A challenge indeed! When MoneySuperMarket challenged me to travel to Montenegro, hike the mountains, for 4 days, I initially thought how hard can that be? I would be in my element! Then came the catches… I was to take no more than the clothes I was wearing, a smartphone, a charger for the said smartphone and 300 pounds cash.
Quite a lot of people know the pain of travelling with their luggage lost. As much as 25% of travellers according to data from ERV Travel Insurance and Columbus. So…. (oh yes of course I was allowed to carry my passport too) off I went, feeling like I had forgotten something.. well a lot! Felt so lost without backpack or main camera.
After 17 hours of transport travel I arrived late evening in the quiet town of Zabljak, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro. Sleep, day one sorted. Day two, up and awake, a glorious dawn with mountains, snow and hiking trails all around me. One tip I always adhere too when travelling: always fly in my hiking boots. If with luggage, there is more room in there and is lighter for other stuff. Plus I have my own worn in boots if luggage does goes missing.
With all these views around me I just ‘had’ to get out hiking after breakfast. I was loving it. This is a remarkable hiking country. First hike was to Black Lake, local and beautiful. But, in the back of my mind were dilemmas. Hiking in heat equals sweat and smell, need change of clothes and especially underwear and toiletries asap. The money, yes hiking is free but when you need to replenish clothes and other stuff you would have had in luggage you have to start worrying about food costs, incidentals and local transport and more.
One thing I have learnt in life is improvisation with a pinch of positivity. A swing past the local supermarket sorted most items plus lots of bargaining with some truly great local people at the hotel got me some transport to some remarkable spots. I even got chance to raft down the Tara Canyon. More on the various hikes and adventures will be in coming posts
I did miss having my main camera, was hard being in glorious scenery with just a phone for these pics. I missed having my own comfortable gear, felt naked hiking without my backpack! I was lucky, Montenegro is not the most expensive place. A couple hundred pounds spending money would not go far in an emergency if I landed in Scandanavia. I kept thinking how people would cope if they landed for a full 2 week holiday without their luggage, now that would be a whole different story, Crikey!