See ya later Croatia!

Leaving Gracac we stopped for a quick delicious bite at a local restaurant in Grab. Which was literally the only thing there. We ended up hiking 12 miles that afternoon without leaving town until almost 3 and eating lunch. My energy is feeling good, but my feet are definitely limiting me. The next day our miles shot back up to typical PCT mileage’s. We hit 27 miles. And yet it seemed like we did nothing. There was no major climbing or descent just road walk. The entire day. The only truly interesting thing that happened this day was a skinny diseased cat that wouldn’t leave us alone at lunch. It kept looking at me with the biggest saddest eyes and I couldn’t handle it. But we didn’t want to touch it because it seriously had something going on. We hiked so far because where we had hoped to camp ended up being a weird rundown town so we kept going to Knin and got an apartment to stay in. We had to stay for the next day so I could try and buy some new shoes, and to resupply. One thing I’m learning here is to never trust booking.com. Numerous times we have purchased a room and it wasn’t what was described. We have left a place before because of it. This place seemed so nice. 24 hour reception where they spoke English, WiFi in all rooms, flat screen TVs, continental breakfast. We get there no English, the tv was not much bigger than an IPad screen and didn’t even work. The WiFi barely worked. But it’s just what it is I guess. Luckily the breakfast was amazing! Just a huge basket of homemade bread, cheese, and jelly. I found some new running shoes for $30. They’re not the best but better than shoes with no sole on them. Then we left to summit Dinara, the highest mountain in Croatia. Which isn’t very high actually just, 1831m. I saw a turtle on its back on the way, flipped it over to help it get going again. So random to see a turtle in the forest? But the climb was fun, the sign said it’d take 2.5hrs and it took me less than 1.5. I love racing those things! The view from the top was great, but the descent is where the magic happened. Just endless beauty surrounding me with mountain ranges of endless stripes of rocks, meadows, and grass fields. Leading down, down, down, to a shelter for Shepard’s. Where I saw one with his sheep, what a beautiful job! We passed a fresh flowing pipe spring, extremely rare here, and a midevil fortress before reaching out campsite. It was perfect until a family of 4 came which created a lot of noise through the night and in the morning, but overall a good day. Different muscles are definitely working now that I don’t have barefoot style shoes. Different things are feeling tweaky and sore, shin splints are returning and my back hurts a bit, but no blisters! The next day with a foggy mind we began more road walking. We took a wrong turn and added over a mile pretty early on. But then we met 2 kind people. One woman who offered us a ride to a bigger town, as we thought there was a store in this town, but it had apparently closed down. So all day all I ate was peanuts, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds as it’s all I had. Then we met Ivan, the local medicine man. He was so excited to chat with us. And was showing us plants he uses to make tea for high blood pressure, or about making soap, and being able to cure any disease in 15 days. He offered us a place to stay, Food, and wine from his vineyard, but it was only 10am so we declined. Luckily, I got his info and am hoping to reach out and maybe come back and learn from him for a week or 2. We got to eat lunch at a beautiful lake. Perfect temperature water. It was just the best! Then we quickly headed to Rumin where there was a store and camped by the river. 

Its now been over a month since leaving home. And somehow that feels impossible, it’s had to have been at least a year. That’s how far away it all seems. We had a huge day today. We hit many mile stones. 1) 10 by 10! Our first of the trail. That’s 10 miles by 10am. 2) 30+ mile day, we did 33. 3) first time getting to use the bucket and rope Meg has been carrying to get water from a deep well. 4) our first walk on an actual Pilgrimage trail, Our Lady of Sinj (training for Camino!) 5) we officially left Croatia and are now in Bosnia! We are over half way through the trail. 6) we finally experienced some real Croatian hospitality. After a quick water break at the Cetina river a man said something to us, after Meg explained we didn’t understand he gestured a drink. Thankfully, Meg being way more chill than me who just wants to keep walking since we just took a break, said yes. It turned into one of the most genuine acts of kindness I’ve ever received. These women took us to their porch. They brought us OJ with sparkling water and cookies, followed by Turkish coffee and a huge feast. All Homemade. Cheese, bread, tomato, prosciutto, pancetta, OMG it was so unreal.  And when we left they picked us a bunch of plums from their tree and gave them to us. For no reason except to give. It literally makes my heart melt. Crossing the border was interesting. Standing in a large line of cars. We finished the day to Busko lake. It’s beautiful but has been storming since we got here. A bummer as we are taking a trail 0 day, and expected to get to swim and lay in the sun. Instead we are just sleeping off and on hanging out in our tents. Oh Bosnia, I can’t wait to see what adventures you bring to us. 

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