Okay, I’ll admit that the title is a bit misleading, but day two at the Plitvice Lakes was a bit of an adventure! Make sure to check out my first day at the lakes here.
I woke up that morning to find that there was pouring rain outside, much to my disappointment. I had breakfast in my room with some yogurt and fruit I’d bought at the supermarket the day before, and some instant coffee the hotel had provided. It was my one hotel that didn’t have a breakfast included (a priority for me when I choose places), but the location was just too good to pass up on without renting a car.
Now, I’d done a bit of research the day before, and realized with surprise that the upper lakes were closed for trail maintenance. Once again the off season was thwarting my plan. I probably should have chosen to do just one day at the lakes, but unfortunately it was too late to reschedule at that point, and with the limited hours it probably was good I had made sure to give myself enough time in the event of a delayed bus or some other problem.
I noted there were some other trails in the park, though perhaps not quite as impressive as the lakeside ones. So I opted to enjoy the lower lakes again in the morning, going backwards on the route I’d taken the day before to enjoy some different angles of viewing. And then after that I’d try to take a hike in the woods. With any luck I was hoping the rain would stop by that point.
After bundling up in my fleece and rain jacket, I headed out. I hiked down to the park, caught a shuttle over to entrance 1 and then proceeded to hike down into the canyon and enjoy the lakes.
I was soaked by the end of my time there. The sun was peeking out, but I was feeling pretty cold. I opted to go get a cup of coffee at one of the cafes and relax there while drying off.
Once I felt a little warmer, I opted to try to do a hike. I took off into the woods, heading up hill. Supposedly I might get some views of the lakes from some of the nearby peaks. I figured I’d do the trail loop and then catch the shuttle back to the entrance.
Of course, as I started up the hill rain started again. I debated turning around, but hoped maybe it would clear off.
The trail had a few painted markers on the trees, which I hoped would keep me from getting lost. I had noted as I continued hiking, I didn’t see any other people or signs that anyone else was hiking the trail.
As I headed up I kept waiting to reach a switch back that would take me further up the mountain. But I kept hiking straight ahead and had no sign of a switchback.
Now, not going to lie, I definitely started thinking of worse case scenarios. But I kept it together and realized maybe it was time to just turn around and head back. The trail was getting rougher, and I figured it was better to go back while I could still tell which direction to go.
Once I had gone a ways I did find my way back to the real trail. I had completely missed the switchback and kept going straight on what was probably an animal trail, or maybe just a route other people have taken that isn’t official. I started heading up the trail. It was still sprinkling off and on. I’d been hoping to have a picnic lunch at some point, but with the continued rain, I opted against it and just had some trail mix.
I reached the summit. Unfortunately I didn’t get a view of the lakes which I’d been hoping for, but still felt pretty accomplished.
I enjoyed the view before looking at the time and realizing I would be pretty rushed if I wanted to get all the way back down in time to catch a shuttle before the park closed at four. The whole getting lost and off the trail had cost me some time. With a heavy heart, I opted to just head back down the same way I’d come.
Thankfully I didn’t lose my way a second time. I got back down to where I’d started safely and then hiked back to my hotel.
I relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and then went to the bistro in my town for dinner again. Unfortunately, there really weren’t any other good choices.
I had a burger made from a local type of cow and with some unique cheese and toppings. It wasn’t great, but again filling and different.
Then off to bed from there, excited for another amazing day ahead.