Monday, 24 July 2017

Trans Euro Trail – Montenegro – Savinik to Dormitor National Park

Sunday 23rd July

We drove away from the Mokro campsite early this morning, heading to Plusine with a plan to find a campsite, then ride the Savnik to Plusine section one day and the final section to the Bosnian border the next. The drive up took us past some fabulous hanging high plateau before dropping down to the azure coloured lake that is the home of the little town of Plusine. It’s a picturesque place, perched on the side of the lake shore, with little red roofed houses, a tiny campsite, a really good cafe with pretty good wifi, shops and a fuel stop.

We had a mooch around after having breakfast in the cafe but couldn’t find a place to park the van, so headed up to the plateau above where the TET runs through. We picked up the trail as it wound through tarmac roads to a junction with a trail, this was where the TET turns south heading back down to Savnic. I pulled the bike out and rode this section whilst Lucy took the dog up a nearby hill.

This area is on the edge of probably the largest national park and certainly the busiest in Montenegro with the Tara Canyon running through it. (This is the second deepest canyon in the world after Grand Canyon). Why this is ironic is that as you ride through this section, there are some of the more ancient style of mountain farms I’ve seen to date in Montenegro, they look a little like the high farms in remote parts of Nepal, with well used & weathered wooden shacks, tethered dogs and the little old lady doing the washing by hand in a wooden bucket. I felt very alien as I passed by on my little orange bike!
The trail winds down to the villages above Savnic where the road becomes tarmac again, then on into Savnic itself. I went a little ways down this but knew what was entailed so turned back to save my precious rubber for the more fun  stuff!

We wild camped up at the trail junction for the night, with a plan to ride the last section tomorrow, then head over to Jablak the day after. After this is back open to debate as we’ve just met a lovely couple who are from Slovenia, they were raving about the beauty of Bosnia just after you cross the border, plus the nearest places to get a rear tyre for Lucy is either back to Podgorica or up to Saravo, both of which are two hours away. Belgrade is a 5 hour drive from the border, so back to debating for us... Meanwhile it’s wine time!