Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Attention: this is a long post. I thought about this a bit. Should my posts be shorter? Then I decided, who cares! I am writing them for my own record anyway, so I will just do what I like. If you want a bigger selection of pictures without a brilliant story visit my web album, otherwise happy reading (-:

The OO Cup was over and it was time for some real adventure. We took down our tents from Graiski Park campground and boarded the bus to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Unfortunately we had no time for a wander (it is supposed to be very pretty) as we had a further train to catch up to Jesenice.
Cris tried very hard to catch us some dinner!

From Jesenice we caught a connecting train around the famous shores of Lake Bled (a beautiful lake with a wee island with a church on top of it), up to Lake Bohinj. A Slovenian kindly drove us from the station to the campground, which was so chocka blocka we opted for the free forest instead.


In the morning Chris had to run back to the town to buy a bit more food while Chris and I lounged on the pretty lakeshore and sorted out a place to leave the gear we didn't want to tramp with.


Large medium small!
When Chris returned we were finally ready to set off. The place was buzzing with tourists, and the first part of the trail was jammed with people. We stopped at the most delicously green river. Noone was swimming. Why not when it was so hot and the water so green we asked?

On second thoughts, after we threw ourselves into the ice cold water and came out squeeling, we could see why.

After that malachy we faced the serious buisiness of a 500m climb straight out of the valley up a wide ledge on the cliff face. This was rather a grunt given our very heavy packs....luckily mine seemed to grow some little wings and waft up the cliff right beside Chris.



At the lake I put my immense pack back on! Or was it mine???



Up up up through the forest

We reached a green lake in the valley above just before a great downpour and thunderstorm reached us. We continued on for a few more hours, past the hut, till we found a rather rocky spot to camp amongst the limestone. The dinner that night - rice with chilli and way way too much cumin - was pretty much the grossest tramping meal we have ever made (-:

The scenery was beautiful

In the morning we slinked back onto the track and continued up valley to a high lake and very pretty hut (Zasavska Koca). Cris was miserable because of the situation with food - not enough! Chris came bounding out of the hut jumping for joy, he had a delicious apple strudel and home baked bread. Sometimes these fancy huts are good!

From the hut we climbed off the beaten track to a saddle, then descended and made our way along the first 'via ferrata' section of our route.

We sidled along a tiny ledge on a huge cliff face, with loose rock and no protection. The 'via ferrata' element of the route was kind of missing, but the scary factor and the massive drops were there....hmmmm?

Exciting stuff


We loved it though. After a few hours we whooped our way down a final snow slope and back onto the easy trail. Looking back towards the cliff face we had sidled was impressive, it was hard to see how on earth you could walk along that.

Back to the easier path at last!

We descended, then reascended yet another saddle. We took a break, it was now 7pm and it had been a very long day. Beneath us was a foresty valley and a bivouac (Bivak pod Luknjo). We wandered past the bivouac in the vague offchance we could stay there - only to discover a very friendly large group of dutch people who said there was plenty of space and it was free! Sweet!

Note the cabbage that we had carried this far... the other group were highly amused at our practical light weight tramping food (2 large cabbages, 6 onions, 1 eggplant, 3 capsicums, 1 zucchini)

The following day's peak

The next morning we got up early - we wanted to climb Triglav (2864) - the highest mountain in Slovenia. We planned to go up the trail that rose straight out of the valley, then descend via the ridge which was supposed to be the trickiest route.


The ascent was super speedy, I was trying to keep up with those boys and the route climbed very steeply up easy rocks, so you could ascend very rapidly like a monkey using arms and legs. Up up up we went, passing some people along the way, till we crested the ridge and were in the morning sun.
A nice airy ascent!
We continued on past the Triglavski Dom, then up the very busy and exposed track to the peak. The drops were impressive, but it was very straightforward. By 11 o'clock we were on the summit. Chris got in some trouble from a grumpy Slovenian for climbing on the trig on the top.



The three giraffes
The descent proved a lot more exciting. It started off as a relatively broad ridge, but got progressively steeper and more knife like as you descended. The most difficult part was large sections with no via ferrata bolts, but loose rock and a massive drop, so you had to be very careful down climbing!

Examining the way down

Enjoying the flat ground while it lasts



Those little dots are people. The intersection of tracks is the saddle point we visited three times.

Whoowses!

After quite a few hours of sweating our way down the ridge we made it to the saddle point from where it was a very easy descent back to our happy little bivouac. We perfected the art of the 'bottle shower' that afternoon.

This photo probably implicates us.....

Our last day had arrived and the weather had deteriorated a bit. Feeling a bit knackered we climbed back to the saddle for the final time, then climbed over Bomski Gamsovec (2392) via a very easy section of via ferrata. We had a cook up on a scree slope and spotted a great flock of ibex who trotted across the cliffs like they were flat!


Pretty alpine flowers dotted the path

Silly boys!

After a final climb we descended a very steep bolted section into a lower valley. With heavy packs it was exciting, especially when I nearly killed Cris by sending a rock hurtling towards him. Just as well I had my super duper yellow helmet! (And that he had his pukey green one too I suppose).

Finally we head down to the green forest

Tired, we wandered back into the green forest. We reached some farms and the main river, before finding a secluded spot in the forest to pitch our tents. A quick dip in the river was wonderful, followed by a yummy dinner and comfy bed.

We woke in the morning to another sunny day, and walked the pleasant hour further out to Kranjska Gora. Near the town we discovered some crystal clear lakes and did what we always do - jumped in!

Kranjska Gora is a very touristy, but very pretty town. Cris realized he biked through there in 2007 on his cycle touring trip. A local patisserie provided us with some delicious cakes and breads which we howed into before climbing on the bus which would take us back to Jesenice where we had started our journey 6 days earlier.

In Jesenice Chris made an impressivly connected hitch hiking trip back to Bohinj to get the gear we had left there. Afterwards we ate out at a restaurant in Jesenice, which really is a pretty horrible boy racer town.

At 10pm we caught the overnight train that would take us to Schwyz in Swizerland for the next phase of our adventure - the Swiss Orienteering Week. We left Slovenia sadly, it really is a beautiful and friendly country with some fantastic dolmite style mountains and it has nice cheap beer!

Comments

Mark said…
Nice helmet! Definitely the right choice. But no nudey swims this time?
Emily said…
Well, maybe but I am just being discrete (-:

Yes your recommendations in helmets is excellent, I want to wear my yellow helmet all the time it is so cool and comfy (-:
Marko said…
Really nice photos! It makes me wanna go there right away!

It seems you had luck with the weather. A single thunderstorm is still a good average for a week those parts.

Seeing a flock of ibex is really something! Watching them trot along the cliffs with such an ease wearing those huge horns is just surreal. It looks like they even use them for balancing themselves.

I hope you have a chance to return to Slovenia again.

You can check out my blog at Photo Travel Blogging.

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