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In search of peace - part 2

Let's refresh our memory - in the first part of the blog, Bori and A. walked a third of the Roška hiking path together with Tomaž. The first night, some headaches were caused by small forest dwellers. What else awaits them? Read below!

The morning routine is followed by a coffee with breakfast and a guide, who - unlike us - is rested, but already a little impatient, as he wants to show us as many new wonders as possible. So we say goodbye to Luža and from 850 meters above sea level we head towards 1099 meters high Rog. Before that we see Rdeči kamen (Red Stone), followed by the Kunč and the boundless oceans of greenery. In the middle of this idyll, Tomaž gives us an extensive explanation of the flora and fauna in this part of Slovenia. The latter is more interesting for me, as I’m not really good with plants and I do not distinguish spruce from fir. I am fascinated by the wolf, the lynx and the wild boar. And the bear, who took a trip to the city a few years ago. He walked through the center of Kočevje, and did it by the rules, because he crossed the road - I am not making this up! - at a pedestrian crossing. However, I forget the nice bear the moment Tomaž mentions snakes. “You know, out of the whole Bear Grylls survival series, I only remembered one piece of advice: how to fall asleep in peace in the middle of the woods without some cold-blooded reptile clinging to you,” I recall. He didn't convince me though, and I would easily spend the whole night on the prowl without help from any substances. Apparently, a group of Italians, whom we meet at Roška sawmill, who hung their sleeping bags among the trees high under the sky, think similarly. “This screaming of theirs will not only drive away the bears, but also the snakes, even though they don’t have ears,” I say.

Yet I must report that I have misjudged my predictions, for later that morning I came across a sample of an anaconda, which was numb by the roadside and waiting for the daily resurrection from the dead. The guys claim that it was a 10, 15 centimeters long snake and say that I trampled them when I was running away from it. But this is just vicious bullying of the uneducated. It is true, however, that in an instant all the pain, including morning drowsiness, cleared, and I didn’t manage to listen to the explanation of one clever man (Tomaž) on how to separate venomous snakes from, let's say, innocent beings. “If you see it, look at the shape of its eyes,” was the expert’s advice. But since I had no intention of looking deep into their eyes when I would meet them, I did not remember whether those with round or those with elongated eyeballs were poisonous.

Anyway, it was an anaconda, that’s final, I stubbornly object as guys try to divert my thoughts to nicer things with a debate about the Auersperg princes. They started building a steam sawmill here in 1894, and later a forest railway for its needs. There is an interesting museum on this topic in the scout home that is located at Roška sawmill, and the remains of the railway can still be seen nearby. It is Prince Auersperg and his forest ranger Hufnagel who are "responsible" for the remains of the Kočevje virgin forests, and one of them, Rajhenavski Rog, is right in front of us. We push our way through to its edge by the huge trunks that were uprooted by the uncontrolled rage of nature a few years ago. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of these giants, who now lie helplessly scattered on all sides, and at the same time I am overwhelmed by the incredible serenity and special energy radiating by centenarians. Words are superfluous and in silence we walk towards the next creation of nature where everything revolves around number 5. It is the queen of Rog, whose folk name is, in the age of universal weight loss and miraculous diets quite unflattering. We call it a Fat fir tree. Let us pay homage to a lady measuring 5/50/500: she has a 5 meter waist circumference, measures 50 meters in height and counts a venerable 500 years. For the second time in a short period, the monarch leaves us speechless. Before we leave, however, I secretly embrace Her Majesty, and in her pulse I feel the stoicism of past centuries and the timeless silence with which she conveys such outbursts of emotion.

Caught each in their own thoughts, we continue towards Podstene. “Ah, how beautiful it will be! Peace, silence, serenity and many other synonyms.” When we arrive at the hut, I rejoice - the mice, unlike those at Luža, are much more polite, as there are no footprints on the food. After a well-deserved meal, night falls quickly and it’s time for bed.

The silence that reigned in the misty morning in the middle of the forest sounded surreal, and our coffee before the last part of the odyssey was accompanied only by a chirp coming from the tree canopy. Tomaž did not let himself be distracted by our grumbling (we were already quite tired) and soon we also walked in a better mood in the direction of Rajhenav. New views opened before us in a mixture of morning dew and sun. Looking at the majestic beech trunks that guarded the valley like Greek pillars, even aching muscles were forgotten.

In Rajhenav, on the only, but nicely arranged farm there, we were greeted by a couple of dogs and a donkey, which was already in its place on this impressionist painting. The same stubborn animal I heard about from an acquaintance, who took part in the annual one-day hike along the Roška hiking path in April. As my friend and I walked by, I asked him if he knew what that donkey thought of us. “What?” “Look at those two donkeys now.”

Soon …well it depends on how you perceive it, as the length of the distances on the Roška hiking path is directly proportional to the pain in the feet… we arrive at an interesting forest reserve, Prelesnik's collapse valley. This hides the vegetation of the cold north due to the thermal inversion at the bottom. Then the last noteworthy ascent to Lovski vrh followed, from where you can see all the way to Ogulin, Croatia. In the string of hills, which is on display in the August blue in countless shades (not to say fifty), there is also Klek, the famous “witch's take-off point”. Now it is only less than 10 kilometers to the end of the path and when we enjoy the views created by nature, we walk home, where we arrive in less than 2 hours.

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