After my leisurely day at the end of my previous blog post my walking continued in earnest – I am not going to put loads of detail about the walks, most of it I doubt would be of much interest, especially if you don’t like walking, so I shall probably let the pictures of the majestic scenery speak for themselves.
This day proved to me that I am sensible enough to realise my limitations and not exceed them. Only 20 minutes into my planned walk my chosen path soon became overgrown with robust conifers, which soon became scary with the path dropping away hundreds of feet… and then the path disintegrated altogether in places in sheer scree slopes, and so I turned back and completely changed my plans. I walked several miles along a generally level path, then up to a saddle between almost white limestone peaks. I had planned to descend into another valley… but the path disappeared seemingly vertically around a rock with metal ropes in slippery scree… uh, no, so I retraced my steps and after descending about two hundred metres came to another, ongoing limitation – my voice. A fellow walker came across from another path to join the one I was on about a hundred metres above me, he saw me descending and shouted ‘come’ (in Slovene), but I just couldn’t shout back, my voice just cannot do that… but having seen the path on the other side, and being quite tired, I ignored him and carried on, all the way to the bottom of the valley, and then along a river to a bus stop to return to my pension on the other side of the mountain pass. I waited… and waited… and waited for the bus and, after over an hour I gave up and started walking down towards the next village… only for the bus to then come around the corner, so I stuck my hand out and he stopped to take me back… with a slightly sour-looking face.
While on the balcony of my room I heard English-speaking voices next to me from a couple who had come out from the room next to me, so I said hello and introduced myself, and told them a bit about the area… and then at dinner we had a longer chat; they seemed very nice.
This was the most strenuous walk of my holiday. I took the bus to a village called Moystrana, then walked eight miles along a valley to the base of the highest peak in the whole area, called Triglav. However, that was not my destination, I am not a mountaineer, though, including the height gain from the bus stop I did climb 3700 feet to a saddle between Triglav and another high peak, including about thirty minutes climbing a scree slope occasionally with the help of metal ropes, and then descended the same height along a more manageable path on the other side to a small village called Trenta where there was thankfully a visitor centre with lovely toilets and a tiny supermarket to stock up with water, half a litre of which I downed more or less straight away after doing my walk in temperatures approaching 30C. I did that walk in one of my summery skater skirts and a white lacy vest top and felt nicely girlie and a certain freedom with my walking… and, for some reason, I seemed to get a lot more guys saying hello to me (mostly in Slovene).
Back at the hotel, once showered and changed, after dinner I had a lovely long chat with my neighbours Carol and Barry about assorted holiday destinations; they were great company.
This was another day where things did not go quite according to plan. After a bus ride to Moystrana again, I walked up another valley for a while, but there were too many trees obscuring the mountain views, and my legs were frankly not up to lots of climbing either… so I turned back, but overall I ended up walking 18 miles, with a short bus journey partly back towards my hotel village where I got off early to take the picture below, followed by some further walking.
This was alas the final day of walking and of my wonderful holiday… and so I was hardly going to have a relaxing, uneventful day! I did another valley/climb-type walk, from Ratece, along lovely flower-meadows, past ski jumps where school children were practising, and eventually up, and up, and up, a 3750 foot climb, finally to the summit of something, a mountain called Sleme – it was quite tiring, but so rewarding with incredible views around every corner. An hour’s walk brought me to the top of Vrsic mountain pass, from where I climbed about 15 minutes to view an unusual natural rock formation, Ajdovska Deklica, the face of a woman naturally present in the rock. I descended the valley, sometimes along the mountain road built by Russian prisoners at the turn of the 20th Century, and eventually got back to my Pension, a walk of around 15 miles.
During dinner one couple that I had talked to throughout my holiday said goodbye, as they were leaving early the following morning, and later I had a long chat with Carol and Barry before saying goodnight, and going to my room to start to pack my suitcases.
Sadly the time had come to leave Slovenia and my lovely home-from-home pension. After breakfast and packing the rest of my bags, I paid my bill to Frank, and told him what a lovely time I had had and how his wife and him had been so friendly and helpful, and I had to resort to a tissue to dry my eyes because I was SO sad that my wonderful holiday with them was over. After a wander to the village centre for a final look around, including a visit to the church that I had not been to before, with quite a lavish interior, I returned to the pension and soon had to say goodbye to my wonderful hosts with a hug and a kiss on the cheek from each; Frank carried my bags to the minibus… and then we were on the way to the airport after picking up some guests from a couple of other hotels.
The journey home was uneventful, I got madamed on the Easyjet flight, when I bought a drink and then exiting the plane, and on the Ryanair flight a guy helped me with my case into the overhead locker… and by 11.30pm I was home… to a VERY cold Northern Ireland!