MONTENEGRO PART 2 – DURMITOR

One of the many views from Savin Kuk

After a long and cold night the first thing you think of in the morning is a nice hot shower. Unfortunately if the sun’s not shining, the solar boiler isn’t warming up the water. And fortunate as we are, all water on our campsite is heated by solar boilers. So after an incredible cold shower, our day started. The plus of this whole cold shower thing is that, for a little while, it isn’t that cold outside. Of course only for a very little while.  Luckily it looked like the sun was gonna come out at some point today.

We wanted to take the cable car all the way to the top of the Savin Kuk, one of the highest mountains in Durmitor national park. For only €7,- you can go up and down all day long. We decided to go up with the cable car and then walk down. When we arrived at the cable car station it appeared that they were just starting it up. We tried to imagine how things are here in winter when everything is full of snow. How would the ski slopes look like and would it be busy. We arrived at 2300 meters and from here it was just a small walk all the way up to the top. Although it was a small walk, it was quite heavy. At the top you arrive at another “end of the world”. We could not continue walking, this was it, the only thing left was to enjoy the panoramic view from different sides down. At one side there were wide open fields, at the other side there were high mountains and on another side there was the Crno Jezero, the famous black lake. While we were enjoying these stunning views we were standing with our feets in the high grass with beautiful colored flowers. We were in the Montenegrin Alps, these mountains are part of the Dinaric Alps which connects Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Our way back down was beautiful. Dani was a bit clumsy and slipped away a few times because of the loose stones. We had fun, laughed and slowly we walked back down to the cable station.


Tom hiking in the Dinaric Alpes (Savin Kuk)

About one o’clock we were back down and we decided to visit a viewpoint. A long time ago Dani read on the internet about it. Near to Žabljak there should be a viewpoint with amazing views over the Tara Canyon. The only thing missing was a clear direction to the viewpoint  and the map of the park we only bought the day after. A little challenge, but with three names of small towns Tomtom found the viewpoint: Čurevac. From where we parked our car it was only a half an hour walk to the top. It was not a difficult walk, so we enjoyed the beautiful views while we were walking. We stopped somewhere to sit down and eat our lunch, we stopped again to make some pictures, what a paradise.


The way to Ćurevac

When we came back to our car we asked somebody from the Park if he knew where the road opposite of where we came from would led us to. It was dirt road and if it would led us to somewhere it would be nice to take a look. In his best English, about as good as our Montenegrins, he told us (at least that’s what we thought) that we could take the path down to the Tara River. Maybe we had to cross the river at some point but that would be easy with our car. From here we could return to Žabljak. So afterwards it appeared that we couldn’t have misunderstood him more. As far as we could see it was 13 kilometers drive down to the river, this was right. It took us about an hour to come down, because we could not drive faster than 10 to 20 km/h. Eventually we arrived at the riverside. It was beautiful, crystal clear water again, but not even in a million years we should be able to cross the river with our car. Different plan. We enjoyed the view over the river and came up with the idea to park the car close to the water to make a cool picture, we both thought this was a good plan. Until Tom drove the car to the water and totally lost traction in the loose stones. Our wheels were so stuck in these little stones that the only thing our car did was slipping.


THE picture at the Tara river

After trying about ten times it became pretty clear that we would not be able to get the car out of this. We needed some help. Tom was slightly worried, because on our first night in Montenegro at the riverside of the Tara, they told us that the water could rise any time without a warning. Dani, of course already forgot about this and trusted in her “Technic Tom”, like our Montenegrins neighbor on the campsite called Tom. A solution came pretty fast. We searched for a heavy tree to tie up our ratchet tension, on the other side we tightened it to the car. Dani behind the steering and Tom next to the tree. Now it was just playing until it came loose, so first tighten the ratchet, then slightly gas, Tension it again, and then again some gas, etc. until we came out. After about six times trying we were free again. Yes, we were out! Relieved, but slightly shocked, that because of a stupid thing like a picture we already needed the ratchet tension, Dani drove back up like a full pro Dakar rally driver. We definitely deserved a cold beer now.


Dani driving up like a Dakar Rally pro