After leaving Zabljak we ended up doing some bigger mile days than expected. Since it was mellow road/gravel walking it didn’t seem to irritate Megan’s knee much so we were able to knock some easy miles out. I enjoy easy miles, something I love about knowing exactly how long it’ll take to get places. Not much of the unknown factor there. But I also miss the mountains and the trails. And I know that no growth comes from within the comfort zone, so as much as I enjoyed these quick days, I was ready to head back into the wilderness. First day out of town we hiked about 25 miles, gravel road all day. Super easy and just going through valleys and pastures. Just spent the day chatting, and listening to music or podcasts. The only struggles on these days was the fear we get each time we get barked at, and some times run down, by dogs. They are super aggressive here giving us anxiety each time we encounter them. And no owner really seems to care much as nobody comes out to stop them. Luckily, our trekking poles make descent shields and weapons if needed. It rained and stormed on us the last few hours of hiking. There was no where to hide as it was just exposed pasture land. We got a brief break from it as a family invited us in their home as they got us water. We ended up camping just randomly in the grazing pasture land during a quick break of just sprinkling so our stuff didn’t get soaked as we set it up. We laughed this day about how this stage we were in we planned to take 4 days….and it will only be taking us 1.5 since we rerouted to hiking mountain bike routes instead. Too much food being carried for sure!
The next day we hit 24 miles. I’m really enjoying the hiking lately and doing so by purposefully being positive and present with each moment. Gravel road and some non-existent old roads led us to the town to Mojkovac. Here we just hung out a few hours eating, wifi-ing, researching, and doing nothing. But I did buy a small soccer ball which I’m stoked to get to carry and have something to do during breaks and on early camp days! And Burek for a snack!!!! Always a win, it’s literally all I want to eat. I wish they delivered it like pizza. We left town around 5 and hiked 6 miles to Dom Dzambas hut where we camped just outside. A spot with a nice area nearby to see the sunset. This was the first time in the last few hiking days we actually hit any trail, it was a fairly steep uphill but I had so much fun doing it. The challenge felt good on my legs. Going to bed with only 85 miles left of trail, our plan is to do just 15/day to not rush. And also, that’s where it seems some of the best camp choices are. But we will see. Things seem to change a lot out here.