If we ignore the washed out roads, the fallen rocks strewn about the road and the rocks that were currently falling onto the road, threatening our well-being as well as the cars, the drive from Belgrade to Tara National Park was uneventful. And also ignore the monsoon-like rain. It was like standard US highway driving up in the mountains of Serbia, a country that evidently doesn’t have much money dedicated to road maintenance.
Our destination was a chalet in Tara National Park in western Serbia, part of the Vlach mountains that border Bosnia and the Drina River. We successfully avoided any rock collisions and made it to our perfect chalet in the middle of nowhere. It was the best transition from sweaty, humid chaotic Thailand (and our massive journey to Europe). The boys got to cooking our dinner of sausages while we played some intense Uno. Later we added a salad to dinner, for balance.
The following morning we set off on a hike. We set off for a specific hike, following specific markers. The first marker was in front of our chalet. The second marker was about 400 meters away from our chalet, so we were assured we’d
be on the correct trail.
I really didn’t care what trail we were on. We were in crisp air surrounded by flowers, frogs, snow-capped mountains and lake views. Any trail would do. The dog that lived in the main house of our chalet cluster came with us. He led the way in a round-about manner. He’d disappear into some thick forest for 20 min to suddenly emerge and race down a hill to meet back with us. It took me a few hours of hiking to remember we were supposed to be following trail markers but hadn’t seen any.
We weren’t lost. We knew where we were, and we knew where we needed to go. We just didn’t know which trail went to our destination. Maybe that is the definition of lost. Our fearless dog leader didn’t help at all. He was more interested in digging holes. Guess we all deal with stress differently. We slowly found our way back through washed out trails/roads that were harmed in yesterday’s rain.
Ten minutes later and the boys were back at the barbecue. Sun peeks arrived in time for a few games of bocce, and our fearless dog leader
came to check up on us along with two of his other dog friends, one of which was shaggy, liked to hump legs and needed help with flicking ticks off of him. I like dogs, but that farm pup was one I avoided.
I could have easily spent several more days wandering the mountains, searching for frogs and wondering if/when the power was coming back on in the chalet, but Montenegro was calling.
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