Like the rest of the Balkans, Montenegro's had much violence in its history. There was the usual mix of cultures from east and west, different people vying for space to live, and the insanities of religion and politics. The coastline had been popular with tourists for years, but the further inland we got, the more like the Wild West it became. Getting to our base in Plav meant driving due north halfway up the country to Nicsik, before heading due south again to Podgorica, then due north to Kolasin, then due south and a little east, to Andrijevica and on to Plav. It was a massive zigzag, forced by Montenegro's tortured, rocky terrain.
On our way north to Niksic, we had an enforced stop for a few hours because of roadworks. It gave us a chance to rest and get some food for the long day, which it turned out we would need. It also provided an addition to our list of World's Most Horrific Eating Experiences. In Naples, it had been deep-fried pizza. At a roadside cafe in Montenegro, it was loosely-described as Hamburger. Unexpectedly, there was neither bun nor toppings, just a mashed-out, oily grey horror of questionable origin and an unquestionably vile taste.
The drive from Podgorica to Kolasin alone was worth it for the scenery. High up on the opposite side of the gorge, I could see a railway that leapt from precipice to cleft, in spite of the landscape. The downside of waiting until 4pm for the road to open, unfortunately, was that darkness fell while we were still many hours from Plav.
The other drivers on the road seemed determined that we would never make it. Keeping to the right was an exception, passing on a blind corner de rigueur, and the larger the oncoming truck, the bigger the challenge. That gorge stands out in my mind as one of the most harrowing trips I've ever done, and A did a stunning job keeping us from being smeared across the front of something careless and ugly. We were in Montenegro just over a week and many of the drivers we encountered were either reckless, shit-crazy, incompetent, or an insane blend of all three.