Durmitor National Park

We started our journey into the Durmitor National Park with a windy, not so safe, bus journey from Budva into the mountains. We teetered on the edge of a few cliffs making our way up to the small mountain town of Žabljak. Once we arrived here we denied many offers for rooms and headed straight for the camp ground. When we reached the camp ground we found out that it was actually located on the property of some scrungy looking Montegrin man who would let you pitch your tent in his giant yard for a few euros.

We decided to pitch our tents and head into town for some food before going to bed that night. The next day we decided to take the day off and try and get things straight with my debit card and go to the internet cafe. Afterwards we got supplies for our journey into the mountains and called it a night.

Our trip started with a 5,5km hike to our first base camp at Lokvice. We arrived at a small Katun (hut) that had an old shepherd and a bunch of sheep. There were a few flat spots around and we pitched our tents there. From there the plan is to take a couple of day hikes around the Durmitor Mountains.

After getting some sleep, we set off on our first day of hikes while leaving our tents pitched back at Lokvice. We headed out to an Ice Cave everyone was talking about which was about 4km from our base camp. After climbing down in the ice cave and resting for some food we set off to Bobotov Kuk, apparently the second highest peak in Montenegro. This was roughly another 4km from the Ice Cave. The hike was very difficult, the last final ascent to the top being the most daunting. We managed to get a ton of pictures and make it back to base camp before dark. We got some food and water and went to bed early.

The next day we packed everything up and decided to try a 3 day loop that would take us back to Žabljak. We hiked up an unmarked path up the face of a mountain next to our base camp (which we had taken down at this point, so we were hiking with full packs)…about 75% of the way up we got caught in a hale/lightning/thunder/rain storm. We were forced to find the first large boulder face and hide under Ian’s rainfly for his tent for about 30 minutes. Once that ended the weather never recovered so it continued to be cloudy and grey.

After hitting the pass, we made our way to our next big challenge which was another pass we had to get up with full packs. After scrambling across some large rocks on a very steep slope, we came up on a large rock face that was extremely steep. We had to bust out some mountain climbing skills and scale this steep rock wall up to the top of this pass in order to start our descent down to our next camp site where we would stay the night.

We managed to set up camp on a bit of slope overlooking Škrčko Jezero, a gorgeous alpine lake nestled in the mountains. That next morning we awoke to cows grazing literally 5ft from our tents. We had to fend them off with a stick and pack things up for our trip up the pass at Paninica. This ascent was long and hard, no easy way around it. After finally making it to the top in what was insanely thick fog, we managed to get lost forbaout 20 minutes trying to find the correct path down to a shortcut that would take us to town that night instead of staying one more night and going the long way.

We managed to work things out and made our way down to the town of Žabljak. We managed to get to town around 4:00pm after starting our morning at 9:30am with only small breaks to catch our breath.

We looked for a cheap hotel room but everything was booked because of the rain. We decided to get food (which we had been dreaming about for 24 hours) and head back to the camp ground we initially stayed at when we arrived.

So here we are today, recovered, washed up, and energized after a nice breakfast at the previously mentioned cafe. Our next stop is probably Bijelo Polje which is near the head of our 8 day backpack trip coming up.

So there will be a couple of small updates in the next few days then a long pause while we dive back into the woods once more.

Stay tuned,

Stark

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One Response to “Durmitor National Park”

  1. Nawwwwwwwwwww!!!

    Fending off cowies with a stick bright and early in the morning must be a great way to start the day!! 😀 Cute cowies 😀

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