Articles, Blog

Hiking on the Via Dinarica – Thru-hike Europe LOG#20


Hello guys and welcome in this 20th
logbook! We are here in the Velebit national park. After a bit more than three weeks in this country, we can give you some insights about our experience here. Last time we were in Gorski Kotar some of the people told us the bears
would be sleeping at that time. Surprise! As soon as the first snow started to fall, we could clearly see the tracks of wolves and bears… This place was actually alive! Arriving in the Risnjak National Park, we got to see the source of this beautiful river, blue again, but a very different blue from the Soča. This forest was covered with green moss everywhere you know it really felt like kind of a jungle. To arrive and to cross Risnjak National Park, we hiked along the trails of the Via Dinarica. You know this network of trails that goes from Slovenia to Albania. The snow was starting to fall really strong, we didn’t have the winter equipment and we though it was not the safest option. We got told that winter might not be the best moment to hike in the Dinaric Alps, but we enjoy a lot this area and those trails. As you saw in the last logbook, we welcomed in the beginning of Croatia our 14th guest. At least this is how we will remember him. He is not with us anymore but this Croatian Shepherd spent a few days with us. This dog started to follow us, at first we thought he would leave but finally followed for a day. We had to share the food and he slept with us. The next day, the stage that
was really technical and difficult, really not a place to be hiking with a dog… The Bijele Stijene Park with those rocks made of limestone, coming out very very sharp from the ground. Sometimes we had to carry the dog, some other time we couldn’t not past there. We had to go back and finally arrived in Jasenak. Once again some people have been thinking that we were migrants, maybe due to my skin color… We went to the bar and some people called the police to make sure that nobody is invading this beautiful little town. And finally spend the next night in this hunting little shelter, it was really nice with this temperature that was -10°C outside. The next day, the Bura, this crazy Croatian wind… We arrived in Krivi Put with this wind a lot of snow it was really cold! The name Krivi Put means “wrong way”! Yes the sea, it was a long time we didn’t
see the sea actually… This wind was crazy At first we thought right away of the
nice seafood platter we could eat… We didn’t have the winter equipment that we would need to start the Velebit. We were waiting for our 15th guest and decided to head up to the Plitvice lakes but the National Park was actually
closed. So we stopped our way in Otočac and met with someone really cool! Yes Gaëlle is a French girl crossing
Europe on bike! We met her through Instagram and she actually decided to change a bit her itinerary to spend the evening with us in Otočac. You should check her Instagram as well as her blog, it’s “Bike to the blocks” Approaching Christmas, it was actually really nice to spend some time in Otočac, to be in a village where the people are actually full of life! There were a party that day, a Christmas market, it was really nice to see at night this event with all those people, launching their paper lamps and looking at them, wow… Waiting for our 15th guest, we went back to the coast to hike the island of Krk. We spent four days there hiking from North to South, East to West and West to East. We didn’t have so much wind but it was actually really foggy and rainy for the time we were there, so we could not really enjoy his crazy landscapes… The air from the sea was really really enjoyable. Back in Senj, we welcomed our 15th guest Antoine spent one week with us and he’s
gonna tell you about his experience right now! Hi, my name is Antoine, I’m 19 and I live in Paris. I work in the field of photography and this is how I met Nil. After spending one year managing their parcells, receiving gear, sending gear, checking gear… I decided to join them for a week in Croatia. 6 days, sleeping in the snow, fighting wind crossing village fairs, drinking hot wine… I was a bit scared by this trip because I was sick before coming but at the end it was really cool. It wasn’t really easy to hike in the snow, we were carrying the food, the snow equipment… We had to cross various kind of terrains After my return, they will still have 5,000 km to hike, so send them a text and join them! Ciao We definitely had crazy week the three of us! To tell you the truth I was a bit nervous when we planned to cross the Velebit because everybody around told us “Wow, you’re going in the Velebit in winter! It’s not possible guys, it’s not doable!” But it is, definitely! The Velebit National Park was a tricky and technical terrain but the weather was most of the time on our side. Yes, the Velebit is a special part of Croatia. The montains next to sea create the Bura, this special wind. People are scared of it, they know that this wind can reach sometimes 170km/h making it one of the most dangerous
mountains of the Balkans. We were with Antoine, he arrived from Paris really really sick! A bronchitis was totally taking his lungs. The first day the trail led us to Zavižan, Zavižan is a mountain hut but it is also a meteorological station. We met with Ivan and Lili. Those two people were really charming, I mean we received a great welcome, Lili was hilarious, we really enjoy to stay there. It was quite unexpected because we didn’t think we would meet people on the Velebit at that time. We followed the Premuzic trail. We hiked among a lot of snow, we camped in probably 60/70 centimeters of snow… With our winter equipment, everything went well. Day after day, we really get to enjoy those mountains. On this third night, we found a nice shelter again: Ograđenica. Minimalist and simple. The weather was good, we took some crazy pictures of the sunset. To get to see all those islands with this light changing, the reflection of the sea… Stunning guys! The next day, we continued to head South and camped at the top of a mountain on the windy night. It was fun, the tent did well! No crazy conditions again but maybe the most windy night since we started this trip. Waking up in the morning, the tent was still here, the three of us were fine, we realized that we were basically sleeping on the side of the cliff! It was quite of a vertiginous section beautiful but again this limestone really sharp… We had to keep going on the crest and
arrived quite fast to Baške Oštarije. We knew it was a small town but we found maybe 300 people dancing and listening at this loud traditional music Yes, this was a party for the new year! We drank some hot wine and kept going a bit drunk to reach this last shelter in which we absolutely wanted to spend New Year’s Eve! Yes, we had spotted this shelter a few days before, it looked amazing, we knew it was really really small but when we finally arrived fighting with the Bura, five people were there. For us the occasion to meet some people! We spent the night the eight of us in this really small shelter, celebrated New Year’s Eve as we won’t forget for sure! We are now heading down to Karlobag, where we will drop our 15th guest, Antoine. And guys, I think we talk to you soon for the 21st logbook. Cheers!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 thoughts on “Hiking on the Via Dinarica – Thru-hike Europe LOG#20

