Stage 27-30: Vran mountain-Blidinje-Cvrsnica

6 July 2016

It’s early in the morning and as the cabdriver drops me off at the start of stage 27. Here it is the first time I’m welcomed by bright and shiny Via Dinarica-waymarkers. Together with a clear and blue sky this feels like a warm welcome!Via Dinarica Waymarker Vidikovac
Today is an easy hike over a Jeep track following green and flowery hills. Along the way there’s some sights: caves, sinkholes, Eastern European art and crosses marking a pilgrims route.
Via Dinarica Lib
For thru-hikers there’s something more interesting waiting: restaurant Lovre (WiFi, good food and very friendly staff). A few down the road there’s also a convenient store which is opened from 7-21.
Cave Lib Via Dinarica

Stage 28 Lib and Svinjar

After a plentiful lunch I decided to also hike stage 28 – making it a 40+ km day. This stage starts with the crossing of a plain, a pretty OK and fast hike through fields of grain and flowers.
Grain and flowers Via Dinarica
After the plain there’s a climb up the mountain. There plenty of markings,  but sometimes they’re hiding in the bushes. At some points there’s quite some weeds growing, but not as much as at certain parts in Croatia. Getting good closer to the top the markings disappear but it’s easy navigating up here and together with Maria I share the views over the valley.Hiking downhill there’s almost no markings,  these return at the little stream where I refill my water bottles. After this there’s an easy hike over a green forest road. Lots of work has been done here to mark the trail!
Svinjar Via DinaricaJust before the sun sets behind the mountains I find myself a spot to bivouac with a view on the upcoming stage.

Vran mountain

It is summer in BiH! Today: again clear blue skies and it is very, very warm. This stage starts with a hike over a forest road. People and big machines were cutting trees, probably getting this road ready for forestry.

An exposed hike

Hiking up and over Vran mountain on a very warm day wasn’t easy.  There’s lots off extra ups and downs due to small peaks and the saddle. I actually had to rewrite this blog since I lost my mobile phone, my GPS counted way more kilometers on this stage than mentioned on the Via Dinarica-website.
Vran mountain Via DinaricaThe hike downhill,  towards mountain Hut Blidinje, is pretty steep with lots of loose rocks. This one is tough on the knees.
Vran to Blidinje Via Dinarica

Mountain hut Blidinje

This hut is a little off trail and at the moment it’s being renovated. I actually met some people working on it,  lucky me! Within no time I was seated,  given a cola and a beer and their lunches’ leftovers! I intended to sleep outside, at the grill area, but I was given a key so I could sleep inside. And take a shower. And charge my devices. Even though the hut is being renovated it’s already a nice place!
Dom Blidinje

Cvrsnica

To get to Cvrsnica there’s first a plain to cross. Here the GPS was a little bit of the markings. At Donja Bare spring there’s lots off weeds and some cut down trees: a little bit of bushwhacking is needed. After this it’s marking-galore again to almost to hut Plasa. Later more on that part of the trail.
Via Dinarica trail Cvrsnica
From here the only way is up.  And here too lots of trail work has been done. A trail has been cut through dwarf pines and there’s markings and way markers. The trail is new, so not all parts are an easy hike.
New trail CvrsnicaOnce out of the forest there’s stunning views on the surrounding mountains. Here my camera broke, to see the stunning views you’ve got to hike these mountains yourself.

Vrutak Vrh.

After a hike over a high plain there’s the climb up to Vrutak. This seems like a impressive hike, but the trail is easy to hike and it’ll take less than 45 minutes.After this it’s a short and easy hike to Hut Vrutak. It’s 5 minutes off trail and not 15 like stated on the signs. The hut is only open by arrangement,  I took a long break at it and refilled my water bottles.
Dom Vilinac
The trail from Vrutak to Plasa is great: amazing views (also on Prenj), well maintained and probably attracts a lot hikers. Just before Plasa the markings disappear. A trail seems to lead into dwarf pine bushes. Don’t ever try to bushwhack those! I eventually ended up hiking around the evil dwarf pines to the top of the hill. From here it is straight down over gravel. This part of the trail definitely needs some TLC. Later I found out that there’s a new marked trail leading around the top, check the maps before hiking out here.
Plasa Via Dinarica

Hut Plasa

Even though I only stayed outside this hut, this is a really nice one.  Even the outhouses are neat, oh and the views on Prenj are amazing!
Cvrsnica view on Prenj

Jablanica

The first part of the hike to town from Plasa is pretty OK, just lots of downhill with views on the mountains. Then it reaches a dirt road, than the city’s landfill and than few kilometers of asphalt lead into Jablanica.

Which is a small town with two big grocery stores, restaurants, a motel above café Hollywood (don’t stay there they play loud music every night. Café Ruza also has rooms) and autobusses running to Sarajevo and Mostar. I took a zero to buy a new camera in Mostar.
Via Dinarica road to Jablanica

Stage 27-30 Via Dinarica

Check this link for GPS-tracks and more info about this stage.
Via Dinarica top Veliki VilinacMore pictures on Instagram.

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This blog has blog has been written on trail and on a mobile phone.

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