Friday, December 1, 2023

Planinitza 2023

Our first snow hike this winter. The trail from the village of Planinitza to peak Tumba and back is one of our favourite December destinations. Cherna gora is a low mountain, the trail is easy and in the open and runs by fields and up and down small hills, with pleasant views to other mountains around. Because it is in the open and fairly level, it is extremely pleasant on a warm and sunny December day. And today was supposed to be one of these days.

Well, it wasn't. The temperatures were actually quite OK, especially considering that it was cloudy. However, the plentiful snow that fell last weekend had only partially melted and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with patches of deep snow here and there. It was difficult to walk, some of the puddles of muddy water were like small lakes, blocking the entire trail, with thick thorny bushes at the sides.

The ceiling of thick clouds above us made me realize, that the reason I love this trail so much is the sun. We've always come here on sunny December days and walked along dry paths and this is what makes it a lovely destination. Unfortunately, after the extremely long and super pleasant autumn, winter is making its way through with lots of snow, cold and clouds. I can take the snow and the cold, but I want the sun back, please.


We watched a very interesting phenomenon during the entire hike - the sky to the east was yellow-reddish, like during sunset or sunrise, only it was around noon and the sun was actually above us. I suppose it is some kind of refraction of the sunlight into the thick clouds above us, but I'm not sure. Anyway, it was beautiful and unusual.

Hike info:

Destination: peak Tumba (1129 m)
Mountain: Cherna Gora
Total length: 14.5 km
Elevation gain: 230 m
Total duration (plus picnic): 4 hours
Average difficulty: 4 / 10

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: men's boxers, hat, Cargo pants, socks
I:  lingerie, hat, gloves, "Page" Burda hoodie

The mountains of Kraishte to the west
The summit of Cherna Gora, peak Tumba

We had our quick lunch on a patch of dry grass near the peak and in short order packed back our backpacks and returned to Planinitza, trying to choose alternative paths with less muddy puddles :)

We'll probably return to Planinitza next December, I hope it will be drier and sunnier then.

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