Day 17. I leave the Rifugio Zacchi at 7.30am, a bit anxious about today’s trail. The guidebook says that one part is very difficult as the trail is not marked other than every now and then a pile of stones and the hut tenant also warned me. Well, I have the experience from the last two weeks, my gpx track on my phone and on my GPS plus my map and compass. What can go wrong other than that I am still in fight mode with my GPS and not good at reading maps.
The first 90minutes are easy even though uphill. Once I reach the Porticina, the stony mountain saddle and border to Slovenia, I enjoy the nice view. The sky is cloudy and there is some wind. It seems the weather is really going to change.
The first part downhill is not easy to hike but I am reliefed the trail is rather visible. I can see the stones piled up and check from time to time my gpx track on the phone. All good. Just the tricky empty river beds!
I see a trail to my left and follow it. After a while hiking up I am pretty sure that this isn’t the right path. On the phone and GPS it looks as if the trail is further down. So again a mistake I simply hike down in the forest. At one point it’s too steep to continue. Track back, climb up again all the way to the trail and hike back the trail until I reach the gpx trail. Easier said than done. The trail is invisible and the stones make it very hard to cross the river beds. I am starting to ask myself why have I put myself into this situation? There are some dangerous parts but finally I find the trail again and lost an hour! Again and again I loose the trail again but I am now very careful and check very often my gpx phone track and immediately walk back once I am not on the right path. I cannot use my GPS (which is more accurate) as mysteriously all routes disappeared. What a waste, I need to find someone who can explain to me how it works. Usually I am rather good with electronic stuff, but from the start my Garmin GPS and me weren’t made for each other.
Finally, finally I reach the Nadiża waterfall and see a lot of tourists who have come by car to the close by hut Dom v Tamarju and just walked up to the waterfall. It is surreal to see all these people after my fight all alone in the mountains finding the right path and not slipping and falling too much (my arms and legs have suffered though from cuts etc in addition to all the Moskito bites I already have). I try to clean myself a bit with the water from the waterfall and have a short lunch. Instead of 2 hours it took me 3 1/2 hours down from the saddle!
As I know there is still quite some trail to cover today I continue, reliefed that at least from here the trail will be well marked. So of I go through an empty riverbed into a gorge where there’s still some snow! Some more climbing but soon it’s just a hike uphill, through beautiful terrain. Flowers, boulders, stones, trees, and the rough mountains. There is a chilly wind from time to time. I can feel the weather change and I have a very bad feeling in my stomach. Is it because of the weather change or because of all the adrenaline gone when I was scared up in the difficult mountain part? I cannot sit down and relax, I have to continue.
When I meet a few people I know I am not far from the pass. The bad feeling gets a bit better but doesn’t disappear. At the Vrsic Pass there are plenty of cars and even busses. Again surreal to me. I buy an ice tea and sit for a few minutes before continuing to the hut (which I think is another hour away).
Then a final highlight appears, the famous face of the Pagan girl, created by rock fractures in the Mount Prisank. It is just beautiful and immediately recognizable.
A few more minutes and I have reached the hut Postarski dom. Again only 2 other guests, I am all alone in the dormitory.
About five minutes after my arrival the rain starts and a thunderstorm starts. Finally I can feel calm again, I have reached the hut in time.
Even though one of the tenants speaks German, it is not as easy for me here. The nice hut feeling where I got invited into the kitchen and just chatted with the tenants is not possible here. Although I can easily spend my time writing the blog, reading, preparing the next part, I regret that I don’t have nice people to talk to.
Furthermore, the next two days are supposed to be very rainy. I had to call also the next hut to check about the snow situation. The trail might be doable but they are not sure. Also they don’t recommend in the rain as I won’t see anything. Tomorrow is supposed to be the most impressive mountain day according to my guidebook. What should I do, take the alternative route (OK but not really the mountains) or wait two days? I am afraid I will be depressed after two days talking to no one in this hut. But let’s see how the weather looks like tomorrow!
Day 18. REST DAY. The really big thunderstorm came last night. Half an hour of lighting and growling thunder. This morning it’s raining cats and dogs. And cows and sheeps and horses and… A quick look at the weather forecast and it is confirmed, I will take a rest day. More thunderstorms to come during the day. Luckily I found out that there is a bus going to the next small town. I enjoy a relaxed breakfast, take my time to finally do all my back exercises and some yoga, organise my stuff and take the bus to Trenta at 10am. Half an hour later I am at the Triglav information center. There is also a pizzeria and it seems a very small shop. First stop in the tourist center. There is a small museum about the triglav national park (5€ entry, maybe later) but for now I only buy some postcards and get some advice on visiting a close by gorge of the Soče river. Before going there I want to take a coffee so I sit on the nice covered terrace of the pizzeria. And then the next thunderstorm. Luckily they have Wi-Fi so I decide to write my blog instead. I have more than four more hours to go until the bus leaves for my hut.