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Old 02-06-2013, 05:52 AM   #46
SCARABEI1965
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Great photos and ride
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:38 AM   #47
LethPhaos
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Awesome thread, and great pictures!
I'll be riding in the same general area somewhere in June this year, so thanks a lot for sharing the tracks!
Route through balkans will be slovenia, croatia, bosnia, serbia, kosovo bulgaria, romania. Lots off tarmac riding, but I'm hoping to squeeze in as much offroad as I can. If you'll be in the area, let me know, we might be able to meet up :)
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:35 AM   #48
Gliga OP
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Day five

Another perfect morning. Deep blue sky and fresh air. It just doesn't get much better than this
















First on the menu is descent from Kapetanovo jezero to main road through Moraca canyon. There are few steep sections with large loose rocks. Let's just say that it was good I wasn't going in the opposite direction, uphill :)






















I'm riding very slowly, trying to soak in all this natural beauty. Stopping every few corners to take some photos. In Velje Duboko village it's time for a short break. By this time air is getting very hot so the ice cold mountain stream comes as a gift. Two minutes after I finished refreshing my self a cow came to that same spot. It got into the stream, started drinking and than took a massive dump in water, which didn't interrupt drinking process. I was so glad she arrived few minutes after me and not the other way 'round






After that road became better and it was soon one lane tarmac.







I came down from those peaks in the background





Few more kilometers and I'm on a main road leading to Kolasin town. When I said that I was taking it easy, it took me almost two hours for these first 25 km



This is actually old tarmac. It deteriorated so badly that it looks more like gravel now







It was a short and fun ride to Kolasin. It would be even better if there was less traffic.





A jubilee


From Kolasin I'm off the main road, moving toward Lipovo and Sinjajevina mountain.





I bet you newer saw one of these :)













Pavement ends and road begins to climb. With every meter of gained altitude nature becomes more and more attractive. And it's a long way up








As I was saying...


























And then, as I got closer to the pass, scenery started to change. Almost unnoticeably and yet so suddenly you get out of the forest and into this grass and rock covered landscape. All that in less than one kilometer. Once on a plateau you're in for a treat, 25 km of this, almost alien, beautiful landscape.








Dirt road covered with rocks doesn't allow for fast riding (at least for me). By this time I was tired and exhausted from all the heat. Lunch break, short nap in bikes shadow... Lying there, it the middle of nowhere, I was enjoying solitude, peace and serenity of this place. I have no words to express my feelings...






With my batteries recharged I move on. After some time I caught something with corner of my eye. A shrub... After several hours (what? I told you that I'm riding slowly ) of nothing but grass and occasional rock it was so strange to see anything else... After that first shrub many followed. Surrounding hills were once again covered with trees.



Suddenly road became much better, almost perfect gravel. Time to speed the things up. Perfect gravel gives way to a perfect paved road. Narrow, twisty but open... Time to speed thing up even more. Aggressive riding after slow day, just what the doctor ordered






Next stop is Durmitor national park, town of Zabljak. This is popular tourist destination so it's very crowded. Not my vision of a holiday in nature. I refuel and restock on food. Time to consider my options. By this time it was late afternoon and I wanted to ride Piva canyon and do offroad circle around Durmitor. It would be dark by the time I was done and I don't fancy looking for camp spots in darkness. There are few camp sites in Zabljak and I decide to check them out. That way I could leave all my gear there and it wouldn't matter if I come back after dark. One campsite is located in empty parcel, surrounded by houses. Other one is in somebodies front and back yard. No way I'm paying for that...

Decision time: I'm sticking to original plan. I'll just shorten canyon ride and find some place to wild camp. Of course, sticking to my tradition, by that time I was feeling time pressure. That meant I won't be enjoying following ride as much as it deserves which is a real shame.

Road from Zabljak to Trsa and then Pluzine is a real gem. It's paved, nice and twisty with amazing scenery. I enjoy riding, despite being nervous. I hardly stop to take any pictures which says a lot (sun was low, scenery stunning, perfect time for photography).








Now it's time to push stress levels off the chart. On a pass I stop to take another picture. As I put my foot down it slips on a gravel at the edge off the road. Moment later bike is on it's side. I manage to pick it up on first attempt. Sort of... Bike is almost upright, I have to take just one more step. Needless to say, gravel is still slippery so there's no way I'm going to make it... After few more attempts bike is finally up. I'm completely exhausted. At least photos turned out OK









When natural forces are at play results are amazing. Every single time


Descent to Piva canyon is unbelievable. Guy who engineered that road should receive a medal or something... Hairpins in tunnels, crossroad in tunnel. Just amazing.






After a short break it's time to head back to Durmitor. Road is paved all the way to Nedajno village, at the edge of Susicki canyon.
















From there it's only a short downhill ride to lake Susicko jezero where I'll be spending a night. Being at bottom of the deep canyon means the Sun was long gone.




There is a restaurant/mountain hut by the lake (it's called Susicko, meaning "Drying" because it only appears in spring time when the snow melts) but now it was closed. There was nobody around. A spring, table with benches, a fireplace... Almost perfect camping spot. It was easy decision to stay here for the night.

You now that feeling when after whole day of listening to engine and wind noise it all suddenly stops? And then you slowly start to notice sounds of nature Any trace of pressure and nervousness was gone in a heartbeat.




