Ever since my feet left my home of the PCT they, and my heart, have been wanting everyday to just be back on the trail. And now, in one week, I set out to plant my feet into a new adventure, but this time I am going international! After a week of barely eating and losing weight, which is far from ideal before a thru-hike. I woke up this morning really excited for what is about to come. So much is unknown, but I am blessed to be heading out onto a brand new trail called the Via Dinarica, with L-Train, aka Megan. I fly out on June 25 where we will land in London for a little over a day before heading to Venice on the 28 to meet up with Simon, also from the PCT, who lives in Sweden. From there us 3 companions will bus to Trieste, Italy and then hike on the Via Alpina Red Trail to the beginning of the Via Dinarica White Trail, where we will be meeting up with Stats, who is coming from nearby Switzerland! The guys will only be joining us a few days on this journey, but I am so grateful for it, and super excited to be reunited with part of my PCT Trail fam!
The Via Dinarica is a special trail. Well I am not even sure if I can call it a trail from what I have read. It is brand new. According to the Via Dinarica Association only 6 people have hiked the trail, and none have been Americans. So, Meg and I, will be the first Americans to attempt this hike! It is almost 800 miles long, traversing through the highest parts of the Dinarica Alps, and in the largest karst field on earth!!!! It crosses through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Albania. The only actual completed portion of the trail is Bosnia, every where else we are going to have to use some good navigating and patience to get through it. Apparently, there is pretty much no trail at all for a majority of Croatia…..so we will see how that goes!
Preparing for this trip has been short and intense. Going to not just one, but multiple other countries, a lot of research has to be done on border crossing, currency, phone service, language, and culture. It all came about so quickly, but I think the preparation has been completed. You can only realistically prepare for so much in these circumstances. I know things will change and I am ready to be flexible and allow the experience to just be what it is and not force anything out of it. From coast lines to limestone to forests, it’s sure to be one hell of a hike.
After the Via Dinarica the plan is to head to France and begin the Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage I have always wanted to do. This will take us through Spain to the coast, where we may extend our trip and do another Camino route down into Portugal.
But one at a time! This journey feels unreal, and like a total blessing. I am going to soak in every single step and feel the ground beneath me, and I hope you follow along! I will be updating on this blog with pictures and some stories of our days on the trail along the way. I can’t wait to see what this adventure will teach me about myself, my soul, and the endless beauty of the world and the people in it.