Frozen Silence of Visitor

Visitor, a mountain that proudly overlooks Plavsko lake, closing the view towards Komovi, is widely popular among mountaineers from all over the region. It has been noted that the youngest person who climbed the Plana peak (2211m) was 4 years old, and the oldest was 83. Many people walked the trails leading to this peak, from which the view is particularly beautiful and long engraved into the memory. The blue of the lake, the town of Plav, rural households, Ljuca river that meanders through the green valley, Prokletije whose fierce peaks cut through the clouds, endless pastures of Cakor and Mokra, tall and proud Komovi, and many other peaks on all four sides of the world, are piled up on top of each other, and sneak through the mist from far away.

Visitor is a quiet and deserted mountain, almost completely forgotten by the farmers, and you can no longer find farmers mountain settlements called katuns here, no shepherds, no children, you cannot hear the barking of the dogs. And while we explore the trails and corners of Visitor, at each step or turn of the pedals the famous melancholic verses of the poem of Dusan Kostic ring in the mind:

“Now I see, everyone fled. Childhood is gone. No friends, no games. Only grass, and only years, and spruce trees in silence, unwalked paths in the mountain. Only peace. Only grass.”

And couple of hundreds of meters below, on northern side, tucked into the pine tree forest, within magnificent landscape, you will find Visitorsko lake (1735m). One particular feature of this lake is a floating island, and legend says it was formed by the raft built by the farmers, so they could at night keep their cattle on the raft, in order to protect them from wild beasts. This raft is now covered with grass, and connected with the bank by the fallen pine trees.

Visitorsko lake is fantastic destination for mountain biking. That is why one of the local Plav routes leads right here (PL05 at this page you can get more information on this trail), and Plav bikers have reached this lake also from the direction of Plana peak, and this trail we will gladly explore at first occasion.

Now we come to the main reason why we write this update of the text of the official guidebook. We would like to tell you about a feature particular for this mountain, which is very important for bikers and mountaineers that come to Visitor, and something unique that you will find here and nowhere else in Montenegro and maybe in the region. Almost unbelievable fact is that on a route only 12km long (from Pepice to katun Mramorje) there are six mountain huts that are always open and free to be used by well-meaning mountaineers and bikers who respect the code of conduct and hospitality of the hosts.

All the huts have sleeping areas, basic dishes and firewood stoves, and sometimes you will find the firewood, coffee, sugar, even cans of food that some other visitors have left behind. You should also leave everything that you don’t need and that can last, it will be useful for someone else, and when you leave make sure you clean up and take the waste to the nearest container.

The owners if these huts are families Rajkovic, Dasic and Djukic, while one of them (Zizina koliba) is ownership of PSD Zeljeznicar. First one is 6km away from Pepice, the next one is just next to Visitorsko lake, while the remaining four are located on the pasture above the lake, in what used to be katun Mramorje.

Personal experience: How is scared by the storm?

During one of my frequent rides towards the lake, just near Pepice village, 32km away from Berane (where I started my ride), it was clear that the storm was coming. Even though I was alone, I did not want to give up and head back. I thought I would be able to reach the shelter and ride 6 more kilometers on macadam road before the storm. And I managed to do just that!

As soon as I started the fire in the stove in order to prepare a coffee, the thunderstorm started, with heavy rain. Hidden in this charming cottage, surrounded by wilderness, I have had maybe the most beautiful biking break since I started my biking ‘career’.

When the storm slowed down, and the skies cleared up, I continued my ride towards Mramorje (5km). In case of some new and unexpected storm, I knew I could find shelter in one of those 4 huts in Mramorje, or in the hut on the lake.

The rain caught up with me once again, when I reached the main road, but who cares, main road offers many more solutions for that type of the problem.

Ministry of Tourism of Montenegro

The whole point of this story is the fact that families Rajkovic, Dasic and Djukic have done more for the safety of mountaineers and bikers by leaving these huts open and free to use, than any other tourism institutions who have built expensive and fancy shelter near Hridsko lake, which is locked and unused second year in a row. For the price of that shelter, they could have paid for 10 similar cottages, equip them, and this would contribute to economic development of the region.

Locals vs. Ministry 1:0!

Finally, did you know that nowhere else you will find more wild strawberries than on the slopes of Visitor? Another sweet motive and invitation for adventure in Frozen silence of Visitor.

Berane – Visitor – Berane

Total distance: 91.46 km
Max elevation: 1880 m
Min elevation: 670 m
Total climbing: 2790 m

GPS

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