Guide to Croatia

Thursday, March 02, 2006

More about previous...Velebit

First things first....posibbilities and suggestion are so numerous that it is easy to get lost. If you decide to encounter size and mass of this huge and vast space you will have to make your choice in advance according to something what is going to trigger initial impulse in you.
How one picks where to go exactly is very personal.
Only suggestions to deliver are about time of the year, time span of the tour or hike and some practical tips.
If you are not staying in hotel or private accomodation late fall, winter and early spring are not an option. Climate is cruel up there.
Idea is that great hike will last few days or more. In that case some info about shelter or refuge has to be at hand. There is almost 30 of them in diverse parts of the mountain. On average their capacity is limited and it is important to get informed in advance. There are so many places aproachable by car and after the spot where you parked your car real wilderness starts.
All roads on Velebit are great choice for biking. They go up and down. twist and turn from easy to difficult sections in no time.
It is very untamed, wild and deceitful place. Cliffs, cracks, canyons, lovely meadows,and more are all so eye-pleasing that some people neglect to recognize dangerous specifics of the mountain.
For somebody who is just feeling adventourus there are numerous places connected with "civilization". They are not on the road, they are not spoiled, majority of them is deserted by people ( that fact is true to the whole of the range except of the fringes on inner and on the Adriatic side ) and one can in fact meet shepards in summer pastures, and some full time inhabitants here and there.
Velebit is without doubt longest mountain range in Dinaric Alps. I have lifitime long
experience with Southern and better part of coastal side of the massif. Some of its paths I walked many times, many of them never....they just remained noticed and left for future. I just love the place.
Coastal side is much higher than the one facing inland. It is rocky , and rugged, and kind of terraced no matter how you look at it( from top to bottom or vice versa).
In terms of accessability I would like to start with following-
Baske Ostarije is in fact mountain pass /cca 900m/. It has continental- mountain- Alpine climate.On the North it opens via Takalice to direction of Lika, on the South there is a tunnel opening with an amazing view on Pag ,and surrounding islands. How vegetation differs from continental to Mediterranean just depending from which side you aprocah Baske Ostarije is amazing and not short of miracle.
Baske Ostarije is funny name. One has to know local dialect to "get it". Baske comes from Bag or Karlobag as an adjective. In direct translation Baske would mean -belonging to Bag, or near Bag-. Ostarije stands for Inn,Osteria, Motel....something of that kind.Place for travelers to rest and change previous times, of course.
I picked this place in the middle of everything because it may be considered good starting point for the first time visit.
Baske Ostarije are in the spacious field. It is surronded with mountains, cliffs and some gentler mountain slopes. There is a hotel there. Nothing fancy, but decent and nice. There is a water source ( Ljubica) and some all year residents, although village is shrinking more and more. This place presents great opportunity for biking. There is an asphalt road, there are some unfinished roads ( I belive they were made for military purposes) and there is old Austro Hyngarian road leading in the mountain , down south. Some sections of the one last mentioned are really narrow and covered with overgrowth....., but what experience that is. Either with bike or just with good pair og hiking boots one can take literally any direction from the middle of that field and discover some great stuff. Possibilities are endless and the best one cannot be found or recomended. There is no such a thing.


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