Diary Entry 3

We start very early because we cannot yet estimate the difficulty of the route and prefer to be on the safe side. Our destination is the first mountain hut on the route, called Banderiza, where we hope to find a room or a campsite. On all platforms of the internet it was clearly made clear that one had to reserve these huts. But since we have a tent, but don’t want to commit ourselves to it, we let it depend. Surprisingly, no one in Bansko was able to call β€œBanderiza” for us in the hut to ask what the situation actually looks like up there.

The majority of the route is downright disappointing, because we constantly hike up a ski slope that offers little variety to the left and right of us next to the forest. Only when we reach the upper ski lift stations do we come to a small path that meanders through the mountains and there are enough clearings in the forest through which we can finally admire the mountain panorama that we have struggled up to for the last few hours. And already we reach the Banderiza mountain hut.

One can hardly speak of the word β€œhut”, because it doesn’t look very romantic, but rather resembles a barracks that has got lost in a forest. A couple of crumbling barracks provide accommodation for hikers and there really is no pig except us. Except for the hosts, fortunately, so that we can get a sumptuous meal. We find – as we have once again not dealt with the whole story enough beforehand – that the next hut β€œVichren” is practically around the corner if we follow the road that still leads into the mountains here.

Our path tomorrow, however, will allow us to take the greatest possible detour on foot, so we decide to bring our luggage to the next hut early the next morning in order to tackle the stage free of ballast. Since we still have time now, we explore the area, legendary old trees and the mountain panorama.

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