Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351

    Trekking the former Yugoslavia on the Via Dinarica Trail

    OK, I see a lot of recent interest in hiking, or trekking and last summer I hiked the newly built "Via Dinarica White Trail", starting near Postojna, Slovenia and finishing 52 days later in Valbona, Albania.
    It was an awesome trip, through lots of ancient and modern history (wars, communism, etc) with people living the old fashioned way, farming and raising sheep, horses and pigs up in the mountains.
    Here are some pictures to whet your appetite.
    If there is interest, I can post more




    This is probalby my favorite picture from the trip ^ The "Accursed Mountains" of Albania. Rough and tough for sure!





    This is in Montenegro ^



    Near the border of Bosnia and Montenegro^



    One of the mountaneering huts that we stayed in. This one in Bosnia


    My niece and I, clowning around.


    This is in Dormitor National Park. Just before the town of Zbljak in Montenegro




    And back to my favorite: Albania.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 05:45 PM
    Location
    Thermae
    Posts
    19,644
    interesting photos - not a lot of people about

  3. #3
    or TizYou?
    TizMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:12 PM
    Location
    Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
    Posts
    5,206
    Good stuff. Keep 'em coming!

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat david44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    XIPING REALITY
    Posts
    12,431
    Fantastic , haven't been there for years.
    Was it safe
    Did you need a tent or where there always somewhere to sleep?
    How about navigation,, paper maps, telephone or GPS?

    When I was there with zero Serbo-Croat most men spoke awful German like me, how did you communicate please?
    How much deeper would oceans be without sponges

  5. #5
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351
    Surprisingly, we didn't see a lot of others.
    Neither hikers nor locals.
    Many towns were abandoned. Espeically in Bosnia.
    When we did, it was old people. The young have moved to the big cities we were told.

    Yes, German was spoken more than English by the older people.
    Or Russian, later on in Montenegro in some of the towns.
    We learned a lot about the reasons for the war. There were many.
    Wasn't just religion. Sometimes it seemed to be from people wanting to get away from communism.
    Sometimes it was ethnic cleansing.
    Problem is, all sides seemed to fight this war with land mines.
    What a horrible thing. Here we are 25 years later, and you will still be worrying about them 25 years from now I imagine.
    The trail had been cleared of them we were assured and there were signs sometimes to stay on trail in certain areas. (again mostly in Bosnia)
    We loved the fact that we were the only ones out there, except in some of the National Parks and on weekends.
    Here are a few more pictures:


    Croatia at the start of Rnjak National Park and the first river we saw




    Velebit National Park Croatia

    Restaurant in a small town (Croatia)

    Resupply in Senj, Croatia. We had to walk 14 kms down the mountain to this town. We paid someone to take us back up the next day.


    The inside of one of the mountaineering huts. We just stopped here for lunch one day. Many of these were locked and we assume only used in the winter. This one wasn't locked but had no water.




    This is how we got our water in the 1st 2 countries (Slovenia and Croatia) as the geology there is karst and the rain just disappears. No springs streams or lakes. Just cisterns and many of them were locked. Rare to find one with a bucket, a rope AND water and not locked. Water was a problem.

    I'll post more later. (pictures)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351
    Someone asked about navigation.
    All from GPS tracks that we had downloaded beforehand and a phone app that had the same track on it with comments from past hikers.
    Adding to the adventure was the fact that there is no guidebook.
    Since we finished (August 23rd), someone has published a guidebook for the Bosnian portion.

    We did meet 2 other hikers who were trying to follow the trail from maps that they downloaded from the internet.
    But they were lost a lot.
    They followed us for 2 days and then sent for their own GPS.
    The phone battery wouldn't cut it as we often had to leave the thing on all day long to make sure we were on trail. (roads, bushwhacking, multiple trails)
    In retrospect, I should have taken my solar phone charger but I decided not to as it weighed 7 oz. (that's a lot of weight to a long distance backpacker)

    In the GPS, we did find that lithium AA batteries would last 10 days.
    Alkalines only 2 1/2 .
    (and lithiums are lighter weight too) (but much more expensive and not easy to find in these small towns)

    Ray always had the GPS and I always had the phone app.
    90% of the time, we navigated with the GPS.
    There were no decent maps of these ex-communist countries except for some bicycle or highway maps.

