The next morning we wake up on the slopes of Zekova Glava mountain to a glorious sun and it is only then that we can appreciate the beauty of the camp spot we chose in the setting darkness last night.
The air is thick with the scent of mountain flowers covering the pasture around the tent. We didn’t really buy anything suitable for breakfast yesterday in Berane, but it was all part of the plan. We’re on the edge of the Biogradska National Park, not too far off from the Eko Katun Vranjak. A camp site that we discovered last year during the first Montenegro HUBB meeting. They serve excellent breakfast. So we pack up quickly, with a bit of luck we’ll make it there before 8AM.
We retrace the gravel road back down to the little tarmac road we were on yesterday down in the valley. After crossing a little village the road turns into a gravel track, climbing up into the Biograd NP. The route through the forest is pretty nice and we reach Vranjak just in time for breakfast. We’re allowed to join a group of mountain bikers on the large outdoor table. They spent the night here in the wooden huts.
Breakfast is just as good as we remember it. Priganice with fesh goat’s cheese and honey, accompanied with a big jug of freshly brewed tea.
I have a chat with the chief to inquire about the state of the trails towards Biogradska Jezero. A group of friends passed here a few weeks before and there was still a lot of snow around. He assures me that everything is clear now. So with full tummies we are on our way again. The trail should takes us along some mountain ridges all the way down to the lake. The first section after Vranjak offers some great riding and amazing views.
At a certain moment we come upon a steel wire that has been tied across the trail at about 1m above the ground. It has been marked with some plastic ribbons tied to it, to prevent anyone from accidentally riding into it. It is easy to unhook from the pole it is attached to and ride on. It doesn’t take long for us to figure out it was put up by the farmer a little further down in the valley. At the same spot an electrical wire is suspended about 2m above the ground. I’m assuming the farmer would rather not have a jeep or tractor putting him without power because they didn’t spot the wire.
We are having a lot of fun while riding the ridges, but the track turns a lot more muddy and slippery on the descent. There’s a seemingly endless amount of hairpins to negotiate down and Sofie is clearly having a hard time. But after a good amount of sweating and cursing we make it down to the lake. It is as good a place as any to take a little break.
From Biogradsko Jezero we follow Tara canyon again, towards Žabljak, in the opposite direction we rode it last week. But this time the weather is a whole lot better. making the views all the more impressive. In Žabljak we quickly hop into the small supermarket for some pick nick provisions and then it goes up into Durmitor NP to find a nice spot for eating it. We come across a great spot, even before reaching Sedlo pass.
While we’re chilling on the little bench looking out over the valley, Sofie plays around with some of the camera’s more exotic modes.
Meanwhile, I spot that a bolt is missing from my luggage rack. We’ll have to find a replacement bolt somewhere, but for now a tie-wrap or 3 makes the whole thing feel very solid again.
We’re riding through Durmitor in the opposite direction from last year. It makes the whole place look very different, even hard to recognize in places. It is actually a succession of 3 mountain valleys that each have their own character and appearance.
The landscape is pretty special in all cases. You can see the reason why this is called Sedlo pass in the background. Legend has it that the strangely formed rock formation is the “saddle of god”.
But the most recognizable view in Durmitor is probably this:
When we reach the third valley we come across a group of German riders on squeeky clean fully kitted out GSes. A stark contrast to our grimy looking Terras.
In stead of following the road all the way down into Piva canyon, we decide to cut across the mountains at Trsa and hopefully enjoy the views between Sušičko Jezero and Tara Grab that were completely covered in clouds and mist only a week earlier. We are not disappointed.
More fooling around with camera settings.
With all our picture stops it’s already 4:30PM by the time we reach Tara Grab. With the pleasant weather we decide to pitch the tent this time. The grass looks nice enough. The reception is just as welcoming as last time.
If I were using their rafting gear I would check the wet suits carefully before putting them on though. This sneaky bugger was hiding in the shed where they keep the gear.
After another delicious dinner I hang out at the bar with the cook. When I ask him if he knows of any hardware stores to get a new bolt for my luggage rack, he shows me to his own tool shed and tells me I can browse around to see if I can find anything useful. I quickly dig up a bolt of the correct diameter and thread, but it is too long. Unfortunately there’s no better fitting bolts to be found. It is getting dark and I figure that I’ll find a solution for it tomorrow morning. Either cut it shorter or use some spacers,we’ll see…
So for the rest of the evening I hang out sharing Slivas and stories with the cook at the bar.