical.Continue Reading "Baćinska jezera, beaches & Biokovo"
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 "The area of Dubrovnik, island Mljet and Pelješac peninsula"
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.Continue Reading "Looking back on October: From Artic Cold to Indian Summer"
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 on the PPT"
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.Continue Reading "DAY 123: About making miles and killing kilometers"
The last night of our boulder trip we camped near Treskavec monastery, a brilliant place. Actually it was my last night, the rest of the crew stayed, but I felt ready to continue hiking. To be on my own again. From the monastery I followed an easy going hiking trail down to Prilep. I snapped tons of photos, stopped and stared more than I walked. In a way Pelagonija reminded me of Mojave desert, but without Joshua trees. And slightly smaller. Nevertheless, an impressive landscape.
At the end of the month I’d like to look back on where I’ve been, what I did and how I felt. I’ll use my Instagram photos to do so. Here’s September’s photo story, another month in the Macedonian mountains. And a little bit of Ohrid.Continue Reading "Looking back on September: Dogs and Detours"
Now I’m in Ohrid I of course want to do some sightseeing. I want to, but at the same time I don’t. I find it hard to switch. It’s almost stressful. I probably do it all wrong, I just walk and walk and and then discover that I missed the most popular sight.Continue Reading "Outdoorfun around lake Ohrid"
At the end of the month I’d like to look back on where I’ve been, what I did and how I felt. I’ll use my Instagram photos to do so. Here’s August’s photo story, a real real sunny August in the Macedonian mountains. And a little bit of Prizren.Continue Reading "Looking back on August: 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.Continue Reading "My Macedonian Traverse, a mountain pathway"