    Ray and I had a lot of experience beforehand working with above treeline (snow) hiking and GPS tracks.
    So, we never really felt lost although we were quite confused a few times. LOL!

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    3,434
    Thanks for the pics & stories. Post more, please.

    How many people were there in your group? Did you camp or use tents at night, or did you always have a roof above your heads (guesthouse, hotel, B&B, etc)?

    I think there's another trail which is kinda famous in Western Europe - a German friend called it Jakobsweg or Jacob's way. It starts from Germany, goes through France, then ends in Spain (I think). Have you (or anyone on TD) done this Jacob's way, by any chance? Thanks.

    52 days! I don't think I could trek that long. Hats off to you!

  8. #8
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351
    There were 4 of us to start.
    One only was there for the first 2 days and helped us get together at the start.
    My niece was with us for 2 weeks.
    Ray and I did the whole thing (52 days) from July 3rd to August 23rd.

    There are a few E-# trails in Europe.
    I have a long term goal of maybe doing the E1 trail some time in my life.

    Interestingly, all of these trails are marked with the same blaze. A red circle with a white dot.


    This can be very confusing when a few of these trails intersect (and they did a few times on our recent hike)
    Keeps you on your toes.




    In Europe, I have hiked the Pyrenees HRP route back in '99.
    That was a 39 day hike.

    Oh yeah, we sleep in tents most of the time but will take a room if in a town (showers are very welcomed after a while out there) And slept in a few of the mountaineering huts.
    We each carry our own lightweight backpacking tent
    Mine weighs 12 oz. (400 grams?)

    Here's a picture of our tents. Mine is the more unorthodox looking one. It is actually a "tarp-tent"
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by fiddler; 07-03-2018 at 09:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Custom user
    Neverna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Behind a rhododendron bush
    Posts
    13,604
    Great thread, great pics, great adventure.

    What was the total distance of the trek?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat david44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    XIPING REALITY
    Posts
    12,431
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    Great thread, great pics, great adventure.

    What was the total distance of the trek?
    Great poser, and how many Dalmatians?

  11. #11
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351
    Here is a link to the map that I believe is the exact same one that was on our GPS an phone app: https://trail.viadinarica.com/en/tou...17291189/#dm=1

    The trail is 1263 kms long.
    We skipped one section (about 30 kms) that was closed due to land mines.
    They hope to have it cleared and open this coming year.
    That was in Croatia.

    Trail starts out with a bit too much roadwalking for our liking, and a bit of bushwhacking as it is in it's infancy.
    Later on, it gets better and better although there are great highlights starting on (our) day 2 with Sneznik mountain and Sneznik castle in Slovenia.
    But Albania at the other end, was definitely the most rugged and challenging.
    But we were in awesome shape by then.

    If solitude hiking is what you prefer, this is an awesome opportunity.
    The trail will get more popular and more maintained I'm sure.
    These countries are all trying to promote tourism so, will put some money behind it.
    Go now. Before it's too late.


    The website won't let me upload any more pictures right now.
    It appears they are having problems.
    I'll try again later.
    I have lots of pics, that's for sure.
    All taken with my phone.

  12. #12
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351

    Bosnia
    Most of these are from the Bosnia part of the hike.Saddle just south of Blase Lake (a lake we couldn't get water out of because of the thigh deep mud all around it)

    This was an awesome knife edge we had to hike on for about 2 or 3 kms. Near Vito peak. (I love this kind of hiking)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat david44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    XIPING REALITY
    Posts
    12,431
    Great stuff thanks

    Were you boiling Lake water to drink?

    Do all these places have different money now, it was all Dinars back in the day?

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
    katie23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    PI
    Posts
    3,434
    Very interesting, thanks!

