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Blidinje Trilogy #1: Dugo Polje Stecci Cache
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Blidinje Trilogy #1: Dugo Polje Stecci Cache is a relatively easy cache in the beautiful Blidinje Valley, a jewel of nature that few people ever visit.
Even in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Blidinje Nature Park is definitely off the beaten path but it should not be. It is a wonderful, high glacial valley tucked between Cvrsnica Mountain and Vran Mountain in the Dinaric Alps in the western part of the county. The Blidinje Valley rolls gently beneath magnificent rocky peaks, all the more beautiful in early morning or late afternoon light, and ends in a shallow lake with cultivated fields going right to the water’s edge. The valley is a great place to bicycle and there are marked hiking trails in the forested mountains surrounding the valley. There is a small ski area that is active in the winter.
The valley is about 2 hours from Split in Croatia, going through Tomislavgrad in BiH. It is about 95 kilometers from Sarajevo and takes 2-2 ½ hours to get to from there. From Sarajevo, a caching trip to Blidinje can be done as a day trip but it is much more enjoyable to spend the night at one of the “motels” there. Our favorite is the big A-Frame affair that is right on the main road (see Way Point) – basic but clean rooms, private baths, reliably hot water, reasonably priced, English-speaking management, very authentic Herzegovinian restaurant, and definitely the “in place” for all Blidinje locals, especially on a Saturday night (tel. 387-39/718-522).
There are several ways to get to the Blidinje Valley. From Sarajevo, go down the main road towards Mostar. At the stoplight in Jablanica, make a right hand turn. At the next stop light (a “T” intersection), make a right turn, staying on the main road towards Prozor. Take the next possible left hand turn (unmarked as of August 2010). 100 meters up the road you will see a school on your right. At the top of the short hill, bear right, staying on the main road. (In Jablanica, if you cross the bridge at the edge of town, you’ve gone too far!) Keep driving up and up through a beautiful valley flanked in places by sheer cliffs and, at one point, a picture perfect climbing rock. The road is paved all the way up except for the final 4 kilometers before you reach the park but even that is a good road. Once you pass through the Park Gate (no guard and no entrance fee), the road is paved again.
This is the first of three caches we placed in Blidinje Nature Park in August 2010. The other two are Blidinje Trilogy #2: Barzonja Stecci Cache and Blidinje Trilogy #3: Masna Luka Monastery Cache.
Blidinje Trilogy #1: Dugo Polje Stecci Cache is near one of the 11 stecci sites in the Blidinje Valley. Stecci are tombstones left by the medieval Bogomil culture. There are thousands of stecci all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. The cache is a 30 minute hike from the A-Frame hotel and is located 10 minutes away from the stecci up in the karst. You don’t have to climb down the rocks to get to the cache. You can see the A-Frame hotel from the cache site. Original cache was populated by a cowboy, an Indian, and a bunch of farm animals.
We hope you enjoy this wonderful area as much as we have. Good luck!
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Last Updated: on 1/11/2018 12:55:33 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (8:55 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum