Route PL02: Plav – Đurička Rijeka – Lovnočelo – Kofiljača – Bogajiće – Plav
total ascent: 1050m
surface: macadam (18km) , asphalt (7.5km) and dirt road (2.5km)
biking conditions: from spring to autumn, except during and after heavy rains.
a section of the route leads through an uninhabited mountainous area and forest so one should always bring along a basic bike toolkit, a spare tyre, a torch, a map and a navigation device (a GPS device or at least a compass). Riding in a group is also recommended.
A very beautiful tour which fascinates with the diversity of the landscapes through which it leads, so even the pickiest will find something here for them – open spaces with distant views, gentle meadows covered with thick deposits of tranquillity, a deep and always slightly mysterious forest peace… In return, it demands a decent level of fitness, but even to those who are not fit enough, we recommend you try at least the first part and ride as far as your enthusiasm lasts, and then take the same way back. And those who complete the entire circuit definitely will not regret it.
Beyond the villages of Završ and Bogajiće, a narrow and quiet asphalt road leads us along the green slope above Đurička rijeka (the River Đurica), through an irresistible area which on a sunny day radiates joy. At 1.7km from the start there is a sporadic spring which may or may not have water when we pass it, so one should not count on it for sure. But there is a second spring (at 4km), and then also a third (at 5.1km) near the junction where the asphalt ends. That last spring is located just after the bridge along which we cross over the river, on the left side.
At the deserted edge of the village of Jasenica, near the small household with a sawmill we turn left. An intensive climb which starts here represents the hardest leg of the tour. It is about 6km long, and there is a 400m gain in elevation to tackle. There is a chance to stock up on water at a spring 9.4km from the start (a plastic hose from which water runs into a concrete trough). At the junction which is situated 11.3km from the start we will continue straight ahead and gently downhill (a grassy road on the left goes more steeply downhill). We have passed the most difficult section of the ascent and to the ridge of Konjski obor (Horse Pen), but a little bit of riding up and down over the green knolls is still left. The macadam along which we came here will melt away now into a grassy trail which winds along a meadow.
11.7km from the start we will turn left and downhill (the right trail soon turns backwards, towards the village of Husejnović) and follow the track through fields through a wonderful area on the north-eastern side of Konjski obor. Some two hundred metres further on there is a junction at which a new spring is located (on the right, the water runs into a wooden trough) and where one should turn right. Another two hundred metres on and we reach a little wooden cabin in the meadow beyond which there is a new junction (at 12.1km). Having proceeded straight in this place we enter a young forest in which the trail becomes narrow and dense with vegetation, so it may be necessary to get off the bike in certain places. However, this section is not long – once we pass the place where a bridleway forks left (12.2km), we will get onto an open slope – covered in ferns – which drops steeply towards Lovnočelo and Jasenica. During the summer the lush vegetation here might present some difficulties. After about 1km we reach the edge of coniferous forest and a junction (13.4km) at which we get onto a forest track made of crushed stone – we head along it to the right. At 13.7km we join a broad macadam forest road. There we will turn right again, and soon go past a memorial spring called Bejtova česma (Bejto’s drinking fountain).
Further on we slowly descend along the northern side of Konjski obor, covered in dense forest. 15.2km from the start there is an important junction where one should turn onto a dirt road on the right (the left road goes uphill). We still have a climb of just over 4km to Kofiljača, with an elevation gain of around 290m.
After 19.4km we reach a junction which is also the spot with a highest elevation on this tour – 1,770m. There the road towards Ruža Spring and Lake Hrid forks right, and we turn left and start a nearly 9km-long descent towards Plav along the immense, open and steep slope of Cecunske strane (Cecuni Slopes). The route is still predominantly on dirt road, occasionally poor, but in general of a decent quality. At the beginning of the 25th kilometre in Bogajići we go past a new spring, and 500m further an asphalt surface starts – then even Plav is not far away any more.