The next morning we drive our car far into the mountains to the village of Umoljani. Our hike to Lukomir is supposed to start from there and we want to spend the night there in order to start our way back the next day. It’s still early and we long for some refreshment before the hike. We discover a house that could be a host city. The old woman there almost panics when we visit. She suggests coffee, ushtitse and kalmak. We don’t know what it is, but we agree.
She seems to have called her family quickly, because immediately a couple of young men are there to bring us the coffee and clean the tables. Preparations are taking place and it is almost noon when we get to know the Bosnian specialties. Ushtitse are fried quark balls in large format. Kalmak is a sticky cream that is served with it. Together, this meal should have around a million calories. But we also need them for today’s hardships.
The path first leads steeply up the mountain. Women in mountain huts want to sell us local herbs and hand-knitted socks.
Sometimes our route is not entirely recognizable, but Chris has taken precautions with GPS coordinates.
The path is varied, only my ankle is not happy about the strain. But he has to go through there.
We take numerous breaks in which I let the drone rotate, we eat an apple and Uwe supplies us with the raki from Ivana’s mother from Stolac.
There is no sign of bad weather again. We are very lucky. After a few beautiful but very exhausting hours, we reach Lukomir on the other side of the mountain. We will spend the night in a mountain hut. The whole place is under renovation. At this moment, every single sheepfold is being converted into tourist accommodation under the label “remote natural mountain village”.
The landscape is wonderful and the authenticity of the place is still recognizable, but I see a future in which the last shed has been replaced by a souvenir shop and the last pen by a bus parking lot.
Besides us there are a few other wandering tourists, but not that many. The Bosnians sit with us in the common room of the hut and enjoy the heat of the stove while it has already become bitterly cold outside.
We grab our cigars again and exchange one of them for three local cups full of raki for ourselves. The food that the hostel father prepares for us in his wood-burning oven in front of the house is excellent.
In the same room we find ourselves again early in the morning for Ushtitse, Kalmak and coffee before we cross the mountain in a different direction.
The way is easier than the day before, but my ankle refuses to cooperate, which is why it takes longer. But we have time.
We deliver Aylin back to Sarajevo and promise to keep in touch.
I’m very excited about her idea of giving up work and volunteering around Europe.