Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bhinj Jezero

We still hadn’t had much opportunity to really hike in the area so we took off to the more remote lake called Bhinj Jezero. They have so many buses here that it was really simple, and cheap, to catch it and head out to the local village. They have a chairlift in the village of Ukance, obviously for skiing in the winter but useful for hikers and tourists in the summer. Now, some people will hike to the top and then use the lift to come down. We thought we were doing it the easy way, taking the lift to the top and hiking down. I’m not so sure it was.
The view from the top was stunning. The Julian Alps towered above and around us, majestic and gorgeous. The wind was whipping through us and we began to wonder if we had enough layers with us. We spent quite a while roaming the top before setting off for our path down the mountain. Now, they have a few lifts in the area, I think we started off at about 1480m, not the highest one available but the only one open in the summer months.
The path was fairly well marked, once we found it. They had signs and red bull’s eyes for us all along the way down. It started off, downhill, of course, wending its way through the rocks. We stopped to enjoy the changing views of the alps and to get pictures of the great alpine meadows, dotted along the path down. We found lots of broken rocks and matted leaves and still the track went down. Now, I keep mentioning down because this path was DOWNHILL! It was not relieved with rolling terrain anywhere, no flat spots, even taking pictures we were perched on a downhill slant. It was totally unrelenting in its downhill approach to getting you down the mountain. The wet leaves (it had been raining the day before) made the area slick. The rocks were mixed sized and not packed into the earth, the rolled and turned. We went down and down and down and down. We passed one couple on their way up the hill and wondered which of us had the harder route (I still think they did but my legs were not in agreement with me). We were down to probably the last 30 minutes of our hike before we came along a short road through a meadow that allowed us to walk for a bit on a semi-level path. By the time we made it to the bottom, I didn’t think I ever wanted to go downhill anywhere again! Thank goodness the bus wasn’t too far away from where we came out. 

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