    How many hours (on average) did you trek per day? Re: food, did you have a stove (butane, etc) and how often did you cook? Did you shoot or hunt for your food, stuff like that? Thanks.

  15. #15
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351
    We treated water with tablets (Aquapur sells them) now.
    In my past hiking trips, I would carry regular Chlorox bleach and add one drop per litre (or two if really bad) and wait 20 minutes (or longer depending on temps)
    But the chlorine in Thailand is stronger from what I hear, so I didn't trust it.
    So this trip, I went with tablets.
    We drank the water untreated from the cisterns and smaller streams or springs (if we thought no one was living above them)

    As for hours on the trail. MOst of the day we were on the trail and hiking.
    We both like to hike more than we like to camp, so: up early, maybe 45 minutes to pack and eat breakfast (I must have coffee in the morning or I'm worthless. LOL)
    I normally carry a "Pocket Rocket" that uses butane/propane mixture.
    But on this trip, the only fuel that was available was the old fashioned "GAZ" canisters that you have to puncture.
    These went out of style in the states back in the 80's but I still have an old one or two so, had them sent over and used my lightest weight one (not very light though)
    The fuel was available almost everywhere and very cheap. As low as $1 Euro per container.
    One container would last me about 10 days.
    These are the kind that you had to puncture the canister and then leave the stove hooked up.
    The first one leaked on me until I got some Vaseline and lubrcated the rubber O ring on the stove.
    I had my coffee every morning and cooked my dinner every night.

    That's funny that you ask if we shoot our food.
    Hiking and hunting are quite different and although we saw quite a few deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, and signs of bear, no, we didn't have guns, or traps, or time to hunt really.
    Interestingly; my friend Ray, doesn't cook on the trail.
    He eats a ton of those little tins of pate'.
    I don't know how he does it.
    Very strong will power.
    Some places we had to resupply were only small shops and only had one or 2 choices on those.
    So, he might be eating the same thing for lunch and dinner every day for a week. cold.
    Me, I like to cook hearty meals on the trail, with noodles, soup mixes, tuna or other fish mixed in.
    I had dehydrated some elk meat that my brother shot 6 months earlier and that was great and lasted almost half the trail.
    I would just put a handful in my meal each night.
    We ate lots of Snickers and gummy bears for snacks.
    Bread and cheese out of town for the first day or two usually.
    We ate whatever we could find in stores that was light and non-perishable (Not fruit, or meat but would often carry cheese)

    Often times, people would invite us to eat with them (or drink). Here are some pics of that.



    And a few of the mountaneering huts were manned and even served food. We ate in all of those where it was available. Food is always on our minds!


    Also, we only built a fire once as it got cold near the end of the trip and I cooked over this fire.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    I am in Jail

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Last Online
    23-05-2018 @ 07:07 AM
    Location
    Wherever the wind takes me
    Posts
    1,730
    ^Wow, looks like an amazing hike! Isn't it always the best when people you run into are so friendly and welcoming? Those stairs look very steep and long.
    What a beautiful place. Thanks, Fiddler. Keep the pictures coming.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 09:48 AM
    Posts
    1,899
    Quote Originally Posted by fiddler View Post

    Hiking and hunting are quite different and although we saw quite a few deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, and signs of bear, no, we didn't have guns, or traps, or time to hunt really.
    .
    Did you have any problems with the local wildlife along the way? I'd imagine you're a long way from help if you put a hand/foot in the wrong place and end up being bitten by a snake.

  18. #18
    Totemic Lust User
    Looper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Last Online
    11-06-2018 @ 12:05 PM
    Posts
    11,011
    Champion thread Fiddler. Thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by fiddler View Post
    We skipped one section (about 30 kms) that was closed due to land mines.
    Hopping and skipping that section will keep you on your toes.

    Hiker roulette!

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
    bsnub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    15,295
    This thread makes me think of a couple of friends who have hiked the Pacific Crest Trail on the west coast of the US. It runs from Mexico to Canada. I have never done the entire trip but I have spent a bit of time doing shorter hikes on that trail. Outstanding thread!

