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 | Ski Hut Gorica, looking back on three months in Mavrovo National Park

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.

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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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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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Ohrid lake Kališta

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.

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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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