By Matt Holland
Montenegro is a popular destination, it’s full of many wonders from its golden sand beaches and magical green-tinted lakes in the South, moving to the Black Mountains of the north, home to the famous Tara River and Đurđevića Tara Bridge. (Montenegro means the Black Mountains).
We as a couple don’t enjoy the lifestyle of lounging around on a beach and being grounded to one area. We need to get out and explore and where better than Montenegro’s biggest National Park, home to the country’s highest peaks and extraordinary views and wildlife to soak in.
Flying with one rucksack is a challenge in itself but add your camera kit to the mix you lose a lot of weight and space, but I couldn’t visit this beautiful country without bringing a camera. Thankfully the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and PRO lenses are lightweight and small so take up very little room in my Atlas Pack. I could pack all my kit to go climb mountains, hike all day, wild swimming, rafting and photography kit in the carry-on rucksack.
I couldn’t hope to achieve this with my DSLR in previous years.
Our base camp was Crno Jezero (Black Lake) nestled inside a ring of mountains which was the entrance to the National Park. Žabljak, the town we called home for that week had a population of 1700 so very different from the usual noise and chaos of living near London.
The lack of noise and waking up every morning to the sight of mountains was mesmerising, as soon as the light hit the mountains, we were eager to get out and being exploring the giants. The 2200 plus mountains made everything in the UK look pathetic.
2224m, Savin Kuk, one of the last ski resorts in the National Park.
2330m, Planinica offering jaw-dropping views across the mountain lakes and Bobotuv Kuk, the parks highest peak at 2523m. If it was one thing, we had to conquer during our week here it was Bobotuv.
Each day was packed full of activities and for every mountain day climbing, we needed a day’s ‘rest’, when we weren’t climbing, we were flying over canyons or rafting through them. A week simply wasn’t enough to get to explore Durmitor. With 23 mountains over 2300m and the 390,000 acres of the park to explore isn’t any wonder we only scratched the surface of this wild and beautiful location.