Daily Miles: 14
Total Miles: 232
It surprises us when the bunk rooms can be so quiet, even with ten or more people sleeping. We’ve been lucky when in the bunk rooms that no loud snorers were there. We don’t necessarily sleep well, but at least it’s not on account of other people making noise.
The hut we slept in last night, is one of several we have stayed at that are completely reliant on rain water. There are no sinks for hikers to use…presumably only a sink in the kitchen. Often in these huts the toilets are just outhouses, but for some reason this hut had a flushing toilet. The staff really stressed not flushing unless necessary to conserve water, but when you have 20 or more hikers staying there, plumbing problems can be expected. This summer has been very dry and Slovenia is in a drought, so for these huts depending on rain water, the situation is precarious.
We got an early start today since we had a longer hiking day planned. We got our stuff packed up and had breakfast by 7:30am. It was a clear morning with great views from the hut of the valley below. There were already day hikers arriving at the hut as we prepared to leave.
It was pretty warm even in the morning, and since we had a long day with no water source on route, we decided to take an alternate at the beginning to bring us by a lake where we could get water. This alternate was basically backtracking a few hours from yesterday’s hike. The views were spectacular, so we were fine with going through that stretch again.
Once we picked up enough water to get us through the rest of the day, we took a connector trail which was really nice and easily got us back on the SMT. The trails again today have been generally quite nice…perhaps we are getting spoiled with the nice trails in the national park, but we are certainly enjoying it.
Today was all about going downhill. While we had a few short climbs, the general direction for the day was down. We spent some time going down a bunch of switchbacks that turned a very steep mountainside into a pleasant hike. There were a few spots where the trail was a bit crumbly and there were cables installed there to hold onto as you traversed a sketchy spot.
While we were sitting down having a break, a hiker came down the trail…it was the third time we had seen him today. He was French and had little English, but we were able to understand that he was also hiking the SMT and had gotten concerned that he was on a wrong trail, as he had expected our hut to be much closer. We got out our paper map and showed him where we were and were the hut was…much further than he expected. He didn’t have a pack on him, just a small bottle of water in his hand, so we’re not totally sure what his plan was.
In the afternoon, we passed by some shepherd huts that were not currently in use. We sat down for a break on the benches in front. The views were quite nice…today it really felt like we were leaving the alpine zone for the last time. As we look at the mountains south of here (the direction the trail is headed), it is clear that they are treed and green…no more rocky and dramatic mountains.
There was a small seep along the trail in our final hour. The water was just dripping out, and someone had leashed a metal cup for people to use. Basically you could drink a cup of water, then put the cup under the drip and by the time the next hiker came by, the cup would be full again.
As we descended to the hut, we went through a deciduous forest, with the trail covered with leaves. It was a nice walk and very different than the recent trail. The hut where we are staying tonight is quite large and seems to be situated in a farm with sheep and cows. We were told that they are known for their strukli (the cottage cheese roll), so we’ll definitely have to try that for desert tonight.