I had not been looking forward to this last challenge of the trek. And it lived up to its reputation, with myriad switchbacks and trails that were so narrow that faster hikers could not easily pass me.
Sometimes there is that place that just takes your breath away–you have to pinch yourself to believe you are really there!
Because of the steep valley walls, it was difficult to build one fortress to encompass each village, so individual defense towers (called “koshki” by locals) were built within villages.
The next thing we knew, we were climbing straight up. This was, by far, the steepest climb of the whole trip, with tiny hand- and toeholds. The trail was sketchy at best…
Becca and I were getting hiking weary. The steep daily ups and downs were taking their toll on our knees and feet.
We started out walking uphill on the road out of Milishevc. Then we had to climb a steep hill with no real trail—just using our GPS to get us up to the main trail. Even then, the trail was non-existent in places, and we had to rely on GPS and the occasional Peaks of the Balkans trail markers.
This was the longest stage so far….We enjoyed long easy walks up and down along ridges and over some low passes from one valley to another.
Today, as we had expected, was easier overall. There was an easy uphill until about the halfway point. Then we had lovely rolling hills and ridges to traverse for the rest of the day. There were no real hurdles.
It was not without some trepidation that we started out on our Peaks of the Balkans circuit … We knew that our choice to go over the Prolipsit and Borit passes would test our strength—almost 20 kilometers with an elevation gain of 1422 meters.
We decided to start our journey in the small town of Valbona, then hike counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise for my British friends) around the trail circuit ending in Theth.
Eliff led me to the bath chamber where hot water was run into large basins. We could temper the water with a cold tap if we wanted to. But you want to use it as hot as you can stand.
Varlaam was indeed a fascinating place. The museum there provided an excellent opportunity to learn not only the history of the Meteora Monasteries, but also to learn about the way of life
While researching a different trip … I came across some articles about the monasteries of Meteora in Central Greece. Not only do they have a fascinating history, but being precariously perched on the tops and sides of cliffs, they compel visitors to examine them more closely.
This post accompanies my LIVE YouTube broadcast on 28 March 2021 about my explorations of Arequipa and the Lake Titicaca area of Peru.
the Russians moved away. And, they did something inexplicable, but very common to humans—they burned their homes. The only people left were the ethnic Kyrgyz people, and slowly the village began to die.
I confess, before last Christmas, I did not even know there was a country named Krygyzstan.
I had time to take one hike on the Isle of Barra in the southern Hebrides and it was another of one of those occasions when I could not believe the place in which I had found myself.
As I prepare for probably 10 miles today, I am looking forward to the walking. If someone were to say that it was time to stop, I would rebel. I am not read to quit. Will I feel the same when I get to Santiago? Or Finisterre?
David, the hospitero, greeted me warmly, and unlike in most albergues who begin the registration process right away, he said, “First things first…Sit down. Would you like tea? Café? He asked where I was from, how my day was and I felt like he was truly interested. I ended up in a room of four beds by myself.
I spent the entire day walking through the exhibits showing the living quarters, spinning machinery, children’s living conditions, the non-profit company store, and today’s working spinning mill making the New Lanark Wool Yarn.
I enjoyed visiting Centro Textil Llank’ay the most. The women were very welcoming and since we were the only customers, we had a nice visit with them. One talented young woman was knitting a very fine chullo (hat) and manipulating three colors of yarn which she ran around the back of her neck.