Part One: Durmitor National Park in Montenegro – Our Road Trip…
Going on road trips usually entails early morning wake ups, driving for hours to reach a destination with many stops along the way for toilet breaks, food and whatever else is necessary.
We woke up at 4am in Kotor, expecting it to be a little lighter than it was and since it was dark, we set the alarm to snooze for another 45 minutes and woke up a bit before 5 to be ready for the day. We hopped in the car and I had to find my feet not only driving manual (which I’m not very good at) but doing so while driving on the right hand side of the car. I don’t know how many times during the trip I threw my hand into the door trying to find the gear box but it happened a lot.
Our first pit stop was petrol and we had to wait for the petrol station to be open as everything before 6am was a ghost town. This gave us a chance to enjoy our packet croissants and muesli bars.
Finally getting a real start we took off down the coast line of Kotor, looking for the E65 highway.
Pit stops included stopping for the mountain goats who wanted to go from one mountain to the other and needed to use the road to do this.
Other stops included a town a long the way. I needed to stop and catch my breath, hoping to not have a heart attack after realising that when you drive on the right side of the road, you give way to your left when approaching a round about. Not the right. Eeek.
Even though the drive was straight forward it was difficult for me at times doing hair pin turns and other various turns, ascents and descents on the mountains as I am not the most experienced manual driver. My helper, instructor, map and sign reader got me through though which was amazing and he didn’t even get angry at me much!
The only time he seemed a little frazzled was when I kept trying to swerve the oncoming traffic, who seemed to enjoy driving in my lane, and almost drove in to the gutter and fell off the mountain.
It only happened a handful of times and I still maintain my innocence in the matter with defenses including “What was I supposed to do? Let the car flying towards me at 200kms an hour hit us?”, “I don’t know what you are talking about. I wasn’t even close to the gutter” and “Well there must be lots or gravel on the road because I certainly didn’t drive in to the gutter”.
The drive home was a little tedious as I was getting quite tired of driving but all in all, renting our first car in Europe, and doing it for only 40 Euros plus about 28 Euros for petrol, was an amazing experience and a great way to see parts of a country that you usually would never see!
To read about what we experienced at Durmitor National Park click here for Part One – The Black Lake