Cooking on bare rock 
Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 1:00 am
Posted by Administrator
My only visit to the Montenegrin seaside of the late summer lasted only two days and involved only a short period of swimming. I somehow got bitten by a hiking bug, and decided (against sound advice) to go on a day-hike from Kotor to Sv.Stasije via Krstac and the villages(!) of Zalazi, on one of the hottest days of the year, it turns out. Danijel and I set out at 7am and after 4 hours arrived at the top of a relentless climb from the sea to about 1000m, with only occasional shelter. The path was a pony trail zigzagging up a steep mountainside. The second part of the hike involved walking along the ridge parallel to the coastline along an Austro-Hungarian military road, which for a while was wide enough for a car to make the trip. The walk was pleasant for me until we reached the abandoned village of Veliki Zalazi, and we steeply descended into a bowl-shaped valley and picked our way through ruined buildings. The temperature increased in the shelter of the surrounding mountains. I threw up several times before continuing out of the valley up to the next pass. After the village of Mali Zalazi, which was abandoned apart from one homestead, we then started on a two-hour descent to Sveti Stasije, without any water left. It's a recommended walk in general but not at the height of summer, and will need around 10 or 11 hours to complete. There are stunning views over the Bay of Kotor and there are refreshments at Krstac. Perhaps it would be better to try it in the opposite direction.

One of the impressive things about this hike is when you stand by the sea looking up at those mountains and wonder how there could possibly be any path that takes you up to the top, as the sides are so steep and apparently featureless. I omitted to take some pictures from below looking up at the route we came down, but at some point in the past people took it upon themselves to carve a zig-zag trail to supply villages from the seaward side of the mountains rather than from the bare-rock interior of Montenegro.
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