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July 1st 2019
Published: July 1st 2019
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16th June to 21stJune

We came on a three week holiday to Slovenia six years ago in our first campervan. It was during that trip that I decided to take the leap from having a permanent job to picking up ad hoc work in between doing some travelling.

I loved Slovenia then and being back has reminded me why. The scenery is stunning everywhere you look. Even the more industrial towns look beautiful sitting in lush green valleys with a backdrop of wooded hills and grey jagged mountain peaks.

We spent our first couple of nights in Slovenia in Camping Menina in Varpolje, east of the Julian Alps. We spent a day doing some cycling through picturesque villages before moving on to Camp Danica at Bohinjska Bistrica. It was a bit of a revelation when realised we had been here before. Neither of us had any recollection of the campsite but at least I remembered Bohinjsko Lake with its picturesque church and the walk we had done which is more than John could!! (Luckily I have my dementia – sorry, photo books on my laptop to jog my memory). As usual, we did some walking and cycling. Our first cycle ride / walk was a waterfalls walk up the Voje Valley and Mostnica Gorge where the crystal clear Mostnica river has carved deep channels and interesting shapes into the limestone. The trail starts from the village of Stara Fuzina which sits on the east shore of Lake Bohinjsko and was once a thriving iron production town (which is hard to believe given how rural and sleepy it looks today) and culminates at lovely waterfall. Our second walk was a little more strenuous up to the Oroznova Kovca mountain hut at 1346 metres. The path was steep and the day was hot. By the time we reached the hut I was convinced that the water bag in my rucksack had leaked, my back was so wet! As a result, we decided to have a gentler day for our third walk / cycle ride and after cycling to the lake, spent a leisurely few hours walking around it stopping off on the bank of the river Savica at the most westerly point of the lake to have a paddle and our lunch.

22nd June to 26th June

It was forecast rain for the next couple of days so we decided to move on to Kranjska Gora on the other side of the Triglav National Park from Bohinjska. We know we stayed there on our previous trip but couldn’t remember what the campsite was called. This time we opted for Camping Spik which had amazing views of the mountains and didn’t exist when we were last here. We enjoyed more walking and cycling but kept it fairly low level due to the heat. We cycled to Italy and back on one of the days…..

27th June to 1st July

We are now in Austria. We stayed a couple of days in the Eastern Tyrol at Matrei in Osttirol. To avoid the soaring temperatures, we took the cable car up to 2000 metres to enjoy a cool breeze and do some walking. We climbed up the Blauspitze (Blue Peak) where the rock really is blue (I think it’s granite). The last part of the walk was a bit of a scrabble with a narrow ridge to traverse. On the way down, we took a zig zag path that crossed a snow field. I was a little behind John as he strode on in front so had a really good view as halfway across he slipped and slid downhill on his bottom until the snow ran out. He ate his lunch in his undies trying to dry his shorts out – one way of keeping cool.

The area is all part of the Hohe Tauren National Park and we had visited the Park headquarters in Matrei to find out more and take advantage of their air conditioning the previous day. We learnt that the area has more than 300 peaks above 3000 metres high and our walk gave us great views of these including Austria’s highest mountain Grossglockner.

We left Matrei on Saturday and travelled north via the 5 km long Felbertauern Tunnel, through Kitzbuhel and on to Walchsee in the Kaiserwinkl area, not far from the German Border. We have stayed at this campsite before but didn’t have time to enjoy the area so promised we would come back some day. The campsite is by lake and has its own bit of lakeside “beach”. The temperature of the lake is advertised as between 20 and 24 degrees so it was very pleasant to cool off (only the second time my bikini has got wet). Yesterday the area was taken over by the Walchee Challenge (half-triathlon). We set off on our walk as the first wave of competitors started the 1.9 km swim. We finished our walk as competitors were still completing the cycling (90 km) and the running bit (21.5 km). By this point, the temperature was in the mid 30’s and we were struggling just to walk round the lake never mind run round it four times. Our GB entrant, Emma Pallant did very well and came second in the Women’s race. Back at the campsite, we dropped our rucksacks at the van, changed into our bathers and after a dip in the lake watched the last of the runners stagger by as we lay in the shade.

This will be my last blog post. We are off to Germany tomorrow to somewhere near Nuremberg. Our ferry is booked for 9th July so we still have a week to get to Calais. If anything exciting happens between now and then, I can tell you all about it when I see you next. See you all soon.

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3rd July 2019

Very informative blogs Heather and a great read. Can’t believe your road trip is nearly over. Safe journey home, see you soon xx

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