I’ve always loved to roam the mountains of eastern Serbia, ever since I was a kid. This vast space of mostly uninhabited wilderness is a sanctuary for all the freedom lovers who want to lose all connections with modern civilization and it’s set of rules, to escape absolute surveilance and endless “do’s and dont’s”. Actually, this is one of the few places in Europe where you still have large chunks of land that are completely out of mobile range, so you can really lose the faintest idea what is happening in the outside world. A world war could start, and you might well not realise it before it’s over!
When mountains in the central part of the Balkans start having freezing temperatures at night in the autumn, it’s time to head south, to the warm, meditteranean part of the peninsula. That is exactly what we do every year in the Balkans Wild Tracks tour. This is the adventure we’ve experienced between October 20th and November 5th in Greece, Albania, Macedonia and Serbia.
What is owning a 4×4 vehicle all about? Offroad racing? Certainly not (at least not for us). The purpose of having an offroader is, in my opinion, in being able to reach some remote, hardly accessible places deep in the wild, where you’re certain that nobody would bother you in a million years, and enjoy them with your friends. And the confluence of Perast and Tisnica rivers at the border of Kučaj and Homolje mountains in eastern Serbia, is one of such places. A real heaven on earth, a hideout for those who know how to get there.
After the experience with the “winter tour” in April last year we wanted the beginning of the springtime season of Rustika Travel tours to be a true springtime event, with minimum risk of snow, and lots of mud and a chance to watch the nature sprouting and waking up after the winter sleep. So we decided to make it in the lower mountains of northeast Serbia, where the risk of late winter conditions wasn’t so great like in the higher mountains. And it turned out we managed to hit the point – the tour was a 100% success! 😎
Serbia is sort of a newcomer to the European adventure travel market – having fewer mountains higher than 2000 m than the surrounding countries, it was always regarded as less attractive and less wild by enthusiasts. But is it really so?
When talking to our friends abroad about coming over for an offroad tour in Serbia, we often come accross misconceptions – “facts” which are exactly the opposite from what the situation really is, but which make people hesitant about coming to Serbia very strongly. In this article I’d like to address the most common ones. Most of them, actually, are security related – and all of them are utterly unfounded. Some are connected to the recent political developments, and some are misconceptions that date decades into the past. Ok, lets go!
The thing that makes eastern Serbia so special is the fact that it’s one of the few remaining sparsely inhabited wildernesses in Europe. It’s the kind of place that you’re dreaming about when you want to break all your ties with everyday life and find silence and unspoiled nature somewhere. And freedom, yes, that is the key factor. Because, unspoiled nature throughout Europe is in most places actually spoiled by guards, cameras, rules, which are there to, allegedly, “protect” that nature, but actually keep reminding you of the things you want to forget about. And you every move is closely monitored. But not in eastern Serbia, no. You can really wander for days there without meeting a single human being, without being forced to obey any regulation or rule, except the natural, logical ones. You can really forget about the place where you’ve come from. You can be relaxed, and FREE. Continue reading Through the wilderness of eastern Serbia→
Nature is changing faster than we can imagine. A forest trail that we once passed can be lost overnight due to a landslide, or deteriorate beyond usable state very fast due to excessive vegetation growth or fallen trees after extreme storms. If not regularly used, a forest trail can become unrecognizable and completely disappear in less than 5 years. So a collection of GPS tracks is only good if it’s made up of regularly inspected, and updated trails.
One of the first thoughts we stumble upon when we look at our Jeep is that we’re looking at our tool for the perfect escape, our ticket to freedom, our chance to get away from it all – the toy we use to get wherever we want, whenever we want. To get away from all the rules, restrictions, control, the noise, the hassle, the ever ringing mobile phones and other gadgets. Hm, isn’t that a great idea? Finding places with no mobile reception, getting a chance to listen only to the birds, streams and the wind? 😉 Knowing that the holy silence cannot be interrupted as long as you don’t interrupt it yourself? But how do you find such places?
Kada pasioniranog ofroudera bacite u Karpate, to je kao da ste ljubitelja slatkiša pustili u fabriku čokolade. To je nesagledivo ogroman prostor visokih planinskih venaca koji se nadovezuju jedni na druge bez prestanka. Moćni huk planinskih reka uz brojne vodopade, travnati grebeni koji se protežu do horizonta, beskrajne četinarske šume, planinska jezera, a sve to naizgled bez kraja i početka. Ukoliko se previše zanesete u svojoj istraživačkoj pasiji lako vam se može desiti da vam gorivo stigne na rezervu i naprasno shvatite da u krugu od 100 km vazdušne linije oko vas ne postoji nijedna benzinska stanica. Zato su u Karpatima za vlasnike benzinaca sa plinom oba napunjena rezervoara obavezna, a za ostale – kantica sa rezervnim gorivom na krovu.