  1. Hikers!! – call the police!! 😂😂 That’s sad, too much fear in the world…anyway – great video again. The epic journey continues! 👍👍

  2. You making hiking in the winter look so easy. Big respect for your big adventure guys! I am from Bulgaria, but normally live in Denmark and Austria, and by the time you going through Bulgaria and if I am there, would be really nice to meet you and show you around. I am from the town Samokov, by Rila mountain, next to the highest peak on the Balkans – Musala 2925m, there are quite beautiful sights and hikes in the area, and many (cheap) huts to stay in

  3. Merci pour ce partage. Vous me faites découvrir des itinéraires balisés (via dinarica et via adriatica…). Quelle aventure ! Quel panache ! Personnellement j’attends mai pour lever les voiles sur la via alpina. Votre audace/force à affronter l’hiver m’inspire. Kenavo ar wech all

  4. Salut 2 pas vers l'autre ! Je dois dire que c'est assez surprenant pour moi de découvrir vos vidéos aujourd'hui, après tant de mois (si ce n'est pas années) à organiser un voyage à pied en itinérance de Strasbourg au sud du Portugal, en voulant faire à peu près ce que vous réalisez dans vos vidéos, sans n'avoir aucune idée que deux loustics étaient effectivement partie du Portugal avec cette superbe idée ! Et quelle surprise du coup de découvrir ces beaux paysages et vos vidéos extrêmement bien montées, qui font rêver juste comme il faut 🙂 Vous paraissez très sympathiques et d'avoir le bon moud ! Bref, je me perds un peu, mais continuez, c'est vraiment chouette et très très inspirant ! Qui sait, on se croisera peut-être un jour 😉 ? Bonne continuation !

  5. je viens tout juste de vous découvrir grâce à la newsletter de Zpacks. Je suis surprise de ne pas vous avoir découverts plus tôt. Vos vidéos sont tellement belles et votre voyage donne très envie d'aller explorer notre belle Europe. Je me demande si votre relative faible visibilité pour le moment relativement à la qualité de vos vidéos et à votre consistance dans le rythme des publications ne s'expliquerait pas par le fait que les titres sont en français alors que vous avez fait l'effort de parler en anglais pour être accessibles à un public international. Je suis (genuinely) curieuse de comprendre votre choix d'écrire vos titres en Français.

    Bonne continuation à vous !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *