Daily Miles: 19
Total Miles: 27
We had a good night of sleep and woke up pretty early when our room got light around 5:30am. We managed to doze a bit until we got up at 7:30am. We made it down to the dining room right at 8am and got breakfast. There was one option which was tea/coffee, fried eggs and bread with toppings like jam, honey, pâté, deli meat and cheese. We weren’t able to eat it all, so we made sandwiches to go with the remaining bread and meats,
We finally got out on the trail a little before 9am. Today was probably the longest (distance-wise) that we will have on this trail. Other days might be longer time-wise, but we knew today was going to be a big push, so we were anxious to get going.
While the elevation profile had looked pretty tame, there was actually a lot of up and down today. There was a mother & adult daughter (Stefanik and Inis) pair who had stayed at the same hut as us and we leap-frogged with them a lot of the day. They are from this area of Slovenia and were very friendly. After we passed each other for the third time, they told us Slovenians have a saying that if you see each other three times on the trail, you have to go out for a drink together. 🙂
We were very lucky again with the weather today…cool and breezy. It felt really nice all day. Even when we were sweating from climbing, there was a nice breeze to cool ourselves off.
Around noon, we came to our first point of interest with a stamp (Klopni Peak). It didn’t feel like much of a peak, but we still enjoyed the spot and took a break to eat our sandwiches. There was an incredible amount of ants all over the ground as we were walking today, and by the end of our short break, we had ants all over our backpacks. Luckily they weren’t biting ants, since they were all over us too as we tried to clean them off our backpacks.
A few hours later we came to a hut which was quite busy with people. There were a lot of bikers, some four wheelers, some motorcycles and lots of people who drove up for the day for a day hike. We stopped at the hut and got a snack to get us through to dinner.
As we left, we were amazed at the number of people we saw on the trail…well over a hundred over the course of the rest of the day. It gave us a lot of practice with our Slovenian greeting (Dober Dan!) as we passed all the people going in the opposite direction.
We came to a boggy section of the trail, where they built an extensive area of wooden boardwalk. There was also a lookout tower we climbed up to get a better view. It was a pretty cool area that really reminded us of northern New England.
We had tried to make reservations at our first three nights of huts before leaving Ljubljana. The hut we had tried to reserve for tonight had said they were booked, and the back up hut was also booked. So we had made reservations at a hut which was several miles off trail (and a 1,200 foot decent off trail), thinking it was our only option. We decided to ask again at our first choice hut since we would be passing by it anyways.
We tried not to get our hopes up as we got closer. We were really tired and our feet were sore, but we didn’t want to feel too bad if we had to keep going to our third choice hut. Luckily, our first choice hut, Ribniska Koča, was able to find a place for us! We were so relieved and excited to be off our feet.
We arrived around 5pm and had the one dinner option: barley stew with vegetables and sausage. It was pretty good, and it was so nice to just relax and have a hot meal. After dinner, we got into our room, took hot showers and got into our warm clothes.
When we went back out to the dining room to get on the Wi-Fi, Stefanik and Inis had arrived. They had planned to hike another day into town, but Inis’s knees were shot after today, so they had called someone to come and pick them up. We ended up having a drink with them before they left…they got us schnapps flavored with juniper berries and we toasted SweetPea’s birthday. It was nice to chat with them a bit about Slovenia and their lives. It is too bad that they had to cut their trip short by a day.
We are now bundled up in our beds and feeling very tired. Time to sleep.