When I was in Croatia about 7 years ago, I desperately wanted to hike up to Vojak (1401m), the highest peak of Istria peninsula. I was convinced that one day I’d come back and stand at the top. Now, 7 years later, we were standing at the car park at the crossroad of 5047 road and a road called Cesta za Vojak, deciding whether to go up.
When you say “Slovenian mountains”, I reckon that most people imagine the breathtaking scenery of the Julian Alps. White peaks with green valleys, sprinkled with colorful dots of alpine flowers and lakes with water clearer than your bathtub.
Wasserfallweg is an old mountain path in Gesäuse National Park, Austria. It was established in 1891(!) which is incredible to me, and I felt honored to have a chance to hike a route which has been in existence for so long already. Just thinking about people hiking the rugged route so long ago with the most basic of hiking gear was mind blowing.
If you ever wondered where all those hippies go when they get older? Come to Salt Spring Island and you’ll see. Apart from the hippies, the island is full of farms, lakes with naked people and positive energy. One of the best views you can get of the island’s beauties is from Baynes Peak (602m). So, we decided to check it out.
East Sooke Regional Park is my favourite hiking destination within the Victoria regional bus network. It’s wild, hilly, with great ocean views and big enough for day long hikes.
Let’s be clear from the beginning: Sidney Island is not a hiking destination. If you try really hard and the tide is low, you can do a walk which is about 10 km long. But let’s face it, a lot of us go hiking because we want to get away, and in this respect, Sidney Spit is a very good place to get away from Victoria
I’m starting to realize that most people who consider themselves hikers will have been on at least one hike where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We can look at these experiences as opportunities to learn and prevent the same situations from occurring again. Or, we can see them as opportunities for character building. Or, as in my case at the time, we can have an identity crisis and start to over-think whether we really are hikers or just closet nanas.
We didn’t choose the best day to start the trail. It was Friday, 29th June 2018, the beginning of a long weekend thanks to Canada Day, by far the most popular camping weekend in Canada. But, we didn’t have much choice since we had been offered a ride to China beach on that day from Victoria and didn’t want to lose the opportunity.
The Juan de Fuca (JDF) trail is one of 3 classic, long coastal trails on Vancouver Island (the others being the West Coast Trail and the North Coast Trail). Unlike the other 2 trails, neither campsites or transport need to be booked in advance on the JDF. Furthermore, from what I’ve heard, all 3 hikes offer similar experience. So, for me the JDF was number 1 on my list for hiking on Vancouver Island.
When the three of us stopped to take our 101st break of the day, desperate to get a few drops of water from our near empty bottles, I gazed over towards the northeast and there lied this giant mass of rocky earth. “That’s Girdlestone,” I murmured almost silently, partly because I had little energy left, partly as I knew clearly my friends had this same voice in their mind: “last big climb!”