As I am writing, I also cannot believe it: this was the second to last day of the Peacewalk! Only 18 km between us & the beautiful fountain in Trieste! How did these 3 weeks fly by so quickly?
Today was a tougher day, but it was certainly one of my favorites! It was almost 33 km, yet time seemed to fly in the beginning--we got breakfast at the house and started off early around 6:15 AM. As we walked out of the village, it was interesting to see so many people out and about and later, since it quickly turned into forest, I walked the first 8 km easily chatting with Brigid, before we had our first rest. We continued through a village (where some guy said a poem to Brigid) and into more forest with the Reka river flowing alongside, before going quite uphill and zig-zagging for the "River & Climb."
We then powered on into the absolutely beautiful Škocjanske Caves, passing a little art gallery and into the trail overlooking the valley. Although I ended up taking a different path than everyone else (and not the right one), I still wound up at the restaurant area (and went back to see the viewpoint), where we stopped for lunch around 11:30 AM, already having done more than half of the day!
Afterwards, most of the group decided to take a taxi to our destination, but Eva, Jakob, and I continued on the home stretch! By this time, the sun had really decided to come out, so I was sweating quite profusely (regretting not getting the hat), and we stopped for some drinks at a restaurant that was quite fancy, which was a funny contrast with us and our sweaty selves/huge packs. We had some Radler (grapefruit beer) & Coca-Cola and just chatted, before continuing on our way. Luckily, a lot of the next stretch was under trees, so we got some refuge from the sun (this was actually the hottest day it has been in June in Slovenia!!), and Eva and I talked about everything, including our idea to create the perfect pack (coming soon to a store near you ;)). We walked in a path sort of above the motorway, which was quite cool, and found a random bench perfectly for us, which we named the "Peacewalkers Bench." When we reached the pub a kilometer away from accommodation, we celebrated with more Radler, and finished the second to last day, walking in strong!
Dinner was absolutely AMAZING (cooked by Jana's boyfriend), with such a yummy salad, eggplant, a cheese thing I cannot remember what it is called, and ice cream! It was so cool to learn that Jana, who has grown up in this area, now rents out the only pub in town, owns two hostels, and is trying to start a restaurant outside (that currently only serves Peacewalkers!). It was our last supper as our little group, but we planned to meet tomorrow in Trieste, along with Tina & Barb (PWers who were originally in our group but ended up a day ahead). Italian food, here we come!
The theme of the day (and truly the entire walk) was þetta reddast (pronounced thetta radest), an Icelandic term meaning things will work out in the end. Whenever an obstacle would get in the way, þetta reddast! Getting blisters? þetta reddast! Life will work itself out, and it indeed has :)
This experience has been definitely challenging both physically and mentally, but that is what I signed up for, and I am so thankful for the people in my group, people who showed us hospitality, and just the beautiful countries that we passed through, full of their own history and culture. Once I'm able to digest everything, I will write a reflection post, but until then, WE ARE ALMOST IN TRIESTE!!!!