Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Peaks of the Balkans Day 9... Taljanka Peak Loop, 9.2 kms

Even though it was fairly short, this was probably the second toughest hike of the trip, but with spectacular views of the Gerbaja Valley, as well as stunning views of the Accursed Mountains. It's actually a detour from the classic Peaks of the Balkans trail, but it was included by the organizers of our trip since it is one of the most panoramic of the area.

We were picked up at our guest house in Babino Polje by van and arrived at the trailhead in Gerbaja Valley at 9:15am.

The Taljanka Peak Loop is only 9.2 kms, but it's a steep uphill climb for the first hour and a half through forest. It includes 1,100 meters (3,600') of cumulative elevation gain. It's a lollipop loop because you do the section through the forest to get to the loop, then do the loop and come back down the same section through the forest.

Because the section through the forest is there and back, we decided to ditch Ruth's backpack behind a rock near the beginning of the trail. It was well hidden off the trail, so we were confident it was safe.

You can see how steep the incline is.

Ruth, heading higher.

We met a woman who was coming down, and I commented to her that she must have got an early start, and she said it was too tough for her and she had turned around.

These hoses ran from a mountain stream much higher up, down to the valley.
I took advantage of a connection leak to fill my water bottle.

At 10:30am, we emerged from the forest into this meadow.

Ruth, on the trail heading higher.

Fresh mountain stream waterfall.

Ruth, in the lower left corner.

Scenery along the way.

We are following those people up there!

Pretty flowers.

Almost at the top!

Made it! The trail you see is actually the border between Montenegro and Albania.

View into Albania.

At the top of Taljanka Peak.

Me, and the Accursed Mountains.

Border marker.

Looking back at where we had been.

The trail then follows a ridge, and you end up climbing two more peaks after coming down a little bit.

Lots of wildflowers.

You can see our trail following the ridge.

We sat and had our lunch here as well.

Selfie and the mountains.

A group coming up behind us.

This trail is popular, and is used as a day hike by both visitors and locals. So it was quite busy.

Scenery along the way.

Coming down from lunch was fairly steep.

We met a group of five young women from Canada and the U.S. who were impressed that us old folks were out on the trail. They ended up taking a short cut across the loop and missed the next views. Us old folks did the whole thing.



Our trail ahead.

Ruth coming down behind me.



More scenery.

Definitely one of our favorite hikes of the trip.

Just another gorgeous view.

And then we took the trail back down. Didn't take any photos coming back down because it was the same section we had come up.

Back in the beautiful Gerbaja Valley at 3:15pm.

We had to wait for our connection ride to pick us up and take us to our guesthouse in Vusanje. We had some time to spare, and what do you know there was a bar for us to wait at!

I had a nice cold Montenegro beer!

Our driver picked us up, along with the group of four from Dubai that I had mentioned in a previous post.

I took this photo out the van window. This girl was getting her horse to pull the hay.
She was happy and smiling and waved hello to us.

Arrived at the Guesthouse Vucetaj at about 4:30pm and were shown to a new room on the upstairs floor. With a fantastic view off our balcony.

View from our room balcony!

Once again a private room, but with a shared bathroom.

This was a nice guesthouse with good food and reasonable priced beer and wine. Our neighbors who we shared our bathroom with were a young couple from Boston. We sat with them during dinner as well.

Still one long hike to go... the next (and last) day is scheduled as a 23 km (14.3 mile) hike, and we had a deadline to get to the end by 4:00pm to catch our ride back to Shkodra.

Early Prime Day deal... Ring Security Bundles.

And in Canada...


  1. Incredible views! Congrats on finishing the complete hike

    1. T views were stunning, we loved this particular hike for the incredible views of the mountains.

      Thanks, we were pretty proud ourselves and that fact that we were able to complete the entire hike that day and still make it back on time for our pick-up at 4pm that day

  2. Absolutely beautiful! What was the temperature like?

    1. It was a fantastic hike and the views were amazing.

      We can't totally remember what the temperature was that day but it felt pretty warm as we were climbing but once we were up on the ridge we had a nice breeze which felt refreshing. If we had to guess we would probably say the temperature was around 26 C (79 f).


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