So Slovenia is cool. The food is really different to what we’ve experienced, the people are lovely and the weather has been fantastic. But right from our first steps out of the taxi at Maribor, the Slovenska planinska Pot trailhead, the trail has been a little…boring. I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve been doing this for a while now, but running 120km through heavily forested hillside has proved a little tedious for both of us.
So to avoid the pitfalls of complaining about sore feet, taking too many bad photographs and hammering our unlimited mobile data packages we came up with three ways to keep the trail interesting as we grind this stage out.
A very simple and somewhat masochistic premise we probably all know: “run uphill to that tree”, “don’t use your poles” or simply “run this bit”.
And while this is obviously exhausting and seriously lung busting, we think our running is slowly improving (in fact Rosie is improving quite quickly!). Contrary to what you might think, we probably aren’t much faster than when we left NZ. Fitter with much better stamina, but we don’t usually have the energy to work on moving quicker.
Now that we are berry experts, we can identify the framboise we first saw in France, the same blueberries we found in Norway and the blackberries we devoured in Southern England. Slovenian seem to have a huge foraging culture. Half of the few people we have seen on the trail are mushroom pickers snooping through the pine needles off the trail. Kind of like spotting wild deer through the trees. Overweight wooden basket carrying, taslon ski jacket wearing deer.
We haven’t embarked on mushroom picking, it seems a little high risk. As Rosie’s relative once told me “you can eat all mushrooms…just some only once”.
Perhaps “discussion” or “ranting” could be used to describe this activity, but it usually all ends on an argument.
So clearly this can’t go on all day, and we each reach our limit in regards to each topic, but trending on the Fastpack Journal “top stories” list would be:
- Dirty dairying and New Zealand’s un-wadable waterways
- Post-growth or post-capitalism economics and (importantly) how to implement it
- Intergenerational gaps and the mess that the baby boomers have left us.
No silver bullets uncovered yet…
Having climbed Raduha, our first >2000m peak on the last day of the stage, revealing an enticing but scary view of the Kamnik-Savinja alps i think we’ll be putting our energy towards a few other things on the coming days.
Written by Jeff
The Slovenska Planinska Pot
A lesser known long distance trail that traverses the width of Slovenia. The trail is only 400km long but is effectively a peak bagging route with long stages and difficult ascents, often via ferrata which we will probably skip. The trail starts in Slovenia’s second major city – Maribor, traverses the Kamnik-Savinja alps, kisses the Austrian border, proceeds to climb almost everything in the Julian alps including Triglav (2,864m), before tailing off into the Adriatic coast near Trieste in Italy.
Stage 1 took us through the Pohorje mountain range. The route winds through heavily forested slopes making the views from the clearings pretty spectacular.
Distance: 115km over 4 days
Difficulty: need to grind this one out at time
Also published on Medium.