Day 53: When Horses Attack

The truck is still stuck outside the hut when we wake up and it looks like the guys are sleeping in the cab. We use the small stove in the hut to make coffee, eat a quick breakfast, and head out. The scenery today is gorgeous once again. We walk through rolling hills framed by jagged mountain peaks that seem so close. After a few miles we turn off the gravel road to a nicely marked and maintained trail that first leads through the forest then ascends up to a beautiful ridgeline. From there we climb to the top of a mountain, Maglic (another Maglic, but this one is in Montenegro, not Bosnia). It’s a steep climb but the views from the top are worth it. This is the last mountain we will climb in Montenegro and we take a break at the top, gazing out at the rugged peaks of Albania. We can’t believe the trail is almost over, just over 40 miles to go, which means we’ll probably finish in two days. Crazy!

Express approaching Maglic

Dancing? at the top of Maglic

After descending Maglic we reach Rikavacko Lake. It’s early, barely 1:00, but we decide to stay and hang out at the lake and camp here tonight before crossing into Albania tomorrow. The lake is surrounded by mountains and also lots of grazing sheep, cattle, and horses. We find a nice spot next to the lake and jump in, the water is perfect! We unpack our bags, do some lake laundry and lay everything out to dry. Just as I lay down and start relaxing a couple horses start walking towards us. We think they’re just going to pass by, but they stop and start licking and chewing and slobbering on all our gear. It’s so annoying and they won’t leave us alone, they’re stomping all over everything. We try to shoo them away but they’re relentless. I’m so mad and frustrated, I don’t know anything about horses—is this normal behavior? I’ve always had a strange fear of horses and I’m really nervous and uncomfortable with this aggressive behavior. We finally manage to pick up all our stuff and move away from the horses to a different side of the lake where there’s less grass and luckily they don’t follow.

The culprits

After an hour or so we hear thunder in the distance and can see a storm approaching. There’s an open-air covered porch structure near the lake that seems unoccupied, so we head over to take cover as we start to feel raindrops. It’s clearly either someone’s home or maybe weekend hangout, but no one’s around and we figure they’d understand that we were talking cover from the storm. We hang out under the shelter while the storm passes and then set up our tents on the grass nearby. Our last night in Montenegro!

Treehouse shelter

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