The 101 km Highlander Slovenia Trek Adventure trek took place over 5 days in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. The Highlander Adventure format remained the same while the characters and varied landscape made it one more notch on my list of great fun adventures.
The adventure starting point was the climbing wall on the outskirts of the postcard perfect village of Bohinj. The trek then pretty much followed the Soca River upstream through the Triglav National Park to finish at the Kobarid campsite 5 days later. Along the way much fun, beer and sweat was experienced.
But before we begin lets touch on some logistical details.
Visit the Maps&Facts page for GPS routes, accommodation, etc.
Highlander Montenegro Trek Costs
Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $$
|4 Nights, 5 Days (meals, park fees, local transport included)
Price is cheaper if you register for an event early. Link Maps & Facts details.
Day 0 of the Highlander Slovenia Trek Adventure
I used public transport to reach the outdoor lovers lake and village of Bohinj by taking an hourly bus from the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Rather than staying at a campground before 5 nights of tent life, I opted for the Hostel Pod Voglom (great value, on the lake, (at a bus stop) that offered lots of outdoor options, gear, great free breakfast, a comfortable bed and shower. All for a very reasonable price.
Day 1 of the Highlander Slovenia Trek Adventure
After a massive (included) breakfast I walked back to the Highlander starting point on the edge of Bohinj village where I did the usual check in process, sorted through the large quantity of supplied food (most of which I gave back) and then waited for the 10 Am starting gun.
At past Highlander events we were discouraged from starting before the official starting bell but not so for this event, perhaps because 150 registered participants might be unwieldy? In any event, at 10 Am the departing group was quite small (maybe 30-40 people). I started at the front of the group and began my normal dance of filming from the front until a group passed me and then I hoofed it back to the front and repeated the process until tired enough to drop to a following group then repeating the process.
Days 1 & 2 Video.
The first half of the day was made up of easy valley village and farm track walking before starting a long pretty steep ascent of the small Julian mountain range. Make no mistake, winding your way up a mountain with a backpack full of gear is always a sure way to sweat buckets and curse the heavens, but by mid-afternoon I was over the hump (second pass) and the descent to checkpoint 1 camp was within easy reach.
|Jump to Day 2
|Jump to Day 3
|Jump to Day 4
Camp 1 was a very small private field for our tents and a barn for administration (trek passport stamp and food distribution) and watering (beer available for a price). That night included some planned activities (Meet & Greet, Yoga, Nature Talks, etc.) but mostly people ate, drank or went to sleep early.
Day 2 of the Highlander Slovenia Trek Adventure
I broke camp late the following day (around 10 Am) because of my isolated location. It turned out that people started breaking the camp around 4.30 Am which set of a chain reaction, leaving the campground mostly empty by the time I showed up. I wasn’t concerned since I prefer a quiet morning and am not a early bird.
The first quarter of the day consisted of regaining lost altitude (which I hate doing) and then a lovely forest traverse before a long high horizontal track that skirted a number of steep ravines. This section reminded me of treks in the Dolomite’s (skinny trails cut into the side of rocky mountains with shear drops and no alternate tracks) and included some hear-thumping via-ferrates (steal cable runs). In fact much of the train was created and maintained by the Italian military in WWI, just like the Dolomite’s.
By late afternoon I reached a the first track split since noon and exited downhill to reach a cabin, dirt road and Checkpoint 2 camp. And then it started to rain in earnest. The rain did not dampen the cheer as free beer continued to flow and fellow trekkers trickled in until late in the day.
Day 2 Photo
Dinner consisted of lots of provided meals, beer and snacks and then I retired to my semi-dry (and isolated) tent for the night.
Day 3 of the Highlander Slovenia Trek Adventure
I broke my wet camp late on day 3 (it had during the night) and then returned to the ridgeline trail for a 3-hour leaf carpeted forest ascent to another mountain pass. Fortunately, this stretch of the route as less severe and well sheltered from the sun. Once over the top we were treated to locally made cheese and then the winding and gradual descent back down to the village of Tolmin and a campsite on a tributary or the Soca River began.
Day 3 Photos
Dinner consisted of an unlimited supply hot Jotta (a steaming cabbage soup with a boiled sausage), just what the tired trekker needed. The site also provided a solution to the modern trekkers dilemma of recharging the mobile phone (which I use in Airplane mode for navigation with the Locas App). Yoga was also provided for those who could still move aching limbs.
Days 3-5 Video.
Day 4 of the Highlander Slovenia Trek Adventure
I slept out under the stars and as a result was awoken around 4.30 AM as an early group of trekkers left camp and walked past my isolated spot along the trail. Why people leave before sunup was beyond me. I shrugged and went back to sleep and broke camp at the more respectable hour of 8 Am.
The route followed the lovely Soce River upstream and provided numerous scenic spots for impromptu breakfast and coffee breaks before another long, winding and endless ascent to a pass that provided water and a break before more ascent (but a bit more casual) to reach the high mountain road pass of Pot Miru with outstanding high mountain views.
Day 4 Photos
The route then provided 3 winding options, 2 by road and one along a ridgeline trail that followed old military mountaintop outposts and then a winding descent to Checkpoint 4 camp on the Livek village soccer field as storm clouds gathered.
After a brief snack I checked the weather predictions and opted to move on towards the next days objective with the intention of camping in the shelter of the forest rather than in the open, which turned out to be quite prudent.
Day 5 of the Highlander Slovenia Trek Adventure
That night turned out to be wicked and impressive. It rained hard most of the night with thunder and lightning waking me multiple times. But like all mountain storms, the follow up was refreshing and serene.
I broke camp early for the first time and headed to the final checkpoint and finish line at the campsite on the rafting/kayaking canyon section of the Soce outside of Kobarid village.
Day 5 Photos
It turned out I was early. The Highlander administrative showed up around 10 AM well hung-over (I guess the rain the previous night had not dampened the party spirit). They did my closing paperwork and then gave me the promised ride to back to civilization (the tiny train station). As the sun shone I smiled and hopped onto a small train that gave me access to the rest of the world.
|Jump to Day 1
|Jump to Day 2
|Jump to Day 3
Want to watch the ruff-cut (long version) videos?
Visit the GPS tracks page for a list of GPS tracks that you can download (zipped) for use on your phone. Visit my adventure mobile apps (which include limited mapping and GPS features) or the Android Lotus app for more robust real-time GPS navigation.
Link back to How-to post
LivioBestulic.com the catch-all site.