Daily Miles: 15
Total Miles: 265
Because of our detour off trail the other day, we ended up in Petovo Brdo a day early and we had an unexpected rest day. It felt good to relax most of the day (although we did go hiking for a few hours), since our bodies felt very tired and sore. The hut managers were so kind to us and we had a great experience with them.
We decided on an early start this morning, since we knew we had a long day. We got up and packed before breakfast at 7am, so we could leave as soon as we had finished eating. One of the things we’ve gotten used to on this trail is the idea of having a big breakfast, starting the day with full bellies and then having a big climb right away.
Our climb did indeed start out right away. We headed up a steep black top road for a bit and then eventually ended up on trail. The trail was pretty steep, but in decent shape, so the walking was good. We were glad to be doing the climb in the morning, because we were soaked with sweat. Even though it was cool out, the air was very humid.
The climb brought us to a hut right below the peak of Porezen. There were a handful of day hikers on the trail up to the peak. We stopped in at the hut for a cold drink and our first stamp of the day. We also filled up our water bottles to last us the rest of the day.
Leaving the hut, the trail headed into grassy fields. The terrain for the rest of the day was rolling hills. We were mostly going downhill in the morning, passing through farming villages.
At one point, we came across several bunkers (not sure which war they were from). We could walk inside them and see the cement bench the soldiers presumably sat on as they aimed their weapons out the little windows in front. It was pretty interesting to see them just left alone in the woods.
We were glad to get to the end of the downhill around noon. The trail could be pretty steep at times and it was hard on our knees and toes. Also, once we got down to our low spot for the day, there was a restaurant where we stopped and had a pizza and tiramisu. It was nice to have a break in the shade, since it had gotten really hot.
The afternoon had us gaining back a lot of the elevation we had lost in the morning. We had a mix of really pleasant hiking and really steep (and luckily short) stretches. We often see stacks of firewood near farms that we walk by, but this afternoon on a small dirt road, we saw stacks of firewood that went on for probably a quarter mile! It would appear that locals have massive stoves, as the firewood we have seen throughout Slovenia is cut into lengths exceeding 3’. Many of the Koča (mountain huts) have very large ceramic stoves in the main dining room. Of course, it was too warm during our visit to Slovenia to see these in action.
Our hut tonight is off trail. It is a bit surprising that it is a recommended hut on the route, since it is about a 30 minute walk off trail. But, it was a really nice, quiet hut, with good food and a really nice view. The hut is accessible by road, so there were locals there enjoying dinner or a drink. It gave the hut a very friendly feeling.
When we got to the hut, we had a cold drink and then took quick showers. It feels so good to be able to clean up after a very hot, sweaty and sticky day like today.
We ate dinner outside (gnocchi with cream sauce and goulash, plus a mixed vegetable salad). We were so excited to see the bowls of fresh veggies, as they are a rarity in the huts. Given all the vegetable gardens we walk by, it is surprising how few vegetables we’ve actually eaten in Slovenia.
We feel pretty exhausted today after a full day of walking in the high heat. We have one more day on the trail before we stop hiking and head to the coast for our final few days in Slovenia.