Stage 37 & 38: Trnovačko Lake – Maglić – Piva canyon

26 July 2016
Maglic Via Dinarica

It’s a fast hike down from Donje Bare to the road. It seems like a lot of maintenance work has been done on the last few km’s to the road (thank you!) and along the way there are some stunning views.
View on Sutjeska Via Dinarica

Thinking about omelet and kafa I don’t mind hiking the asphalt road to Tjentiŝte. Even though calories and protein are waiting for me I cannot resist hiking up the enormous monument just before the hotel.
Spomen kuća SutjesciAt the hotel I totally ignore Kenan, who happens to be out here too (not wearing my glasses and thinking about omelet and kafa…hmmmmm).

Just outside of Tjentiŝte, in Popov Most, I stay at Household Radović. This is a good spot for a zero. Mira, the owner, bought me resupplies which saved me carrying a lot of weight through from Kalinovik.

Leaving Tjentiŝte for Prijevor

The road walk back to the trail is a few km’s from here, the hike’s not too bad, there’s some good views and even though there’s traffic, it’s OK to walk. After the road walk there’s a 4×4 road, where I actually surprised, if I’m correct, a mountain goat.
Sutjeska NP Via DinaricaThe climb up to Prijevor is over a fine trail (I believe recent work has been done here too). Than there’s the first view on Maglić. This is the place were other hikers and tourists park their cars and today it’s busy!
Prijevor Via Dinarica

Trnovajćko jezero

The trail to Trnovajćko jezero is like a red carpet and this thru-hiker is speeding!

The lake is really, really, really touristic. I get why: within a two hour walk from the car one gets stunning Alpine views and the experience of being out in the wild.

After meeting Ranger Milos and paying the park- and camping fee, I decide to leave this tourist trap. This is way beyond my comfort zone…

On an old map I have seen a camping spot up the saddle, somewhere near a spring. I’m not sure if it is still allowed to bivouac here (camping is only allowed at designated areas). But, for once, I decide to act like an oblivious tourist and to not find out if it’s OK.
Trnovacko Jezero to Maglic trail
So, after an early supper I hike up from the lake to the saddle and leave it to the loud tourists.
Trnovacko Jezero
The spring I find (it’s just after the crossing, there’s a sign). The camping spot I do not find. Well, it’s too late to change anything about that, now. I find myself a spot for bivouac and try to leave as little as trace as possible.
Bivouac Maglic Via Dinarica

The only way is up…

The next morning I only bring what I need for hiking up Maglić, all other gear I leave at the bivouac. There’s no need for carrying extra weight if I’m returning here. Maglić (and Bosnia and Herzegovina) are kind to me: I get to hike it with a clear blue sky. Yeah! This is the best way to say goodbye!Maglic Top Via Dinarica

…and down…

After Maglić it’s time to leave impressive Bosnia and Herzegovina and hike down into Montenegro. And down it is! Today is a warm day, there are fields full of zooming bees feasting on the flowers and there are, again, awesome views (there are also a few springs on the way down).
Flowers Montenegro

Mratinje

Getting back into civilization, also means hitting an asphalt road. The upside: lots of springs along the road. At Piva I take a long break to seek shelter from the heat and to eat an early dinner (here’s a camping spot and a mum and here son were swimming out here).

…and up again…

It’s too early to stop hiking and I’m in for a challenge: climbing Piva canyon is going to be today’s dessert. Not after more road walking (about 5 km).Trail Tunnel to PivaThe trail out of the canyon is pretty steep and there’s lots of weeds growing. This probably isn’t a wise hike with a heavy backpack in rainy weather. I guess I like hiking this one uphill better than downhill… At two thirds of the climb it gets way better, here the trail follows something that seems to be an old forest road.

Up the canyon there are, to my surprise, farms (they’re not on my GPS maps). I find myself a spot along the trail. It seems to been a car track too. A bivouac this visible is not what I like, but I’m tired and all I want to do is lay down…

Between the Mratinje and the houses up the canyon there’s no water. Just up the canyon there are more secluded spots for bivouac.
Camping Piva canyon

Stage 37 and 38 Via Dinarica

Check this link for GPS-tracks and more info about stage 37 and this link for info about stage 38.

More pictures on Instagram.

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

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