Into the European Wild – Week 3 – Part 2
July 16th, 2015
I had an incredibly warm and real experience a few days ago with a shepherd and his wife in the bear country of the Italian Dolomites. At the end of a rough road I found their farmhouse….just as a crazy thunderstorm was coming in. Not a great situation when you are wet, sitting on top of a metal horse on a mountain ridge. Well Ahania and Lorenzo invited me in out of the rain, then for dinner, then to spend the night. It was amazing. Something I will never forget. Lorenzo is a young guy but wise beyond his years…seeking a simple life looking after his few cows and making exceptional cheese. Ahania made me feel completely at home and we spent the night drinking wine and talking about wildlife and cows! There is quite the history of bears right there, and last year Lorenzo saw wolves outside his front door too. I love stumbling across wonderful people…they seem to be everywhere when you start looking a little.
July 17th, 2015
I just saw a bear in Croatia!!!!!! Moments ago. Details to follow……happy man! Just 3 seconds but MAGIC!
July 18th, 2015
Here’s what happened…..a pretty special moment given there are only about 1000 bears in Croatia. Of course that is way more than Italy or most European countries, which is exactly why I’m here. The bears from here and neighboring Slovenia provide a “drip feed” for other European countries. No passports required for these bears. Ironic that I would spot this bear from the back of my motorcycle given that I’d spent the day hiking miles in the high country looking!
Great new bear friends at Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary Utočište Medvjeda Kuterevo Thanks for the welcome. Support these guys if you can….they love bears and do good work.
Ok a bit of the backstory. Not that I’m superstitious or anything. This was before I saw the bear….
These were some pics from my search. I hiked high into the mountains….found scat, but no bear. Those of you who know me will know that I was just as excited by the pile of excrement as I would have been by a bear itself.
…then I saw the bear, on my way back down the gravel road on my bike. The penny (Kuna) dropped……..I am now superstitious.