Daily Miles: 10
Total Miles: 70
Since our day was going to be shorter, we decided to just wake up a few minutes before breakfast. Last night was probably our best night of sleep. The bed was a comfy foam mattress, while the previous huts had only old mattresses where each of the coils and wires could be felt as you lay down.
After breakfast, we packed up and headed out by 8:30am. It was another beautiful day and the air was cool. We have been really lucky with the weather so far…really comfortable temps and only a few sprinkles one day.
We passed through several small cow pastures today. The cows here seem to be the most contented cows we’ve seen. They have an abundance of bright green grass to eat and mostly they seem to just lay around. They are never bothered by us and there hasn’t been one cow that has run away at the sight of us…basically the opposite behavior of all the cows we hike by in the US.
Since we had a shorter day, we took advantage of the time and stopped multiple times to pick blueberries. We didn’t see anyone picking berries today, even though the bushes were flush with ripe berries.
We have come to the decision that these mountains are ruled by ants. The amount of ants here is pretty unbelievable. There are large ant mounds all over the place…it is hard to go twenty feet without seeing an ant hill. And if we stop for more than a few seconds, the ants will start crawling on our shoes and up our legs.
Around mid-morning, we caught up with Leah, the woman from New Zealand, and we all took a break. It was nice to have another hiker to chat with. Our break spot had nice views down to the valleys, full of farms and forests.
We continued on to our first stamp of the day at a hut which was closed. There were picnic tables and we sat down to eat our breakfast sandwiches. Leah showed up a few minutes later, and then the mother/daughter pair showed up shortly before we left. It is fun to get to know some hikers who you see repeatedly. The mother/daughter pair are finishing their section hike tomorrow, but chances are we’ll keep seeing Leah for awhile.
After our sandwich break, the trail was quite nice for the rest of the afternoon. The trail was covered in needles from the red spruce trees and there weren’t any big climbs. We did start to see larches at the end of the day, which always make us smile and remember back to our time hiking with Mountain Man and Gazelle on the PCT in northern WA.
About 15 minutes before we got to our final hut, Koča na Loki, we passed by a cabin with folks out at their picnic table having a drink. They tried speaking Slovenian to us which we didn’t understand and they didn’t understand English, but then we realized one guy knew a bit of German and SweetPea speaks a bit of German, so suddenly a connection was made. They invited us up for a shot of homemade schnapps. It was a pretty entertaining exchange, where there was probably 20% understood on each side, but we all had a good time. The schnapps was very strong and still somehow we managed to get ourselves down the trail.
We got to the hut around 3pm and spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with the other hikers. The hut is currently having renovations done, so only the bunk room is available…a large room with about 30 mattresses. There are six of us here tonight…the five of us who stayed together last night, plus one Austrian guy who is hiking a north/south route that will have him ending in Ljubljana.
For dinner tonight, we had mushroom soup (better than last night’s version) and goulash, plus the obligatory basket of bread. We expected macaroni to be in the goulash, but it was just a tomato-based soup with meat and vegetables…it was definitely Beardoh’s favorite dish of the trip. We also went for desert after seeing someone else eating the blueberry dumplings…so good!