Limestone Canyons through Serbia and Montenegro

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Serbia Montenegro

From the infantile headwaters of the river Lim just north of Kosovo we followed this magnificent river through a deep and sometimes narrow limestone gorge across the Serbian border and halfway to Sarajevo.  Distance through Serbia and Montenegro- approximately 200 kilometers.

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Down a high and snow shrouded mountain pass we descended into Montenegro and as the clouds gathered and darkened above us we found ourselves probing the depths of a small town by the name of Rožaje.  We followed a short but broad promenade lined with cavernous restaurants, unnaturally colored lights glowing within their dark mouths.

Then we crossed a ruff and frigid river than ran through the middle of town between stone buildings and found ourselves in a quieter part of town facing a grocery store and some empty restaurants.  I don’t think visitors come here often.  At least, not in the smoke filled self-service restaurant we found ourselves in with two cups of coffee.  Despite the boisterous atmosphere- loud Serbian music, groups of teens and a little drinking, it seemed all eyes were on us.  They spoke no English but we were given some coffee and some very tasty savory pastries.

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It began to rain while we were waiting at a gas station for the pumps to be refueled.  A half hour later when we were on the road, the rain began to turn to snow and we stopped at the first hotel we could find.  In the morning, the sun was back out.

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After passing through Berane and Bijelo Poje the canyon began.

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From this point on, and for the next five days in Serbia and Bosnia we probably passed through 20 tunnels a day ranging from over a kilometer long to just a few feet.

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Occasionally the landscape would open up, only to narrow back into a canyon after a few kilometers.

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That night we found an excellent camping spot in a thick grove of bunched saplings.

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The next day was more of the same, and at a particularly stunning juncture we left Montenegro and entered Serbia.

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Cycling this canyon was one of those great surprises of unplanned touring where we had no idea what we were getting into until we were right in the thick of it.

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In the town of Prijepolje we stopped at a small restaurant and for a few dollars had a delicious and creative take on a pizza and a freshly baked Serbian sandwich, reminiscent of a calzone.  Both were garnished with our favorite condiment, ketchup.

 

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By the time we neared Bosnia, the river Lim had widened and flowed lazily, shaped like an enormous serpent in the depths of an endless valley.  Gliding the gentle grade, we passed through 90 kilometers of Serbia in one day, and as the sun set we found ourselves crossing into Bosnia.

 

 

 

 

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