On the fourth day of our trip around Montenegro in September, Durmitor flushed us out from its mountains.
What to do when it's... snowing in Durmitor?
We woke up at 6 am to the quite unpleasant creaking sounds our shelter was choking out of itself, whipped by the angry wind.
Curious, we peeked outside to feel the shrill cold and see... the snow falling.
We didn't expect that as it was only 23rd of September, so it was just the beginning of the summer ending, isn't it? Of course, we were sitting now at 1800 meters a. s. l. in the middle of merciless mountains, yah, we remembered this. But we were still amazed.
We also thought to ourselves that getting back to civilization would be a bit tricky if snow gathered or ice covered the road. There was a bit to ride to get back down.
But we got back to our sleeping bags and waited, having a one more nap. Usually, the air is the coldest outside around 4 to 5 am. So maybe we could wait, and then the snow will become rain? Or we'll have to wait for the plough.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But this time waiting turned out for good. Or at least not bad let's say.
The weather was crap. The fog intensified and you couldn't see more than few meters ahead. But at least there was just rain and it got a few degrees warmer!
So there wasn't much to complain about. We've got our sweet breakfast to gain a little strength.
We've made some time to write a thank you note in the shelter guest book.
And soon we were packed and ready to run away from the rain showers that the weather forecast was predicting around Durmitor.
But where we should run to? ( ͠°~ °)
Judging from the forecast and common sense - the Kotor Bay, a bay of the Adriatic Sea, seemed to be an interesting choice.
Well, it wasn't said anywhere that there we will be comfortably sunbathing in 30 degrees Celsius, begging sun for mercy. But any warmer air and dryness would do us at this moment.
So since we didn't tie ourselves with any strict travel plan, we headed to Montenegro's south.
You can ride this route with us also here:
Tara Canyon not found
The first thing to do was going back to the civilization aka Zabljak.
Sitting down in the saddle and looking around to see just milky fog, I thought that the views will be quite... well, short.
So it was good that we saw everything we wanted to see on this route yesterday.
Now our road was hung in white space, not traversing a glorious mountain slope.
Only when we've got a little more down, then some landscape started to appear through the clouds.
So for sure, if you want to grasp the whole Tara Canyon and Sušica Canyon on your memory film, then you've got to choose some better weather for that.
Though, on second thought, riding in such different weather conditions has its own hypnotizing atmosphere.
So I usually don't complain about the rain. It's only getting bad when your tent stays wet for days and it's starting to give away some funky odours ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Entering Zabljak was not without some little slippery off-road.
But we like these, don't we? :)
Snapshots from Montenegro's P5 road road not found
In Zabljak we've made all the mundane blah, blah, like getting petrol, food and water, which I will spare you the details of.
From Zabljak there aren't many roads to choose from to get south, to the sea, so naturally we hit the P5 road.
It goes all the way down, covering like 1/3 of the Montenegro's length, to end at the crossing with M18 road.
I would say P5 is an interesting road to ride as it meanders between mountains, has some serpentines and holds points of interest nearby, like Nevidio Canyon, Skakavica waterfalls or viewpoint on Veliko Brdo valley, but... In this huge mass of fog, we couldn't see much. So I don't even have any snapshots that could encourage your desire to ride there.
I will just leave pins on the map for more lucky ones of you ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and hope maybe you'd check them out.
The only thing that we saw in 100% was the Ivica Tunnel - the second-longest tunnel in Montenegro, that digs up through the mountain for over 2 kilometres. But that was hard to miss as you have to ride through it, when you ride P5 (ʘ‿ʘ)
P5 road ends at Jesonovo Polje, where it runs into M18.
More snapshots from Montenegro's M18 road... not found?
M18 leads through a little more flat landscape than P5. It still meanders between the mountain peeks, but a bit smaller.
Things to note about this route is that it passes Krupac Lake and a Fairy Cave (Vilina pećina) (ʘ‿ʘ)
I'm not sure if in the Fairy Cave you can find fairies, because I couldn't find much information about this formation. But as for the Lake for sure there is a nice beach to chill. But, as you may already know, we didn't check it on our own, because it's hard to enjoy any beach when the rain is pouring on you and there are maybe 10 degrees Celsius.
M18 ends up in Niksic - a second-largest city in Montenegro. So if you're into some city-sightseeing, then you may check out the Ramparts Of Onogošt (fortifications from Ottoman Empire time, though originally from 5th century) or the Cathedral Church of St Basil of Ostrog.
We've entered Niksic, but just to pay a visit to a shopping centre (ʘ‿ʘ) You may laugh, but we wanted to get to Kotor Bay, when it's still bright outside and we needed a new SSD drive. The drive that we took with us to back up our videos and pics didn't want to cooperate. So what are you going to do? We gave away some euros and got a new one.
M6 road from Niksic to Vilusi
From Niksic we jumped onto M6 road.
The horizon continues to flatten here.
Again, near Niksic lies Slano Lake and on M6 there's a vantage point to see all its glory, but you see yourself in the pictures that we couldn't spot it through the thick fog (ʘ‿ʘ)
But I'm leaving a pin on the map for you and for us in the future ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The only attraction, we've got on our way at this part of the trip, was some road-works related offroad.
Around Carine M6 runs futher west to Vilusi and the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so we hit P11 to get south.
P11 cuts through Orjen and Lovcen
The fog rose a bit here, so the things got more interesting. We could again see some mountain ridges emerging from the white nothingness.
The road was biting throughout the rocky mountain flesh.
And then again it was opening the view to the vast plains at the mountains feet.
We managed to find some offroady track leading to one of these plains, so we've tried it and made a stop there to rest for a while as the weather was a bit better and the natural surroundings were pretty.
Though the exit from the track was a bit dirty.
The autumnal Kotor Bay on the horizon
The P11 road wriggles somewhat between two mountain ranges (Orjen and Lovcen) straight to the Kotor Bay, so we've made no more changes of direction. We could let the asphalt lead our way.
And soon the waters of the Kotor Bay appeared on the horizon.
Some more serpentines...
We've made it! Cold and wet, but happy!
The weather here wasn't also looking promising. But at least it wasn't raining any more ᕙ(⇀▾↼)ᕗ So maybe we could at least chill at the seashore. So we rode down.
But not to the most popular Kotor or Tivat or other Kotor Bay UNESCO designated medieval towns, visited by many. We chose a small village - Kostanjica.
Camping at the Kotor Bay coast
In Kostanjica we found there's a small camping (Autocamp Dule) sitting right at the coast.
Not close to the coast. Right at the coast.
If we were lucky, we would place a tent with doors opening right at the view on the sea.
Since it wasn't very late, there were only two campers standing near the bathroom, of course, and the rest of the coastline was... empty.
Awesome! Without further ado, we chose our perfect spot and started pitching the tent with this view across the Kotor Bay:
There were some cons, of course.
Unfortunately, there wasn't any even lukewarm water in the shower. :D It was a little pity as it would be awesome to get warm after a cold and rainy ride. But, well, it was anyway all good to have a shower again after a pig day anyway :)
And this inconvenience wasn't so disturbing, because we chose to stay at this camping for one more day to chill and make some laundry. ᕕ(⌐■ᗜ■)ᕗ
The weather was more sunny the next day, but you couldn't say it was hot. Nevertheless, we managed to find a courage to swim a little few times after midday ᕕ(⌐■ᗜ■)ᕗ
So we've spent the day watching the boats coming in and out of the bay, getting cold in the water and then trying to get warm again in the feeble sunlight seeping through not dense, but many clouds.