Day 13: Stalak kuća to Krivi Put sklonište

Callum

8:13 am

Just stocked up on water for the day. There’s a well here, but it says ‘Not Drinking Water!’ in big scary red letters so we’re filtering it. Tried to do a pre-filter with the stockings Kris found by the highway but it turns out they’re waterproof. Who knew?

8:34 am

My sock is crinkled under my toe. Not sure if I can be bothered to fix it, but probably should.

8:38 am

Heading off. The hut we were aiming for last night should be an hour away.

Who knew snails could hop?

10:16 am

All this walking through forests is great, but I do miss our cafe stops.

10:22 am / 6.76 km

Made it to Duliba hut – that was a long hour. Started off as nice downhill hiking trails that were soft underfoot, but soon turned to usual mash of forestry roads. It’s humid and there’s lots of insects around, so I’ve got that kind of uncomfortable prickly feeling you get after mowing the lawn. Time to finally eat that pomegranate.

11:03 am

There’s a group of forestry workers here (we’re still at the hut). They’re eating their mid morning snack of bread and grilled meat off of two-inch-thick slabs of wood – who need plates when you have chainsaws? They usher is over for a couple of glasses of vino, and we oblige. Despite the lack of common languages, we always understand wine. As we stand there awkwardly, trying to find a way to communicate, one of them whittles a splinter into a toothpick.

11:08 am

I’m not too sad to have missed this hut. It’s got bunks, sure, but it smells a bit weird and feels a bit soulless. Anyway, time to filter some more water. My head’s buzzing a bit from the wine.

11:17 am

Heading off. Steep climb ahead to the top of Kolovratske Stijene.

11:47 am / 9.92 km

Why is there so much hill?

12:24 pm / 10.97 km

We made it! Path up to the summit actually wasn’t too bad in the end, pretty well maintained hiking trail with a rock climb to finish. And the view up here is nice too – layers of mountains. Kris is singing ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’. Not entirely sure why, but it’s nice.

Kris singing at the summit of Kolovratske Stijene.

12:45 pm

Just met some local hikers on their way to the summit. Apparently not many people come this way – “it is a little pearl”.

1:10 pm / 11.96 km

Decision point. We’ve decided to take the direct, though apparently un-maintained route to Krivi Put (our hut tonight). Wish us luck.

1:14 pm

Accidentally had the phone torch on for a bit and have jettisoned battery. Oops.

Danger noodle.

1:28 pm / 13.22 km

Slightly sad lunch today: rye bread, watercress, green capsicum, cucumber and mustard. We forgot to buy cheese last time we went shopping. No good sandwich should be all green. This so called un-maintained trail is actually fine so far – it’s just roads. Unfortunately we now realise that we have decided to go over the mountain range instead of around it.

2:45 pm

Kris gives me a look that could curdle milk. I have neglected my navigational duties, and now we are about 200 m off course to the left, and about the same downhill. Sad times.

3:27 pm / 18.55 km

Summited another mountain, though I don’t know that this one has a name. Was pretty hard to follow the path up here, though the weather has cleared up and there’s a nice view. I think we’ll try and bypass the next mountain, if we can. Not that I don’t love pointless mountains.

3:46 pm

The ocean! We just went over to the other side of the mountain, and it turns out we’re right by the sea.

4:07 pm

Really beautiful forest through here, but no track to speak of. It’s nice and cool.

4:47 pm

We’ve decided to ditch the official route and take the low road running West of Alino Bilo. It’s actually really nice, with views way out to the islands in the Adriatic.

Looking out to the Adriatic.

4:55 pm

There’s two barking deer further up the hill. They’re incredibly loud for such little things.

5:44 pm

We’re sitting by the road, eating chocolate covered sultanas and trying to figure out what to do. We need to get to the coastal town of Senj to resupply, but there’s no buses or taxis from Krivi Put or anywhere else nearby. Hmmmm. May end up walking 13 km to the coast tomorrow. At least the view here is nice.

6:28 pm / 26.76 km

Just arrived in Krivi Put (literally “Wrong Way”) only to find that the hut, which is actually the top floor of a school, is locked. Damn.

6:35 pm / 26.87 km

Never mind. While I was writing that, Kris managed to get in through what looks like an old stable. It’s super dilapidated in here, with doors off their hinges, plaster on the floor, and piles of random junk in some of the rooms. But if you wrangle your way through a couple of handle-less doors, go up to the second floor, and into one of the rooms, you’ll find a fairly tidy little kitchen with a few bunk beds further on. It’s actually pretty cosy, and the floor doesn’t even feel like it’s about to cave in. There’s also working electricity!

Rooms and rooms of abandoned things.

6:47 pm

Looking at the visitor book, the last guests were in July 2017.

9:49 pm

Just editing what I’ve got so far. We were supposed to make it to the resupply town of Senj tonight, so we had our emergency food for dinner – some packet mushroom pasta which we wrapped in leftover tortillas. It was surprisingly good. We’ll walk down to Senj tomorrow, camp, and call it a half day. I can’t say I’m too upset about spending an afternoon relaxing by the beach.

10:15 pm

Had a bit more of a nighttime explore. This building really is creepy. Everywhere you look there’s piles of clothes, broken furniture, crockery and paintings, as well as other weird stuff like maps, pickled onions and a Gameboy. And then just our one little room which someone has clearly put a lot of effort into cleaning up. It’s a bizarre place, but actually kind of nice. In our one cosy patch I have a strange sense of safety, like being inside during a storm or stepping in a puddle wearing gumboots. Insulated from the chaos. Anyway, I’ve written quite a bit now. Night.

Our cosy corner.


Details

Croatia,

Start and end points: Stalak kuca to Krivi put skloniste (apparently now disused)

Approximate distance: 27 km

Villages: Kivi put

Features: 

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