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It goes without saying that my weekend hikings happen because I love nature. But hiking is also an impulse to escape my life. Don’t get me wrong – escaping life comes as a universal thing, hardly worth vilifying. Living a life usually involves the urge to avoid it—through playing games, watching sports or binge watching TV series; through alcohol, or hard drugs, or a smartphone screen. These forms of “leaving” aren’t antithetical to “real” living.

These weekend getaways are a way for me to discover the wonder of wild places, to feel the power of a tree which resists the eternity of rains and endless layers of moss, to dip legs in the ice water along my path, to hear the shimmering sound of wind and embrace the colours of a foggy autumn day.

This rainy Saturday brought me to the Oraovštica river which I didn’t know exists and it flows hardly 20 kilometres from my hometown. We started from the road from Virpazar to Rijeka Crnojevica, parked on the asphalt and went further on by foot. We passed close to the village Oraovo. The name of the river and the village originate from the word walnut, but I haven’t seen any walnut tree there. The water was swollen from the recent rains.

The remains of houses and stone walls built who knows when and by whom (I’ have to do some history digging) defeated by moss and tree and grass, made me feel overwhelmed by infinity. I felt alone and small, but in a way that was curiously like feeling exalted. The forest brings me a different understanding of time.

At certain point we had to pass the stream to another side. Some of us rolled up our pants and took off shoes and socks, others used the rope to jump over bigger stones.

After crossing an old bridge over the river we slowly got back to reality and it felt like going back to present time, rain started to fall and we where ready for a warm drink. We passed a mountain pass through the village of Dupilo and got to our cars in 20 minutes.

At its 9 kilometres length the tour was quickly finished. Maybe too quickly. When I woke up at Saturday the day tasted like one more lazy, rainy Saturday. But after this trek it actually felt like coming back from time travel, from times of ancient mystic forests with fairies and goblins. It was good to come home, though.

some of the photos were  made by my hiker friend Novica Stamatović.

“Our body is a reflection of our thoughts and actions. We don’t always live in our bodies. We aren’t always at home. Very often we live in our memories and our longings. And then we are absent masters of our property.”

Guide: Danilo Ivanovic, Montenegro Guide

Bernadette McDonald




Natasa is an avid hiker, but still discovering herself and the world of hiking. This blog is a place where she shares her thoughts of the mountains.

An economist by education, Natasa is the chief marketing officer of Domain.ME, the international tech company that operates the internet domain “.ME.” She’s spent her entire career at the intersection of airline, banking, social media, leadership and technology, and is constantly trying to figure out the secret to being in three different places at the same time.

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