Day 2: 7/1
It was freezing last night. Actually below freezing I’m sure and it rained on us most of the night with high winds. The cold makes packing up and getting going even harder so we were pretty slow this morning. Luckily the morning began as a nice long descent into where we were meeting Stats, at the Predjama Castle. It took us just under 3 hours to get down there with a couple of breaks happening. We stopped and snacked at a nice big field covered in wild flowers watching the suns rays beat down onto the earth. I have never seen so many wild flowers, and so many different species of them in my life. It’s mesmerizing. I can’t stop talking about how beautiful it is here. Every view we get is so special. Slovenia is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, if not the most. The homes are so intricate and all of them have flowers all over. The greenery and fresh berries all around is just heavenly. I got to snack on a lot of raspberries and the best wild strawberries ever today! The strawberries tasted like candy I couldn’t stop picking them. And apparently, around here and other parts of Europe hazelnuts grow all over. We found some but they aren’t ready to go yet. It would be so cool to have a point where I don’t have to really carry food and can just eat from the trail! At 10:30am on the dot, as planned, we arrived at Predjama Castle. It is over 700 years old and perched on a 123 meter cliff. It is worth seeing I promise you that! We didn’t even go inside and it didn’t matter. It was so cool! We found Stats right away his hair is a little longer, but he looks just the same! It’s the greatest to be back with my trail family. It feels like we were never actually apart. After lunch and some nice salads we headed out, knowing we had some good climbing ahead of us. And it didn’t disappoint as per usual on this trail. The PCT spoiled us with its 15% grades, and now we’re on a trail that just wants to shoot us right up and straight down the mountains. It’s sweaty, hard, and super fun. I realized how much I like this kind of hiking. Work hard then get rewarded by amazing views and hang for a bit before doing it over and over again. So far another thing I love about this trail is that it isn’t all perfectly set out for us. I enjoy hiking in the tall grass and through the wild flowers feeling like I’m just as much a part of this land as they are. It’s freeing. At the top of the first big peak there was a trail registry I was super stoked to sign. It’s been too long since I’ve gotten to sign one, and since I have seen these other beautiful peoples names alongside mine. After hanging for a bit and eating snacks, as the hiker hunger is kicking in, we headed down the mountain a bit just to go right back up another one. And then another one. But luckily that was the last one. Then the trail mellows out for a nice downhill that led us past a fancy hut, a church, and down to another church, Sveta Marija, where we are set camping for the evening. I realized today how much a trail and these people feel like home to me. It just feels normal and like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I love being able to chat with them over dinner talking about any and all things and hanging in our tents talking even more. It doesn’t take much to entertain you on these trails, and it’s that simplicity of life I appreciate so much about it.