In the morning we again stroll through the city in search of food. We are looking for a peccary to find the finest fresh, warm börek. We stock up on food and leave the city again towards the mountains. We want to go to the highest mountain in Bosnia, the Prenj. A small serpentine road leads up the mountains. The small town of Rujište, which seems to be more seasonally inhabited by skiers, lies at the foot of the peaks. We decide to go to a lookout point and continue along a section of Via Dinarica. This long-distance hiking trail runs through the entire Balkans and promises a lot of variety. At some point I want to run it all the way.
You have to plan at least four weeks for this.
We climb a slope past the tiny ski huts from the catalog. After a few hours it goes through a sparse forest. Scree is scattered around. In between there are some noticeable barrier tapes with grinning skulls on them. We have already heard that Bosnia still keeps a considerable part of landmines hidden in nature as cultural heritage. Here we are confronted with it directly. So we should be careful where we pee. Otherwise we should stay on the path.
Nobody meets us except a couple from Poland who are also going on a little day trip. The summer season is over here as well.
The forest clears completely and we find ourselves on the edge of the tree line. It’s warm and the sun makes the pine trees and mountain meadows smell. This is the nicest part of the way.
We follow him to a hut, where we rest, eat and let the drone circle over us. The place has a name on the map, but apart from the abandoned house there is no building here. A little further along the path we find another well where I get cold, fresh water. Uwe and Chris don’t dare to drink from the spring.
We come back to Rujište and decide to stay in the inn where we are going to strengthen ourselves. The view of the mountains at sunset is lovely. Fortunately, the announced bad weather has been delayed further.
The hotel operator calls and a price for a room. But we immediately found the room much cheaper at Bookings.com. After five minutes the man comes back to us and asks if we have just booked the room. We grin and nod. But he doesn’t blame us and even gives us a bigger room than we booked. Besides us there is nobody there anyway.
We continue to challenge our luck with the weather and go to the starting point of the next hiking trail the next morning. We want to follow the small river Bijela through a valley to its source, which begins in a narrow gorge at a waterfall.
In fact, it would have been nice if it had rained a bit recently because the stream bed had dried out. Again we have to climb serpentines. The path is lined with countless blackberry bushes, the fruits of which shine brightly in the sun and meet the expectation of a sweet refreshment in between.
Over the scree of the river bed, which throws the heat of the sun back from under our feet, we come back into a forest. We notice that we have been the first to walk this way for a long time from the high number of spider webs that are stretched across the path. I constantly have to wave a stick in front of us so that we don’t accidentally get covered with threads and spiders. But snakes also hiss in the thicket at our feet.
The path makes an impressive turn, in the truest sense of the word. It leads under a huge hollow along a mountain wall. Shortly afterwards we have to climb over large stones in the river bed. Now the brook finally carries water and us to the promised gorge. It’s over there with dry feet. The only way is through the flowing water.
The canyon looks fantastic. The walls have washed out softly over time. We have to climb very adventurously through shallows and over large boulders to finally get to the waterfall. I warn Chris and Uwe against missteps. We’d better be slow, because the consequences of an injury would be disproportionately worse. We have been on the road for four hours and still have the whole way back to go.
We are relieved when we arrive at the waterfall. The place is magical. And we are proud to have fought our way so far, despite the challenges and the effort. A few epic photos are the reward for the hardships. It happens on the way back. If I jump over a shoal carelessly and unnecessarily, I land on a stone and kink my ankle. The pain shoots through my whole body instantly. However, I am even more annoyed by my inattention. I have to hobble the way back. We are all relieved when we get back to the car. In spite of everything, we would like to reach one of the cultural highlights after a break: the dervish monastery of Blagaj.