Blidinje Trilogy #3: Masna Luka Monastery Cache
In Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Blidinje Trilogy #3: Masna Luka Monastery 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 – 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 third of three caches we placed in Blidinje Nature Park in August 2010. The other two are Blidinje Trilogy #1: Dugo Polje Stecci Cache and Blidinje Trilogy #2: Barzonja Stecci Cache.
Blidinje Trilogy #3: Masna Luka Monastery Cache is located just off a marked hiking trail that starts at the gate into the Masna Luka Monastery. The trail is clearly marked as going to Plocno Vrh and Vel Vilinac. While you probably could walk to the trailhead from the A-Frame hotel in 1 to 1 ½ hours, you can also drive there. The road is gravel but in good repair and is just fine for ordinary vehicles. The monastery is about 3 kilometers off the paved road. Stay on main dirt road, follow the signs to Masna Luka, and continue mostly downhill until you arrive at the paved parking lot. Be sure to visit the monastery’s church and see the beautiful doors at the entrance. At the opposite end of the parking lot there is a spring in the small valley that many people visit.
The cache is placed in a relative clear area about 5 meters off the main trail (and is actually on the original but now unused trail up from the monastery fence). Start up the main trail at the steps but be careful not to fall into the recent excavations. Follow the marked hiking trail about 50 meters uphill to where the trails meet (see Way Point coordinates…the main trail turns sharply to the right uphill at that point). If you walk a few steps downhill from the cache and you can see the monastery’s tower a short distance away. Original cache was a "truck stop" stocked with 8 small trucks.
We hope you enjoy this wonderful area as much as we have.
Haqre yrsg rqtr bs ovt ebpx gb yrsg bs genvy nf lbh snpr hcuvyy.
Last Updated: on 9/2/2017 12:52:46 PM Pacific Daylight Time (7:52 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum