Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Our Hike up Mountain Crvsnica towards Hajducka Vrata



This journey was undertaken back in October last year, but I never got around to edit and post the images on the blog. I am finally getting around to it. This post is closely related to my previous two-part travel series to Nature Park Blidinje. But only in terms of location. If you remember the forest in part two of the aforementioned travel series, then you will know that I never hiked out of those woods, only returned from where I came from. Well that hike through the forest actually leads (after many hours of hiking) to one of the crown jewels of the Mountain Cvrsnica: the rock formation known as "Hajducka vrata" (translated: Haiduk door). That's why the beginning of this post may look familiar to you. 

What was supposed to be a 4 hour hike, turned into a all day adventure for us, since we were (and still are) unexperienced hikers. So come along with me, my sister Jasmina, her husband Amer, my best friend Selma, and her husband Damir, and "hike" with us through the forest, over the mountain, between the valley, until we reach the end of our destination for that day.



A walk through the Forest

It was a sunny Saturday morning as we took the first steps through the mountain forest. We were fresh, relaxed and ready to go. Of course we couldn't know then what awaited us, and that the road up the mountain would take pretty much everything out of us. The forest has a lot of shade and natural coolness, so it's very easy to hike there. There are some parts that lead up hill but nothing major. The real part of our adventure would start once we walked out of the woods.


Sunkissed on Mountain Cvrsnica

The first "problem" we encountered was that the sun in the mountains is much much stronger, so as soon as we walked out of the woods the real struggle started to present itself. We are overdressed, thinking that we needed thicker clothes for a hike in the mountains in October. But we were wrong. Also I don't think that most of us had the right footwear. But we marched on bravely, with the first pain in our foots knocking on the door.




First resttop

We made our first stop on a designated resting area and drank water. That's the only thing we came prepared for: food and water. Of course we didn't make this hike alone. We had a professional guide, Advan Stukman. I would recommend him highly, as he was very well prepared, attentive towards us and above all patient. We started to loose it after a while, but it was all met with laughter and joy.


You have to understand that this is not a hike for beginners. While I'm sure that professional hikers will classify the hike to Hajducka vrata as easy, let me tell you: it's not. First of all, there is a lot of walking, but also the terrain goes steep up the mountain then goes down and up again. It's a lot, and your feet will give up on you. As our hike went on the promise of that sight was pretty much the only thing that kept us going, and I won't lie, we thought numerous times about giving up. Luckily we didn't.




Mountain views and lakes

After we finished the climb, and reached the top from where we continued towards Hajducka vrata, it was a bit easier. Of course we were pretty much exhausted by then, so every step, even on even ground was a chore. We made another stop at the small mountain lake "Crljenak". We are advised not to drink the water and wash ourselves with it. We didn't drink the water, but we did freshen ourselves up a bit. Nothing happened to our skins. We also didn't care at this point.




Only a few steps divided us from the Hajducka vrata. To leave this mountain and not photograph the Hajducka vrata, is straight blasphemy. Hajducka vrata are a natural phenomenon at mountain Cvrsnica, which, besides its beauty, is astonishing for its position as it is located on the edge of a canyon of an even 1800 meters (5900 feet) drop . The legend says that the one who goes through the “Hajdučka vrata” becomes bulletproof. In the end the hike was totally worth it. The sights are breathtaking.






The Hike down the Mountain Cvrsnica

In the end it was time to return home. The hike down mountain Cvrsnica wasn't easy but we made out. Of course with lots of blisters. There as a sense of accomplishment in the air that overshadowed any tiredness. I made some final images in the forest, as the day started to vanish and night started to roll in. My feet were shaking as I sat in my car and started to drive us back home. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was hopeful that the walk through the Hajducka vrata would indeed make us bulletproof for any further adventure.




22 comments:

  1. Delightful post, Mersad.

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  2. The view is breathtakingly beautiful. Miss hiking very much.

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  3. ...a five hour drive from here I have a home in the Adirondack Mountains, I hope to return and enjoy the beauty of nature. But until then, I'm prepared to stay safe at home. Thanks Mersad for sharing the beauty of you homeland and taking me along on the hike.

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  4. Great scenery. Beautiful views.

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  5. Well I'm glad that I returned and popped in for a visit. That was a truly magnificent vista and, I'm sure, was well worth the energy expended and the blisters you got. Well beyond my physical capabilities now but, hey, I'm happy to live vicariously once in a while.

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    1. Thank you for visiting. If you can find les vigorous paths then go for it. Although I will admit that on the peek of our climb we came across two senior citizens that were undertaking the walk much better then we did!

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  6. I got tired just reading your story. I will need to get more exercise before tryig a vigorous hike like this one.

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    1. I also got tired again while writing it 😅

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  7. this is a beautiful place to hike. if the weather is compatible, october is a good month. i used to enjoy hiking before i got sick...i climbed mt. graylock and was very proud of that hike and the battle scars (blisters) i acquired. sounds like fun!!!

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  8. The rock formation is wonderful - what a gorgeous location for photos! I'm sure it made the rigorous hike well worthwhile!
    Thank you for joining us this week at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/05/back-to-archives.html. I always enjoy visiting your blog. Your photos never fail to please the eye.

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  9. Thank you for taking us on this amazing hike with you! Love the gorgeous photos!

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  10. What an amazing hike in the mountains. Your photos are wonderful and the scenery is breathtaking. I love those last few shots with that wonderful rock formation. What an adventure.

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  11. Amazing, Loved the post.

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  12. The hike does look strenuous, but what a reward to see that view and unusual circle rock! Amazing!

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  13. What a trek! Beautiful scenery.

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  14. Remembering back they all look like such carefree times. Now coming up on three months in self-isolation they all seem a lifetime ago. - Margy

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  16. I love the way the blue mountains fade into mist and the keyhole arch photos. Great pictures!

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  17. Oh my gosh that was a hike and a half Mersad but so so worth while for those magnificent views. Believe me I know how you would have felt, been there on tricky hikes 😉 The views through Hajduka Vrata is stunning ✨

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