Camping in Bosnia & My Adorable Yellow Tent. And a Flat Tire.

With a dust and exhaust cocktail swirling up into my face, my feet skidded — one by one — as I tried to push our little white Heeheetka (aka Fiat) up the rock filled road. Unfortunately, the two of us slipping and sliding against the dirt road simply wasn’t enough to make any ground, but nevertheless I gave it all I had — resulting with my face head first into the ground. Yum.

But that was on our way out the next day.

I’ve been dying to use my little yellow tent I bought in preparations for my travels. I had dreams of trekking the jungle mountains of Thailand, but Bosnia had to do — for now. In it’s wilderness glory, Bosnia is no slouch when it comes to wild beauty. When I thought of Bosnia before crossing the border, I never imagined a country so lush with greenery and filled with beautiful greenish blue waterways.

What did I expect? Honestly, I don’t know.

Even before coming to Bosnia, I was itching to get my camping on in Albania. We passed a giant lagoon which I thought had lots of campsite potential, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Back to Bosnia — we spent the day searching for Kravica Waterfalls, but in our very unique fashion we didn’t follow the signs. Instead, we entered the popular destination from the ‘back end’– if you will. Dropped off our little Heehetka at the end of a dirt road (one of many the little Fiat has so bravely traversed) and hiked down some rocks, through another dirt road and onto the main attraction. The waterfalls were really something special. Of course when you google them, the images that come up are bullshit. The area has all, but been taken over with cafes and restaurants that conveniently get omitted from these images. At the same time, the natural beauty is still there and seeing so many falls all at once is undeniably beautiful. I wasn’t feeling well, but did my best to perk up and take a plunge in the water. Which was refreshing and cold af.

The clock was ticking and we didn’t know where we’d be camping, so we took off searching on back roads near the river. It didn’t take us very long to find what we were hoping for. A long-ish (I don’t remember kilometers) back road took us exactly where we needed to be — a theme that had been pretty prevalent during this road trip.

A spot right near the water with cleared land, tree shade and even remnants of an old fire ‘pit’ (can you call it a pit if there’s no actual hole?).

You guys. I was SO excited to finally set up my tent. I’d only set it up once — on my parents’ living room floor. My little yellow tent… I think I’ll call him Bosny… felt so damn home-y! It fit myself and Jose without too much issue, although sleeping on the ground wasn’t quite as exciting as it sounded.

We started a fire and got to working on our dinner to be. Sipping on a homemade wine of some sort from local berries as we rinsed, wrapped etc.

We had a small skillet along with some foil and plastic utensils so pretty much we had everything we’d ever need.

What’s for dinner?

Minced beef sautéd with some onions and red pepper — all mixed with roasted potatoes, garlic and fresh Parsley. My brother’s concoction — we just assisted.

We forgot the salt.

Ok, so maybe not so big of a deal. Soy sauce came to the rescue and with the exception of a dried up garlic our meal was a success.IMG_2424Too bad we weren’t hungry.

I haven’t been camping THAT much. And most of my experiences have been on some sort of official campsites. Either way, none of those places felt quite as remote as this. The second the lights went out the sounds came up. From the quacking to the chirping to the screeching to the bushes rumbling two feet away. The place was ALIVE with music. If you want to call it that. The idea of sleeping outside alone (the original plan) in a tiny tent with all of this noise was scary af. Like, something will eat me. For sure. 

Luckily my tent turned out much bigger than we thought and I slept splendidly — waking only at the occasional wind gust. Did I mention it got cold? Before drifting off to sleep we watched the fire fizzle out of power — slowly, but surely. The tent door acting as our window.

Yah. It was really nice.

The next day, I made my first fire — ok, this is much more laborious than it looks — ate some leftovers and spent the day lounging in the water & sun. When time came to pack up and leave our little nest we didn’t yet know what was ahead.

A big flat tire.

The road we took to find our little haven was similar to many roads we’d taken so far. Rough. Unkept. Rocky. We started our path back cautiously, but all seemed as usual. Until the uphill portion of the dirt road. We got half way up until our little Heeheetka simply couldn’t go any further. Weird. We got out to check out what was going on and sure enough — a flat tire.

Naturally, my anxiety spiked.

Here we are, in the middle of nowhere (luckily we were rather close to civilization) with our internet having just expired. I kept my mouth shut and my brother seemed to have things under control.

Did I mention it was hot? Because it was.

Ok. So first we had to get the car in a somewhat flat position to change the tire. But how? Well, Jose and I — the two mighty ladies of the trio — pushed and pushed as hard as we could but the flat tire was not about to budge. So the little Heeheetka went down hill backwards — slowly, but surely. That is until it got stuck that way too. You see, the road (if I can go ahead and call it that) wasn’t even. Not even close. Jose and I helped to signal my brother inch by inch to get the car back down to steady ground. Seriously, if my beast (aka anxiety) was audible to anyone, but me I think someone from the neighboring village would have heard us. But I kept my mouth shut as this would do us no good.

My brother whipped out the spare tire, changed it — using some 2×2 wood panels that were lying around to level the ground — and PHEW. It was over. He did it. We had all 4 tires and we’d be able to get back up and on outta here.

Only it wasn’t quite over.

About two thirds of the way up the hill, little Heeheetka stopped budging. It needed our help. Neither myself nor Jose know how to drive a stick shift so us two gals pretty much had no option, but be up for the task.

Bro — “Ok, on 3 you gotta give it all you have.”

US — “OK”

Three.

Two.

One.

“Push push push push… C’mon Heeheetka!!! You Can do this!! C’monnnnnnnn”

After a couple seconds of begging our car to move and pushing it with all our might, the rocks gave way and little Heetheetka made it’s way up the hill.

We did it.

 

 

 

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