Route GU02: Gusinje – Grebaja Valley – Gusinje
total ascent: 270m
surface: asphalt (13.5km), macadam (4.5km)
biking conditions: from spring to autumn
A very beautiful tour, suitable for practically everyone who is in the habit of getting on a bike. We go from an elevation of 920m and our finish is at 1,200m, but we will not feel much of this ascent, so there is no excuse to skip this ride – one gets a lot from this ride compared with the effort involved, so the route into the Grebaja Valley could turn out to be the “biggest bargain” in the region.
From the centre of Gusinje we head along the asphalt road in a south-westerly direction. 1.2km from the start there is a junction at which we turn right, and we soon go past a wonderful old church whose beauty is framed by the broken lines of the peaks of Lipovica and Velji vrh.
At 4.1km on the right side of the road there is a well-tended spring. About 500 metres further on there is the only more serious temptation on the tour: at the place called Škala there is a roughly 300m-long ascent with a gradient of 10-11%. The valley narrows while the surrounding cliffs swoop down onto the road which winds fearfully among them.
Here we also enter the territory of the Prokletije National Park, and we will ride around 8.5km in total (return route included) within it.
The asphalt ends 6.7km from the start and a good macadam road leads further on. About 300m later we reach the Eco-katun of Grebaje – an exquisite place for a lunch break as well as a longer stay. The basic reason for a longer stay in these beautiful log cabins is of course for mountain climbing, but there are plenty of people who love staying here although they have not even the slightest intention of climbing around: the very location of the Eco-katun, amidst the tall peaks of the Prokletije Mountains, is so attractive that it makes such a wish quite understandable.
By bike we can go further into the valley for another 2km, to the very centre of Peskovi – an immense natural amphitheatre which represents the heart of the Grebaja Valley. Before we head back, we will be sure to spend some time in this place, from where our gaze has nowhere to escape, and where the entire Prokletije Mountains both fiercely and quietly collapse on us. Peskovi is a combination of heaven and hell, the serene and the frightening, an interplay of cruel rocky peaks and the bared teeth of ridges which bite off the sky, at the same time resting on fragile flowers down on the bottom. Peskovi is a fight between the day and the twilight and a magical formula for a simple (but unfortunately only temporary) solution to life’s questions and dilemmas: in fact here we will forget what we wanted to ask.
And once we head into the long descent towards Gusinje, we will definitely stop many times in order to look back and make sure that we really did see what we thought we had seen.