By the time I pitched my tent it was starting to get dark. I heard voices coming from distance. I was looking forward to some company for the night because, quite frankly, I still don't feel comfortable camping in wilderness. After some 10-15 minutes father and his 10 year old son arrived. They had no backpacks which was little strange considering time of the day and location. It turns out that they went for a short walk, leaving their car on a pass where my bike tipped over. After they climbed a peak father decided to take a different track back (after listening to somebodies advice). Unfortunately for them that "different track" meant they are now 15-20km off tough terrain away from their car (some 40 km away on normal road). They had no food, no water, no warmer clothes. We unsuccessfully tried to break into mountain hut. Since it was so late they refused food, took just a short break and moved on. Bad thing for them is that there are only two ways out of that canyon and both are steep and uphill. Closest village is some 7 km away, uphill and in growing darkness... Boy was real trooper. He never complained and just did what had to be done. I bet he will remember that day for a long time.

Night was warm and I enjoyed a tea from freshly picked mint by the fire. What a day :)

Gliga screwed with this post 04-18-2014 at 12:50 PM
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:51 AM   #49
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Fantastic. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:03 AM   #50
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Thank you for doing this RR.
We have been in Slovenia and the Northern part of Croatia a few years ago. It itches now. Think we need to come that way again.

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Old 02-08-2013, 10:16 AM   #51
GiorgioXT
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Excellent report and pics !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gliga View Post



I bet you newer saw one of these :)
]
Obituary of a former female soldier of Partizan army?
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #52
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Love the pics, I have had the privilege to spend some time over there. Wonderful scenery and people make it my favorite place on earth to date.....The catch... I HATE MINES! and I was always acutely paranoid of leaving the road....I watched a deer step on a mine....I will never walk off a road or trail anywhere there again
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:21 PM   #53
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Beautiful country, beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing them, and your prose is wonderful, I have a friend who is Serbian, he is from Pirot, although he speaks fluent english I know how much he hates to read and write in english, you must be an educated man
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:51 AM   #54
Gliga OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiorgioXT View Post
Excellent report and pics !

Obituary of a former female soldier of Partizan army?
More likely a supporter of partisan, communist, ideology. Doesn't mean she was actually a soldier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC0861 View Post
Love the pics, I have had the privilege to spend some time over there. Wonderful scenery and people make it my favorite place on earth to date.....The catch... I HATE MINES! and I was always acutely paranoid of leaving the road....I watched a deer step on a mine....I will never walk off a road or trail anywhere there again
Mines present a danger only in Bosnia, and probably Kosovo. No parts of Serbia or Montenegro are "infected". And then, again, with some info you can gather from locals you should have pretty good idea which areas are safe and which should be avoided.


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Beautiful country, beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing them, and your prose is wonderful, I have a friend who is Serbian, he is from Pirot, although he speaks fluent english I know how much he hates to read and write in english, you must be an educated man
Is your friend from Pirot a biker and if he is what's his name? I had some great experiences with bikers from Pirot on a trip after this. You'll have to wait and read about it :)

As for the English language. It takes me some time to switch into English-writing mode. Reading in English is totally natural for me. Different structure of sentences, comparing to Serbian, can confuse me sometimes when I'm writing (and the thing is, I'm not that great when it comes to story telling even in Serbian). Important thing is that I'm usually able to express what I want :)
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:02 AM   #55
Gliga OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LethPhaos View Post
Awesome thread, and great pictures!
I'll be riding in the same general area somewhere in June this year, so thanks a lot for sharing the tracks!
Route through balkans will be slovenia, croatia, bosnia, serbia, kosovo bulgaria, romania. Lots off tarmac riding, but I'm hoping to squeeze in as much offroad as I can. If you'll be in the area, let me know, we might be able to meet up :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbert View Post
Thank you for doing this RR.
We have been in Slovenia and the Northern part of Croatia a few years ago. It itches now. Think we need to come that way again.


Feel free to send me a PM when your trip departure gets near. By the summer I'll have more good offroad tracks planned By the time this RR is over there will be collection of tracks spanning almost 4000 km, either offroad or on small local, fun and twisty, roads...

And if our timing works out then we could also share a ride.


Shear amount of unspoiled wilderness in both Bosnia and Montenegro is simply amazing. I think that there is no other place (except Albania, probably) in Europe where you can just go where ever you want, camp anywhere and so on. All of the Balkans is like that, it just happens that most attractive mountains are in Bosnia and Montenegro.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:41 AM   #56
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Stunning scenery, thank you for sharing your trips :-)
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #57
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I have enjoyed your photos and report. I am planning a trip through there soon and so the gpx file will be great. Thanks for sharing you travel.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:46 PM   #58
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Cool.....

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Originally Posted by Gliga View Post


Africa Lake in Balkans!!

I enjoy your ride report....Awesome scenery!
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:01 PM   #59
ferals5
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Great RR Gliga, your photography is fantastic as is your countryside

I will never get to your part of the world, so thank you very much for sharing it

Looking forward to more
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:11 PM   #60
moto rrad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gliga View Post
Well, if you're looking for a guide I know a guy who had ridden this tour and who can take some great pictures. And he's willing to do it again, I believe...
You'll have to introduce me to your guide. He can take great pictures AND point me in the right direction? Sold!

Stunning scenery. Beautiful country. But as some others have mentioned, those friendly death by mine signs would have me quite nervous.

However, the stunning scenery wins out. As soon as this bloody snow leaves germany, I'm preppin the bike for some balkan action.
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