11km - Brtonigla to Buje
Edward, a well travelled bear getting the low down for the day.
Armed with our contour map for the day and the Road Book, brimming with enthusiasm, we confidently set off following the instructions.
Starting point for Day 1
We found Shrines along most routes. Carol takes a closer look.
Single file through the vineyards
A selfie in the middle of nowhere
Getting our bearings in a spot of shade
At the base of the first incline for the day, we came across a group of young scouts heading in the same direction. It gave us small comfort that they too were struggling with the heat and the challenge of the hill.
Striding out in the heat
Once we’d reached the peak the route levelled out and made for easy walking. Our pace was good and we were enjoying the countryside.
Some welcome shade
We soldiered on and as we approached midday, we began to doubt whether we were on the right track. The book said:
Continue the trail (non-existent) straight downhill (no such thing as straight) and then follow the trail uphill. In 15’ – 20’ you are in Buje. (Pronounced boojay).
We reached some houses and collapsed in some shade to catch our breath.
The book said: Info Centre is in street 1 Svibnja in front of you.
We couldn’t see any sign. Stopped a passing driver and he pointed us in the right direction. It WAS right in front of us.
Wandered into town, found a pub and sat down to enjoy ice cold coldrinks, and a beer for Carol.
A well earned beer Taking 5
8km down, another 3km to go. Based on our time for the 8km, we thought the 3km would be a piece of cake. So with that in mind we wandered around the town.
Although it was Saturday, there wasn’t much open. The market that was mentioned was also closed.
When we eventually decided to continue our walk we were confident we were headed in the right direction. It was a bit disconcerting that there wasn’t an obvious Olive Grove as mentioned in the book, but we pressed on. Major landmarks like a Water Waste Plant and a Shooting Range reassured us that we were on the right path.
The wheels came off when the book said: After 3’ turn right on the dirt road into the forest, and pass by the wire fence on the left and continue towards the hunters stand.
Dirt road? What dirt road??
Firstly, the dirt road was virtually non-existent.
Secondly, there wasn’t an obvious path when we came to the fence. We bundu bashed down the one side which led nowhere.
Turned back to where the dirt road supposedly started and walked further up the road to see if there was a different dirt road.
Anyone who knows me, will know that getting lost is instant sense of humour failure for me. We tried calling our guide, no answer. Sharon suggested heading towards the Shooting Range to get our bearings. Lucky for us some hunters had arrived for target practice. None of them spoke a word of English but with much gesticulation we understood that we were on the right path.
Carol saved the day and suggested we try the other side of the fence. There was absolutely no path to follow but we could see the hunters stand in the distance.
It wasn’t encouraging to hear gunfire from the shooting range. We sincerely hoped we were way out of range.
At the hunters stand, we crossed a drystone wall and followed another non-existent dirt road to an asphalt road.
Once again we stopped a car and asked which way to Volpija. The lady pointed one way and the gent pointed the other way. We decided to trust the gent.
And just like that we were back a Casa la Parenzana .
We made it!
The End! 4 well used feet!
One of our many banner photos.