Return to the west 
Saturday, August 8, 2009, 1:00 am
Posted by Administrator
Having not really done much of what we wanted to in the north, we turned back for Niksic, stopping at Lake Biograd on the way. The question inevitably about 'what is primeval forest exactly' came up, as often a country makes exaggerated or incorrect claims about its tourist attractions (re: the Tara Canyon being the second largest canyon in the world behind the Grand Canyon). Primeval forest seems to be defined as forest where humans have not cleared the forest at any point or planted trees. Certainly there are trees here that are over a hundred years old, and one would guess that in this inaccessible country, no one would have tried to clear forest at this height when there were much more suitable places elsewhere. But it's actually quite a magical place because of its unique trees and greenness. My camera completely failed to capture the size and ambience of the environment.

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Hiking in Plav 
Friday, August 7, 2009, 1:00 am
Posted by Administrator
Apart from the hotel, most of what I planned here didn't turn out the way I wanted, and my parents and I ended up traipsing around up mountains but never getting exactly where we wanted to be. The blueberry festival in Plav was non-existent and the only sign of the fruit was at the marketplace. The first walk was to Lake Hrid, and we started off confident enough with signposts showing us the way, but soon we had to navigate using a compass, and then my biggest mistake was following a notice saying "Hridsko jezero" which turned out to be a winding dirt road for jeeps which doubled the length of the road. By 2pm we could see the lake from a distance but decided in view of the potential of not finding the car before dark to head back to Plav. It was a similar story the next day, trying to find Lake Visitor, when the path just ended without anywhere to go. When we tried to find our way by car to a viewpoint, the signposts availed us nothing, and we headed back triply disappointed. The Plav region is not yet ready for all but the hardiest and most persistent of foreign tourists!
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Tour of the North 
Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 1:00 am
Posted by Administrator
Most people I have met in Niksic who are not from the north have rarely ventured to the north-eastern corner of this country. My parents' coming to Montenegro was the impetus I needed to foray into this region, to the see the famous Prokletije mountains, Lake Plav and see how well this region has developed its tourist potential. Having picked up my parents at Golubovci International Airport, we headed on the single-carriageway 'motorway' in the direction of Belgrade. There had been a pile-up just a couple of days before in the Moraca Canyon, so I drove sensibly. The road from Bijelo polje to Berane was actually good quality and I found Plav without much fuss, however, due to an accident the main road along the eastern side of Lake Plav was closed, so I decided to go around the other side, via Gusinje. Gusinje has plenty of directions for hikers, but very few signposts for drivers (it's a tiny place) and I must be one of the few people in the town's history to have got lost looking for the exit from Gusinje. Eventually we arrived at the Kula Damjanova Hotel in Komnenovo ethno-village. It's highly recommended especially at the special promotional rate, but it must be said that the place is not yet geared up for English-speaking guests, as no-one there seemed to understand the language. My impression of the hotel is one of a massive investment which is slowly being allowed to decay, as things are not replaced or fixed. Fortunately, because the hotel is relatively new, this wasn't so bad. The hotel has a stone exterior, and a dark stained wooden interior, giving an old traditional feel to the environment. It overlooks Lake Plav which is quite pleasant, but just a normal lake.

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