Sunday Walk along the Kozlek Trail – M. te Nevoso-Sneznik
April 7th, 2014
The day is a bit overcast and hazy. We meet up with two fellow hikers and head out in one car towards the forests of M. te Nevoso- Sneznik. These forests are considered a wilderness area where brown bears, lynx and wolves can still be seen.
We are driving towards Podgrad where we turn left onto a smaller road that takes us to Ilirska Bistrica ( Villa del Nevoso). It is a small lumber town – the mill and stacks of wood remind me of Grand Remous in Quebec when we head towards the park and Noranda. This area is right on the border with Croatia.
We then head uphill on a narrow side road towards the trail.
It is now about 10 a.m. we don the hiking boots and head out along a one car wide gravel road, then up hill through the black pine woods which change to beech wood forests lined with dry stone walls.
As we head uphill through the beech trees we can see signs of wild boars – cinghiale. The cinghiale travel in groups and use their tusks to root around, turning over the soil, forming little trenches about a foot wide and 8-10 inches deep along the trail. We see some bird feathers black and white and remark it was chicken for dinner last night!
After about 1 hour or so of walking, some of it nicely uphill, we reach the Rifugio – Kozlek. It is a small A- shaped wood clad building. It has three levels, with a little balcony on the third level.
It has wood stove with a fire burning and there is a kettle full of Planinski can –chai – alpine tea gathered from the woods, on the stove. We pay for the tea and it is served in tin mugs. We are asked if we would like some grappa to go with the tea – apple grappa – and a small glass flask of grappa is split among the mugs of tea. We sit and chat for about 30 minutes which also helps dry out my damp undershirt.
We head out and uphill again along the Rebar crest that overlooks the valley below. The season is not as advanced as along the Isonzo. There are still lots and lots of Muscari – grape hyacinths, pale yellow primula, lime green hellebores, always only one at a time and the first leaves on the trees just barely starting. By now it is 12:40 and time for a lunch break in a small clearing under the beech trees. Then uphill again, and we come to a cross trail. The capogita asks if we want to go up to a summit or if we want to circle round the crest. The decision is mine it seems and we turn right to go uphill and along another crest. The wind is now quite brisk. There are carsic rocks to clamber down and the crest is a field of tall dry grasses. We stop for a 10 minute break to admire the carsic hills scattered with round stones. I come across a scattering of cobalt blue, trumpet like flowers with a dark purple throat. . These are gensiane, heads popping out of the brittle yellow grasses. Now we head down hill and the footing is a bit difficult. It is the dry grasses that form a sort of pothole and the potholes are hidden. We complete the downhill portion and have closed the loop on this short circular side trail and find ourselves on the trail back to the car. And dinner at a Gostilna!