I am very fortunate to have Adriaan allow me to use his beautiful house in Srednja vas in Bohinj and this weekend, I was supposed to finally take him up on the offer and have company over. But as they say, ever so wisely, “uzdaj se u se i u svoje kljuse” (i.e. only ever rely on yourself and on your horse). I decided I’d go anyway -alone – and have a great time. Saturday morning, after a lovely walk around the Ljubljana market, dragging pounds upon pounds of healthy wholesome, mainly organic foods home for myself and my grandmother, I set out to Bohinj and found myself wishing Gorenjska motorway had been finished.

At the house, I made myself at home, had a quick snack and did some work on my laptop (I know, I know). At least I didn’t manage to operate the TV properly. I think that had something to do with my sub conscience telling me to take a break. Twix? no, but I totally pigged out on Adriaan’s sweets in the pantry. Whoops. Feeling rather guilty and, not surprisingly, charged with energy, decided to walk the 3.6 km to the lake.

Working in the Field
Working in the Field

Interesting things happen when you actually walk, not bike or drive in a car. You get to talk to people along the way. We’re social animals, n’est-ce pas? A lady in Stara Fužina told me all about her family history and complained about all her neighbours’ houses being bought by Ljubljana folks so she has nobody to talk to anymore. Anyone looking for material for a novel, go talk to this lady. A hint: she was named after an angel as she puts it.


The lake was shining in all its splendour after the short spout of rain. I decided to rent a boat and rowed to the other side, enjoying the views and the sunshine. Oh, and the singing coming from two boats filled with joyful Italians.

At Lake Bohinj
rowing on the lake

At Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj from Boat

Back at home, I was still full from all the sweets I’d eaten, but surprisingly now able to operate the TV perfectly. Did some more work on the computer, had a lovely chat with Adriaan and Mattie (don’t you love Skype) and planned out Sunday’s trip into the mountains. Packed the rucksack and such. Suddenly realised I’d brought the wrong rucksack and my mountain-walking stuff was left at home. Well, that was not going to stop me. If I had to walk in my Nike running shoes so be it.

Rise and shine! I was at Koča pri Savici at 6.30 am. Absolutely nobody was around. The night before, I was told I’d have to turn left to go to Komna instead of the waterfall. So ok, I tried left, but turned out wrong after I’d walked for 15 minutes. Returned and went towards the waterfall… whereupon I had to immediately turn left (a big sign) towards Komna. Well, that was a sign of things to come.

Climbing Komna
Climbing Komna

Climbing Komna
further up

The walk up to Komna brought back so many memories of going to the mountains with my grandparents. I saw several rabbits, but seeing a chamois from up close, effortlessly treading a non-existent track in what looked like a vertical rock was inspiring. The walk proved quite easy and at a medium pace, stopping to take photos, munch on an apple or pumpkin seeds, I reached the top in under two hours.

Climbing Komna
Yippie, on the top of the World… or Komna at least

Climbing to Komna
Flowers at Komna cabin

Not feeling at all weary, I decided to continue on towards Krnsko jezero. I passed Koča pod Bogatinom, taking the time to go see the monument erected in honour of victims of World War I. The path towards the Bogatin pass offers wonderful views and is surrounded by beds of Alpine flowers whose beauty takes my breath away.

Towards Krn Lake
On my way to Krnsko jezero / Lake Krn

Such diversity and such power of life. From the pass, a poorly marked path leads toward Krnsko jezero through grass fields sprinkled with flowers and some rocky slopes.

Bogatin Pass
Alpine meadows

Climbing to Komna

Pretty or what

Reached the Bogatin pass in no time.

Bogatin Pass
Bogatin pass

Not all that pretty. Picked up quite a few of these things and brought them off the mountain. Put them in the garbage bin where they belong!

I ran into a group of people worryingly asking me whether they were on the right way towards Komna. Interesting, in light of the events to follow. When descending, I was first deeply disappointed at the size of the lake, but it thankfully turned out to be a miniature thingy and the actual lake was another couple of minutes’ walk away.

Je še daleč, ata Smrk?
Sign at Bogatin cabin: Bohinj Tito



I like flowers, have you noticed?

Lake Krn

Lake Krn
Krnsko jezero / Lake Krn

Taking five to relax, drink some more water and eat some of my waybread (lembas, Lord of the Rings reference), I saw dark clouds forming and decided to hurry back home. I could be having a well-deserved meal at 4 pm already. Not a bad idea. Nope, not at all. So off I went, fast pace, not tired at all. Reached the old stone barracks again and took some more photos.

Karavla / Barracks

Also took photos of those dark clouds on my tail. And picked up the pace some more.

