Day 2 / Skofja Loka-Ratitovec

Today, the second day of the trek, was a tough one. After seeing the mountains in the distance yesterday, I thought it would be easy to reach my first mountain goal within a day: the sub-alpine massif of Ratitovec.

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The beautiful, storm-ravaged (and unmapped) path that ended in the river

Well, not quite. It was further than I thought (the GPS recording at the end of the day said 31km) and most of the way was gruelling roadside trekking. Fun with cars. The blisters on my heels from the first day gave me quite a bit of grief. The midday heat was considerable.

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On the road again… My afternoon goal in the distance

Heading out from my campsite above Skofja Loka, down into the valley, seeking to avoid the main highway, I could only find footpaths along the river for a few short stretches. One ended at a ford in the river where the water was so deep it flooded my boots. In hindsight, I should gave gone through barefoot. The river water in the boots didn’t make them any lighter, and was particularly bad for the blisters!

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One of the many reminders of the partisans who gave their lives to defeat fascism

The afternoon climb, from 450 to 1650 metres was nicer however, even though physically it was tough. I realise I prefer accents to flat trekking. Above the last hamlet, the landscape suddenly became rugged, with the narrow path leading up through a small boulder-filled valley and up to an alpine pasture. The view from up here is spectacular.

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Last hamlet on the way; the summit looks closer than it was

I’m spending the night in a refuge up here, to have a warm meal, get a bit clean again, dry the boots, and particularly tend to these sore feet. Seems I’m the only guest here tonight.

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From near the top

Just a tip for those who don’t know: Slovenia is an absolute little gem of a country. Ljubljana is stunning, historic, and cosmopolitan (for its size). The rest is as if someone had rolled some of the best parts of Europe into one small country: a bit of Mediterranean coastline, a chunk of the Alps with craggy peaks and crystal blue lakes, and otherwise endless rolling hills crowned with castles, chapels and quaint villages. The people are friendly and seen open minded. Definitely worth a visit.

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Let’s see what tomorrow brings. I intend it too be a shorter day, down to Bohinj valley and then up the other side onto the Julian Alps.

Everyone have a great day!
Phil

PS: these photos are small because of the roaming charges. Later ones should be bigger.

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