Croatia: life on the edge of civilization

Croatia: life on the edge of civilization

Kevin Rushby May 8, 2018
Wander through the spectacular valleys and mountains, tell stories

Photo: Viewpoint / Alamy Photo
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When you descend towards Zadar on the coast of Croatia, the way is heading south towards the south. On the right side there are dazzling turquoise blue islands of the eye, sudden sweet creeks and old-fashioned houses, vineyards safe, entrance fishing boats and so on. Most visitors come to Croatia. On the other side, the mountains are covered with violent clouds. Croatia is not what most people have tried.

In a small town in Starigrad, we leave the sea and go down a narrow road to the mountains. I visited this area as a teenager and never came with a friend who did not forget the adventure. Behind the narrow entrance of the Velika Paklenica gorge, he guarantees us. It is a magical world that I hardly see. I hope he is right.

We will base camp the next morning at the cottage near the mouth of the canyon (4 people from 80 € per night) and Paklenica National Park.

This course leads to the first spectacular gorge pine in 14 km in length. The flock of mountaineers has already negotiated on the cliff, but the canyon is a little open and the rocky face is incredibly high.

On the right is Ania Kuk, the world’s most famous climbing site, the northwest side of which is a 400 meter limestone wall, Europe’s answer to El Capitan of Yosemite. On a late picnic you will see climbers. The park is 95 kmq surrounded by the wilderness of a larger mountain.

We continue hiking. It always continues with the collapse of the river and shade of the forest. A smooth snake whips in front of us, his body is thick like my wrist. There is also an emerald lizard that burns bushes. Finally, at sunset, we go to the destination: Paklenica Mountain Lodge, a neat wooden chalet with a red shutter deep gable and a balcony. A quiet old man sits in the sunglasses and is sitting on the tablecloth. And the brush in the hand nearby is the concierge Dalibor. The other side is loud and bright.

He is introducing his old friend as “a wolf’s bouquet”. He knows every part of this national park. Only he and I and my friend Korana live here. We are guardians of the world.

If two young climbers come, I am digesting this statement. Is there a place to charge Wi – Fi code and mobile phone in Dalibor?

“My friends come here to charge their batteries, not your cell phone, there is no Wi-Fi.

The couple seems to be worried. Does he sell mineral water?

“Mountain water is free.” It shows the pipe that came from the source. As I am looking at, Dariba is not an ordinary concierge. He will tell you the story of the family. “During Emperor Franz Joseph, my grandmother drank salt in these mountains.

He was born on the coast of Zadar and became a DJ. After that, a war broke out in 1991. This conflict left a deep psychological sign in this area. For Dalibor, the only reimburse had returned him to the family ‘s origin, the mountain.

“I live at the edge of civilization:” People need hot showers and I report them to the river, when many people realize that there is no bottled water or ice I’m coming back, this is a filter of what I am hiding behind.

We are hiding the phone. Can he help us? We will distribute cards. “I will spend the night here,” he advises. “Try this road tomorrow …” His fingers draw long bow. “Here we have shelter, food, sleeping bags, compasses and jackets here, from here you can get to the top of Velebit mountain and then arrive at another refuge.First comes first, provided , It ‘s all free.

That night, eat Korana plants wild boar and short lessons. There are 79 endemic species in this park and it is considered to be a famous wild flower garden worldwide.

The next day, we will walk around in the forest. Here is a wolf and an apple, but all we see is a rabbit. There was an important human presence 40 years ago, but the last shepherd retreated to Zadar at the age of 94 in 2016. Without sheep, the forest will recover and the forest will support it. Just a few weeks ago, Daribor found a mother and a boy on the runway. Resurrection forest is the largest forest in Dalmatia.

By climbing, run and oak avoid the prim trello and beech trees and adhere to castor and pine. Its size quickly decreases. We will appear on a perfect blue gentleman and a high collar witnessed. In addition, the golden Crocodile sneaks into the snowy field and we find a knotted hut with shelter, cooking wood fire and wooden bunk beds.

In the middle of the summer I arrive early to secure a bed or to wear a tent, but I do not think I will arrive in the spring. The place is empty. Various evacuation centers were built by 600 members of the Paklenica Mountain Association. They did a good job. It’s not that comfortable, but it’s not attractive. Water is half a mile through the dwarf birch forest. “It will never dry – even in the midst of summer,” Daribor told us.

We eat local soft drinks with local drinks. Water seems to be cold nectar.

At dawn, we blow through a dwarf forest, and the spring has a sign to the south and is climbing the slope of Vanganski (1,757 m). The map has several pink spots near the site of the mine. During the revolutionary war of 1991/95, Serbian forces wanted to put pressure on these ridges and wanted permanent maintenance of Croatian territory. When they were defeated, about 20,000 people died and the Croatian economy collapsed.

Creating a sidewalk from these dangerous areas was a challenge thanks to the many pioneering work done by the witty companion of the Daliber Mountain Association for the Mountain association. Currently there are about 150 km of hiking trails.

On the way to the summit, I will enter a cloud and mist hurricane. There is a deep avalanche in the cavity, and there is a forest of dead pine trees on the ridge. Everything dripped with ice water. There is a cross mark on the top, and the guest book has a tin can. Everyone, please be aware that we have not signed it for a while.

The descent is tricky: long, steep snow slides on the wide cliff slope. Although I visit quickly on the weekend, I feel the same for weeks in nature. I will return to the main cabin late in the afternoon.

The wolf is still quietly sitting in front of the entrance. After spending the night in the shed at Daliba, a group of hikers will depart. Do I ask Dalibor what the wolf is doing by the visitor? He says he must learn to not do anything throughout the day without looking at the mobile phone. This is a forgotten art of the shepherd.

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