Libinje - Vlaški Grad - Sveto Brdo - Dušice
Velebit Travel Blog› entry 7 of 11 › view all entries
I thought I'd be done with this blog after mountaineering school ended, but decided to keep it up and record my next hiking trips into this wonderful mountain. I figure, there should be many hikers and mountain lovers here on TravBuddy, and that some day their path might lead them to Velebit mountain in Croatia. This blog is for you, dear fellow mountaineers, to give you a glimpse into what you can expect. Nevertheless, be aware that I am just an amateur with a great love for hiking, and that for all important information you should check with experienced guides and the "Velebit" National Park staff.
Today I will tell you about a traditional hike, organized annually by the mountaineering club "Paklenica", Zadar.
We started off in the late afternoon. Five or six cars, carrying about 20 hikers to an area named Libinje. We took the coastal highway northbound (to Rijeka), and in the small village of Modrič turned onto a narrow asphalted road up the hill (right at the sharp left bend). We drove about half an hour or more on a dirt road, which I would recommend for SUVs only. We stopped at an opening with bee hives where we parked our cars, then walked on another dirt road another 15 minutes.
We continued over the plain and reached a spring where we filled up our bottles. Luckily, here the weather wasn't that hot like down on the coast, and with the sun going down it was a great hike. We continued up a steep part heading for the shelter "Vlaški Grad". This whole area is forestless, it's all just grass and stones. The shelter "Vlaški Grad", though, lies in a small forest, between two peaks. Which means, that there seems to be no flat ground, just slopes. The shelter itself is built into a slope with a wooden terrace above a dizzy chasm. There's a fire place outside and a spectacular view over the steep mountains. We had dinner and a rest, and then shortly after 10 p.m. started our hike to Sveto Brdo.
We were blessed with perfect weather! No wind and a mild temperature, and the full moon shining bright above our heads. There was no need for headlamps! We were in a good mood and cheerfully hiked away. Climbing up Sveto Brdo has all kinds of terrain. Flat, up and down and around, through grass, over stones and along not so deep chasms. It was wonderful, with the moonlight! The last leg, though, showed to be very, very steep uphill. Sveto Brdo is shaped like a pyramid with the sides being, well, pyramidal-like steep. An experienced fellow mountaineer boasted he takes about 45 minutes to hike from Vlaški Grad to Sveto Brdo. We took about 3 hours. Once on top, everbody goes "Aaahhhh....!" What a spectacular view! You got the Lika region on the left, and Dalmatia on the right.
Next morning we were woken by the upcoming sun. It was around 4:30 a.m. when the first sunbeams started colouring the sky in pink, and blue, and purple, and.
The plan was to start the descent as early as 7 a.m., but didn't get going untill 9.
We continued, it was constantly downhill now. And what a downhill! Steep, so steep that my toes started to hurt. Naturally, I was slow, putting every step carefully on the slippery grassy and pebbly ground. On top of that, the sun started to burn more and more. It was getting noon, and we were getting away from the fresh high-mountain-air. It took us about 6 hours altogether to get from Sveto Brdo to our cars! Usually, it takes only aboout 3 hours, be we somehow took much longer, blame it on the heat or whatever. Anyway, it was exhausting! Unfortunately, some of us had run out off water, so as we reached Libinje, we had to look for water sources. At Libinje there are some huts shepherds use, and some of them have cisterns you have to search for.
Exhausted we made it to our cars. We couldn't wait to get home and have a shower (or jump into the sea). This last stretch lowered the whole trip, and some of us drove home a little hipped.
This trip was a well learned lesson. For ones, planning our hike we must take into consideration the outer circumstances - weather, terrain, equipment - before our own pleasure - 'I'm having such a great time here, don't wanna walk NOW'. Nature is ALWAYS stronger, the mountain is your master. You are just a little human who needs things to survive. Nature doesn't need anything, especially not to submitt to anyone. Secondly, if your fellow hiker ran out of water, would you give them yours though there's no water source nearby? Think about it.