Crn Kamen, how we got there

Finally we found our way to North Macedonia. After getting some local currency and access to internet, we decided to go Vevchani to find a spot to camp. Of course in this time of year the daylight period is short, so we ended up looking for a spot in the dark, which seemed to be an area with some pick nick tables and a small lake. Later that evening we were invited to drink and talk in a close by mountain hut, which, in the dark, was not noticed by us.

This hut is currently being revived by some local guys, and when finished, it will be quite a nice hut from which you can do several hikes in the area. They suggested that we visited the Crn Kamen, or black Rock. it was also suggested that “with such a vehicle, you could drive up all the way to the lake”. Well, that sounded like a plan.

So after visiting the Vevchani sources and cascades, a very nice but also quite a small area, we headed for Gorna Belica to find the track that lead up to the mountain. Arriving there, a sign prohibited driving, hunting, fires, etc. Not sure what to do, we drove a small round trough the village and then asked a local. Alladin kindly invited us in his house and, together with the village elder, told us it was no problem to drive the trail, everybody did. We could ignore the signs because the guy who made the signs died a long time ago anyway…..

So we to ignored the sign and drove up the mountain. Again we arrived with the last rays of daylight close to a pick nick area at an altitude of about 1700 masl. We decided to keep the poptop closed because of the sub zero temperature during the night, with clear skies and an almost full moon. Luckily we have a heater to stay comfortable.

The morning arrived with (still) a clear sky that allowed the sun to heat up the van nicely to an acceptable temperature, enough to get out of bed. Such conditions are perfect for a walk in the mountains. With the glacial lake close by, we decided to walk there. At a distance of 1.3kms there was still 300m of altitude to be gained, but the views were very nice.

From here, I decided to go for the top of the Crn Kamen, about 1.5kms further and another 400m altitude gain. On the top of the mountain I had a good view in all directions, seeing the Ohrid lake and because the top is right on the border with Albania, I also had a good view over the Shebenik-Jablanika National Park.

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