2. Music to our ears
“The road up there is very bad”, the lady of the Una National Parc in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) tells us. Music to our ears! Our Troopy is at his best when working through tough terrain, so let’s hit this road.
We arrived in BH the night before and camped in the garden of a friendly family. The toilet of their campsite is still in the building-phase (two man smoking cigarets and discussing where the next stone should be) so we can use the toilet in their house. This is the first glimpse of the friendliness of the BH people. Along the road we greet people and receive thumbs up & genuine smiles in return. It goes beyond the regular “welcome tourists” greetings. It gives a genuine welcome-to-our-country- feeling.
Besides the people, we’re also positively surprised by the BH landscapes. It’s the middle of autumn; the mountains are full or deep red, yellow and orange trees. The main roads often change from asphalt to bumpy and back to asphalt without prior notice, nor obvious reason (to us).
The remains of the war are still visible as well. We see overviews next to the road with (old) mine area information, and wonder whether the many empty and demolished houses along the road are remains from that black, recent, page as well.
Finding a wild camp spot in BH is not too hard; you can park nearly anywhere. Though it’s convenient to find a spot before the night kicks in. At one point we drive to mountain Sator, with limited diesel and the dark about to set in. We drive and drive, a small offroad track, in the middle of a huge dark forest. While it gets darker and we’re not sure how long this road will take before we hit a normal road again, we decide to stop at the first open spot in the forest. Which does not come. The sun is set, the road still bad and the forest gets darker. We check the map again and see a possible open area; we turn left and enter an open plateau between the mountains. We create a camp spot in the middle of an open field and enjoy a bbq and wine. And then a beautiful present from nature: the moon rise. Slowly the moon appears over the open field, creating a beautiful bright light. Impossible to capture on photo. We stare & say nothing for a while. After a freezing night, we experience a view we have never seen before: a completely frozen field, lightened by the sunrise. Another present from nature.
We enjoy the rough landscapes of BH for 2 more days, and then drive to the Montengro border. From a cold and wild BH scenery, to the sunny and warm coastal area of Montenegro. Beautiful bays with stunning old houses, clear water and beautiful views. We also see bars, clubs, party flyers; it feels as the Ibiza vibe is about to kick in here. When we visit Kotor- a beautiful old city- we get overwhelmed by the many tourists (Venice- style) so we decide to drive into the mountains. We find a camp spot – again in the garden of a super friendly family and have dinner with a French couple traveling with their 2 small sons and enjoy a quiet night in our Troopy. Ready to go to Albania! We heard good offroad- stories so let’s hope for ‘music to our ears’ again!