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près de Lavci, Општина Битола (Македонија)
I actually started from Bitola but my GPS had fed bad data into the app so I had to reset it. You can add 3 kms and 30 mins to this hike. I copied a trail done by gjoregj who did it in three days and I originally didn't think I could do it in one day but I challenged myself!
Anyway, as for the trails, starting from Lavci is a great option. The trail is marked even before you get to the village (you see some markings on some electrical posts) and then it's well marked all the way to the hut (at about 1,500 masl). After the hut, it got a bit confusing. gjoregj seemed to have taken a different trail than I had. So I tried to cut through and go up to find it. It seemed old and not used much but in better condition than the one I was originally on. Less outgrown bushes and a clearer path.
At a certain point, the trail goes up to the ridge and heads southwest. I was trying to save some time by skipping some of the trail and decided to diagonally ascend to the ridge but it was useless. Stay on the trail as bushes and blueberries will slow you down 😂
Walking along the ridge towards the south was OK. At times the trail becomes barely visible but as long as you know the direction you're going, you'll find it again. There's a section where I didn't understand the marking of the trail. It said stay to the right (around km 11.5) and I didn't and went around hill just to climb it right after (energy wasted). I do believe that this trail goes all the way around the hill to meet the main ridge trail. Good luck testing that!
It's marked well after that and, hopefully, you can appreciate the lake without local tourists and their 4x4s right next to the hut. After this you can either follow the road or go over the hill behind the hut. I chose the road. After perhaps 2 kms you see a peak. This is optional but I truly recommend climbing up to the second one as it saves you some zigzags from the road. You will meet the road eventually and be able to summit.
Be prepared to descend painfully if you decide to take the rocky trail. It tested my knees for sure (after 33 kms, they felt it!). Also, this is not the only rock scrambling you do in this trail so make sure you pay attention. I think the markings are enough to lead you on the right path.
Lastly, I meant to get transport by the hotel back to Bitola but had no luck. Too late. So I kept walking to the next village (found a very steep dusty trail that cut much of the asphalt road) and there, I finally was able to hitch a ride. It was an immense relief! Otherwise, I don't know how you'd get back! Perhaps the hotel can call a taxi for you.
It's a nice park and really good views of the Prespa lake and Bitola in the distance. You also get to walk through and see most of the park. For some reason, there's lots of garbage all over and especially at the beginning of the ridge trail. Please bring some back with you if you visit 🙏