Monday, 31 July 2017

Trans Euro Trail - Slovenia in a day, almost...

29/30th July 2017

We arrived in Slovenia mid afternoon and had a look at the start of this part of the TET. It left the main road just after the border, climbed through some houses and then ascended steeply past a little wood yard into the trees.

Once we sorted out the start, we got the map out and made a riding plan for the next day, which meant a drive upto Nova Vas, find somewhere to park up and then head out in the morning.

We did this and ended up in a pizza place for dinner where we met a father & daughter from the local area. We got chatting about Triglav National Park and various other things including updating this blog!
We found one of the quietest places we have camped on this trip, in the forest just outside of Nova Vas by some kind of hut. There was no wind, no other sounds all night long. At around 3am I needed a nature call, when I stepped outside, the view of the stars was brilliant, all hemmed in by the trees and with no unnatural light for miles. So I stood for awhile just enjoying the view...

We were up and about next morning prepping the bikes and set off by 8am, the trails back to the start were all very straight forward and well groomed. As I came round a corner I saw a bear sat on the trail, a real life shaggy brown bear! I’m not sure who was more startled, me or it, but it was off into the woods before I could get my act together. (Lucy has been pouting that she hasn’t seen one all day since!)

There is an interesting place called Glazno which was a German glass making place up in the mountains, for various reasons it was abandoned around WW2, then the whole area was closed off and used a POW camp for awhile, there are some good sign boards to explain the history. We saw a few vehicles on the trails but the best was the party of teenagers all on horseback or in carriages with their local music playing as they cantered along. On the way back we ran into loads of traffic coming towards us, some asking for directions so we think there was a fete on somewhere but had no way of finding out where.

Once back at the van we loaded the bikes back up and decided to complete the TET as far as we could today as the distances weren’t all that far. We did this and only found two sections we had to bypass as the trail was too rough for the van. Keep an eye out for the limestone pillar box from WW2 in the forest and the Russian plane tail on the edge of the one of the villages!

We reached Most na Soci, which is the end of the TET GPX file around 6pm, there is a beautiful wide river here running down from under Triglav which is the highest peak in Slovenia at 2860 ish metres. You can have a ride on a paddle boat in Most na Soci if you fancy it.

We’re gonna take a couple of days out of TET land now for a bit and just go do tourist stuff in the National Park. Next up for us was supposed to be the Italy section, but we gather there are now issues with this and the GPX file has been removed temporarily, so we’re in touch with Alessandro, (the Italy Linesman), for some help and we’ll see where we end up. We can use the next couple of days to make alternate plans as we need.

Useful Info:
- Slovenia is a beautiful country, there is lots of forest riding on good smooth trails with a few bits of tarmac & villages inbetween. They are laying more sealed surfaces each year so expect to see some of the trails change as time goes by.
- Fuel is widely available in all the towns
- Places close between 12 – 4 in the rural areas, not sure about the big city of Ljublanja as not got there.
- Cash is the Euro
- If you camp in the forest, be aware there are brown bears around, lots of them... we saw one on the trails first thing in the morning about 400m from our camp.
- You can probably complete the whole TET section in one long day or in two to make it more relaxed.
- There is a gap between the end of the route and the border to Italy, so you’ll need to work out where you want to go after. I'd recommend Triglav National Park as a side trip for a couple of days, the roads and scenery are great. It's really busy in July & August, so don't expect a silent wilderness!

That’s it for now...