  20. #20
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    This thread makes me think of a couple of friends who have hiked the Pacific Crest Trail on the west coast of the US. It runs from Mexico to Canada. I have never done the entire trip but I have spent a bit of time doing shorter hikes on that trail. Outstanding thread!
    I hiked the PCT back in '96.
    Great trail.
    The difference between these 2 trails now is the number of people hiking them.
    As you probably know, Reese Witherspoon starred in a movie called Wild (written by Cheryl Strayed) of a hike of the PCT.
    This has made it so popular that now there is a 50 person daily limit to hiking it (permits given by the PCT association)

    That ^ is not my kind of hiking anymore.
    When I hiked the PCT, I believe about 200 of us finished the whole trail that year.
    Last year ? At least 1,000.
    All with phones to communicate with each other and skipping sections to meet back up with their friends.
    Same with the Appalacian trail and the movie: "A Walk in the Woods" inspired by Bill Byrson's book and starring Robert Reford and Nick Nolte.
    These movies have made these trails way too popular IMO.

    So, I am always searching for new adventures and trails around the world and enjoying nature without hordes of people.

    I leave in a few days for Tasmania, where they too have a limited permit system now for the most popular trails (Cradle Mountain), so, I will be hiking a lesser known one that claims lots of wilderness. We'll see. (Walls of Jerusalem)
    Anyway, I'll take lots of pics and be sure to add them to TD when I return in a few weeks.

    Thanks for the thumbs up guys and to answer that snake question above: I have been hiking since the 60's and the only people I know who have been bitten by a snake, are those who tried to handle a snake.
    They don't like you anymore than you like them.
    I don't worry about snakes when I'm out there.
    maybe tiger wasps. (and gibbons)

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
    bsnub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    15,295
    Quote Originally Posted by fiddler View Post
    When I hiked the PCT, I believe about 200 of us finished the whole trail that year.
    There are more people that is true but the trail is so long that there are still long stretches without people especially the further north you get. But yes there are just more people out on the west coast in general. Seems that is the place everyone is moving to in the US. Here in Washington local trails are getting overcrowded and you have to go farther and farther out to escape people. I do not head up to Stevens or Snoqualmie passes anymore to hike. I have to go further north or south to White pass or down around Mt. Saint Helens or Mt. Adams.

    Sad really.

  22. #22
    Member
    fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:19 PM
    Posts
    351
    Yes sad. But you can still find some good trails in the states.
    Just not the long ones.
    And I prefer long hikes.
    The Bitteroots have some remote areas still with small numbers of hikers there.
    The Sawtooths also.

    But the Balkan hike was really great because we saw almost no other hikers except day hikers in the National Parks.
    That's amazing.

    I have my eye on Sweden next and maybe Norway although that's too far north and too cold for me, now that I live in Thailand.
    And I have yet to hike in New Zealand.
    So, have been on many hikes but there are still lots of trails out there for me.

    Hey, try the Goat Rocks Wilderness area.
    I remember it as being rugged and remote.
    Good stuff.

    Southern Colorado is also great.
    The San Juan National Forest west of Wolf Creek Pass is a favorite of mine.
    Especially the 100 miles from there to Silverton.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
    YourDaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 10:22 PM
    Location
    Council flat. Thanks suckers!
    Posts
    1,677
    Nope....I don't miss the place at all. It's people are one of the most depressed in the world, although you'd never know that as they hide the depression extremely well.

    Serbian women are very beautiful, yet one of the most cunning in the world. I was never able to score domestically until 20 years later in Toronto with a Serbian woman with 3-kids who decided to cheat on her husband. She was really horny and I couldn't keep up and it seems that her cuck husband liked her having it on the side, so she went back to him.

    I lose again....

  24. #24
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Chiang Mai
    Posts
    11,763
    Woohoo!

    Another thread that links back to tales of your dismal sex life.

    Great thread up to then, fiddler!

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat
    YourDaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 10:22 PM
    Location
    Council flat. Thanks suckers!
    Posts
    1,677
    What else is there?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •