Entering Kučaj mountains
Day four took place in the bordering area between the Homolje and Kučaj mountains, more on the Kučaj side. It started with a spontaneous addition to the plan, which turned out to be a fantastic revelation – a trail along the upper part of the Tisnica stream valley. Crossing the stream from side to side all the time, and driving along the stream in places, in 3 kilometres it led us to a great scenic site – the place where the Perast river joins Tisnica, forming beutiful cascades and waterfall. We couldn’t resist going for a hike here, taking photos of all that beauty. It was followed by a visit to another natural stone arch, Samar, which is situated a few kilometres up the Perast stream.
Our next goal was the Straža peak, quite a demanding, rocky climb. Except for being, with a height of 1256 m, one of the two highest peaks of the Kučaj mountains, it’s a great scenic view, making it possible to see far into Homolje, Stol and Veliki Krš mountains to the north, Beljanica to the west, as well as the attractive pyramidal shape of Rtanj to the south. We always use an opportunity to make a picnic there, and March 30th 2016 certainly was no exception.
Our next stop was the Buk waterfall – a majestic system of cascades which, unfortunately, exists only in springtime, and in times of heavy rainfall. In the summer it is completely dry, so this was a great chance to see it in all it’s beauty, which we couldn’t resist.
We had to cut this day short to drive to Bor, in order to repair Marko’s close encounter with a rock as much as possible – his steering stabilizer was definitely broken, but the steering bar could be straightened to make the handling more acceptable for the remaining part of the tour. Aca the mechanic did a great job, and while we waited for him to finish, again there was an interesting encounter with the local culture in the nearby pub.
Lazar’s canyon and Mikulj rock
On day five of the tour the warm, summer like days were obviously in full swing. Short sleeves from the very morning, and a relaxed ride to Lazar’s cave, the longest cave in Serbia, and the majestic Lazar’s canyon, the most attractive one in Serbia. Unfortunately, the cave was closed for tourists due to some work going on, but there was another treat for the group – a visit to another nearby cave, Vernjikica, which turned out to be their strongst cave impression of all the three caves they visited. No wonder – many regard Vernjikica as Serbia’s most beautiful cave. And the approaching trail grants many great views of the canyon.
This was only the beginning of the long journey across the eastern part of Kučaj mountains, which led to encountering more incredible places, such as the Mikulj rock with the Novi Stjenik monastery directly underneath it, or the Velika Brezovica plains, with a length of about 3,5 km the largest karst plains of Kučaj. In the meantime, we’ve crossed several streams, had quite some mud fun, and stopped many times for photographing and filming.
Crossing Kučaj, Serbia’s largest uninhabited area, is really and incredibly strong experience. The sheer beauty of the desolate landscape, where you can drive for tens of kilometres without meeting anyone, gives a special feeling of being much further from civilization than we actually are. And the fact that there are no strict rules, watchers or cameras, gives you an irreplacable feeling of true freedom, that’s so rare in Europe these days.