Mountain clouds
Dark clouds on my tail

If my calculations were right, I was going to reach the pass in 10 minutes. I kept on climbing and climbing. But suddenly, none of it looked familiar anymore. I didn’t recognise the path or the landscape and there were no mountain marks to be found. Panic! Actually, I was sure I was still on the right path just a couple of minutes before. I ran back down. But I guess I ran in the wrong direction. Alenka and sense of direction. Those who know me well will understand. I rely on my Garmin toy. I had thought of packing it in the bag, but decided not to. Never again will it leave my side!

Waybread a.k.a. spelt bread

I sat down, drank some water, ate the last of my magic bread (actually it’s organically produced spelt bread with dried tomatoes, but it really does the trick) and started working methodically. I took each of the paths I could see and all of them were wrong. Then I decided to climb on top of a hill to get a better idea of where I was. Well, that didn’t help since I hadn’t been in the mountains in 15 years. Oh and the mobile phone was not picking up any signal. OK. I got out my compass. At least I wouldn’t be walking in circles. I decided on south and… lo and behold, after a while, I found myself looking at what could only be the beautiful Soča valley towards Tolmin. And, the mobile phone picked up Tolmin’s signal. As it had started raining a while ago, it was no time to be proud. I called my father and told him I was lost, then called 112 who patched me through to mountain rescue. I told the man where I’d been and what I was looking at now. Apparently, I made a turn right instead of left at a certain point and that I climbed to Bogatin and then the other side towards the south. Then – the cell phone’s battery died. Oh great. I was there with no safe path I could see, it was raining and there was no cell phone to boot. Sitting under a huge rock sheltering me from the rain and wondering at the beauties of Soča valley, I started imagining the helicopter coming to rescue me, then the rescue guys and my father yelling at me for wearing my Nikes. At least I had a slight idea of where I was since I could see Tolmin. OK, if I’d made the wrong turn to the right and should have gone left, and since Bohinj is northeast of Tolmin, I’d trust my compass and try to find a path towards the northeast. After a little while and walking where I’d been three times before and then going towards what looked absolutely wrong to me, I still followed the compass and two and a half hours since going off the right track, I was at the mountain pass I’d been looking for! It turns out I’d been walking so fast in fear of the rain that I reached it much before I thought I would and I automatically just kept climbing and climbing towards the heights. IT DOES NOT HELP THAT THE PATH IS POORLY MARKED. I managed to get the cell phone to work just long enough to send a short message to the rescue guys saying “Found it.”

Wrong Turn
This is where I took the wrong turn somehow

After five minutes and with the help of prayer I got it to work for another second to send “All OK” to my father. After that, it was definitively, irrevocably, determinedly dead. I picked up the pace some more. I heard a helicopter and wondered if they’d been looking for me on the south side of mount Bogatin.

Before the Rain
Before the rain

I was walking/jogging and reached Komna in record time. There I ran into a group of girls with the loveliest border collie that turns out to be sired by my friend’s “Izzy”. Back to the story, though, they let me use a cell phone so I could call home and tell them I was OK in more than a two-mini-word-sms. Thanks, guys!

The rain really started in earnest, but I opted to ignore it and descend. The way from Komna to Savica is very well-marked and, as I said, an easy walk. I was down in no time, dreaming of a hefty meal to reward my muscles for all the work they’d done. When I reached my car at 6.30 pm, I was soaked and just ever so slightly cold. Drove to Srednja vas, changed clothes, called the mountain rescue guys to thank them properly and apologize for the inconvenience (yep, that helicopter *was* looking for yours truly) and went to the restaurant recommended by Adriaan – “Pri Hrvatu”. Where the kind landlady lent me her hairdryer (waist-long hair, remember!). I’d been trying out this detox / fasting thing that basically means going vegan for a while, but that was it, I needed some real protein. After a delicious hot mushroom soup thickened with buckwheat I finally stopped shivering with cold. Then a thick medium rare steak really hit the spot. In my thoughts, I thanked the cow from whom it came.

Well, like my friend Pat says, other than that, I don’t know very much.

First, I thank Adriaan for letting me use his house. I had a great time and will go up there again for sure! I thank Šmarna gora for keeping me fit enough to walk in the mountains for 12 hours straight with maybe 30 minutes’ rest in total. I thank the mountain rescue people for being there for us all. I thank my Nike running shoes for taking all the abuse so valiantly. Last but not least, I thank my mother whose spirit I am sure helped me through this whole ordeal. Love you, mom.

PS: I apologize for the poor photo quality. I’m collecting donations for a proper camera 🙂