Daily Miles: 8
Total Miles: 8
Well, the anticipation is over and we’re finally ready to take our first steps on the SMT. We probably could have used another day in Ljubljana, just relaxing, but we’re also anxious to get out on the trail. All of our travel here went smoothly and we were able to buy all the gear we needed. We are just a bit sleep deprived, which will hopefully be cured by tiring ourselves out hiking.
This morning, we decided to let ourselves sleep in as much as we could (which turned out to be rather early) and then took a late morning train to Maribor. It was a really pretty ride and it was nice to see some new areas of Slovenia. The country definitely has a charming mountain vibe to it. Everything is so green and pristine.
We got into Maribor in the early afternoon and then took a taxi to the trailhead. It is just on the outskirts of town…with houses and roads very close. We knew that the hiking today would be a lot of uphill…about 3,000 feet of climbing in the 8 miles.
The trail was in decent shape and really had a New England feel to it…quite steep in places and lots of roots growing up in the trail. The trail markings were quite good for the first half of the day…it was especially nice since there were A LOT of intersecting trails and dirt roads. The markings were so frequent that we didn’t need to consult our map or GPS for the first few hours.
After about four miles, we walked by a ski resort. The trail marking got a bit hard to follow in this area, but we eventually got ourselves back on track. So much of the trail today was what we call “hammock heaven”…big trees without much undergrowth. Lots of places for a perfect hang.
While we have been experiencing hot and very humid weather since arriving in Europe a few days ago, the weather was perfect for our hike today. It was overcast, a bit cool and breezy. With such a thick and healthy forest, we were walking in shade most of the time. We were very thankful for the cooler weather since we had so much climbing this afternoon.
We had picked up our “trail passport” the other day, but didn’t see the stamp at the beginning of the trail, so we took a selfie instead. We did get two other stamps in our passport today….one for a hut we passed along the way and one for the hut where we are staying (Ruska Koča).
We made it to our hut around 5:30pm. The guy working in the hut at that time was very quiet which made for some awkward moments, since we had no idea what we’re doing. We managed to get dinner (barley with vegetables for SweetPea and pork cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy for Beardoh). We’ve been told that the food in the huts is simple, traditional food that will stick to your bones. :). At the end of the day, it really hit the spot.
After dinner, there was a new guy working who was very friendly and helpful. We took showers, rinsed out some dirty clothes and are now bundled up on our beds…it is definitely chillier here than in town. We’re hoping that translates into a sound night of sleep. No early morning for us tomorrow…breakfast is served at 8am, so no need for alarms.