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"The best encounters are always unexpected."

Simon Lafage

Once we arrived in Montenegro, we fell in love with the country, whether in terms of the landscape or the encounters we had there. Obviously, we weren't going to say otherwise, given the story we're going to experience here. One thing is certain, Montenegro will remain etched in our memories forever.

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The unexpected

As you already knew, we have designed and thought our van around sport to discover the world through our passions. We never imagined that the van could receive another traveler than us. In any case, it was neither our plan nor our intention.


Let's be honest, if it weren't for a bit of the unexpected in our lives, it would be kind of boring, right? The routine of the trip catching up with us nicely, it was perhaps time for us to shake things up a bit.


Life is full of surprises and the unexpected, fortunately!

The encounter

This meeting begins near the ski resort of Zablajk. The snow-capped mountains catch our eye and we have only one desire: to climb them on skis. So we leave, a little before sunrise, with the objective of climbing the Vrh Šljemena with its 2455 m. At the foot of the mountain, on one of its sides, we see in the distance a small black dog with great physical shape, which trudges from summit to summit, barking with “joy”.


This independent-looking dog, at times he comes towards us and at other times we see him leave chasing animals. It looks like he has found his companions for the day anyway. He gives us the impression of wanting to stay by our side and this desire is mutual. We decide to name him Pépère. It is with him that we arrive at the top of the summit and contemplate the landscape, which he seems to love to watch.


Sevan and I met on skis at the top of Pic Chaussy, a mountain in Switzerland. We continue on the same path, with Pépère at the top of Vrh Šljemena in Montenegro. We don't know exactly what happens on these mountains, but we meet incredible people there, that's for sure.

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The upheaval

We ski down to the van and Pépère seems to want to follow us. While we put away our things, he takes his ease. He sleeps under the van and he would even like to go inside. It wouldn't be the first time a stray dog has gone out with us, or made eyes at us to come with us. But this time it's different. I don't know why, but a wave of emotion comes over me, I ask Sevan if the dog can enter the van and even if we can take him, because he doesn't seem to want go away. But, it seems unthinkable to us to be able to take a dog.


Why this ? A dog in the van, what does that mean? Do we want to have this responsibility? We would have to go vaccinate him, we would have to do this and that, we are a little afraid of all the impact he could have on our trip so we let him go.


Indeed, having a dog means having to make concessions and who knows what else. We have to think about it. We need time, but we don't really have it. One thing is for sure, I am extremely sad, to a point where I cannot explain. Sevan, a little destabilized to see me like this, decides to go in search of Pépère, but in vain. We can't find it.

The upheaval continued

The next day, we go back to looking for him. We spend the whole day there, but we don't see it... Is it fate that must be like this? I don't think so, we decide to go back one last time to the ski resort lifts. And who knows that we see far away? It's Pepe! When he sees us coming, he recognizes us right away. He starts running towards us and jumps on top of us. We hold him tight to us. 


We decide to observe the surroundings to try to understand where it comes from. In front of us, there is a house where he seems to find food and even seems to be able to sleep there. So we're going to ring to find out. The owner explains to us that it is not his dog, but that indeed he feeds him and that he often sleeps here, in the doghouse in front of his house.


We can clearly see that this dog has his friends here and that he is well here. Would he really be happy with us or would he prefer to stay here? Lots of questions are swirling around in our heads and we don't know what to think.


To be sure to make the right decision, both for him and for us, we decide to spend time together here near his home. We are taking advantage of this time to find out about the adoption procedures and the paperwork to be completed. We get lots of advice and help from great people. Some that we don't know yet.

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Well, we still have to make a decision and we can't! If only we could get a clear message. Could the universe help us make our decision?


Imagine that we had a clear message. The morning of our departure, Pépère leaves and we do not expect to see him again. But, when we get back on the road, who is it that we see sitting in front of the van and who looks at us as if to say to us: “I won’t let you leave without me! As we open the driver's cab door, Pépère confirms what we've already understood by jumping on the bench seat between the two of us.


So this is where the threesome adventure begins, on the way my dog. We will no longer call him Pépère as we nicknamed him during these few days, but Lucky. We do all the adoption procedures in Kotor, including giving him a chip and vaccinating him. In the end, it's not so rocket science.


Our meeting with this dog is by far the most beautiful thing that happened to us during our first months of travel.

We are nevertheless surprised that, with the help of some European countries, the city has been largely rebuilt. Its center is touristy, but is still very lively with locals. We were able to spend some time in front of the biggest mosque in the city in full prayer, it was really very beautiful. We also discovered the surroundings of the city and some of its sites of interest, in particular the Sarajevo tunnel. The latter was dug under the city's airport during its siege and was its only physical link to the rest of the country.

Lucky and the snow

We would like to go on a ski trip with Lucky again and take him again to have fun on the snowy mountains, which he loves so much.


On the way to the Komovi natural park, we have to turn around because of the amount of snow that has fallen there. We therefore decide to head towards this same natural park, but on the other side via Kolasin, a famous ski resort in the country. We aim to climb Mount Bavan which is located in a mountain range comprising some of the highest peaks in the country. Unfortunately, we did not take two factors into account: the closed access road, which greatly prolongs the ski outing and the beautiful layer of powder that we love, but which tires Lucky a lot. 


Despite all this, we feel enormous joy to see our loulou back in his element. He's rolling around in the snow and having a blast. When he is in contact with snow, he reacts differently, he feels at home.


We don't want to end on this note. So we go back to the map in search of another exit…

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Savina Greda

We change valley to go to Gornje Lipovo where we can try a more possible outing in altitude and kilometers in these snow conditions.


To our surprise, the snow has already settled down, which will be easier for Lucky. We nevertheless decide to keep him on a leash for the start of the climb, because we have noticed that he gets tired too quickly to trudge and run in all directions and that he has no more energy at the time of the descent. .


We arrive at the top of Savina Gerda, where Lucky Lucky has been waiting for us for a while. A magnificent panorama of all the mountain ranges that surround us is offered to us!


It's when we get off that we have a good laugh. Our Pépère, like a lynx, is running after us and wants to stay ahead at all costs. On skis and also on mountain bikes, he often ends up getting tired, but to save him, we tried to carry him on our shoulders and he likes that. As a result, everyone is happy.


Life in the van, at 3

Our life together begins rather well. We live at a different pace, we walk around more than if we were just the two of us. We fight a bit to try to learn the recall Lucky which makes it clear to us that he is an independent dog. We'll see who has the last word!


Apart from this small disagreement, he is a great dog and a little hyperactive, like us. He needs to move. He likes to accompany us on skis and on mountain bikes. When he's in the van, he sleeps through the night and is clean. With us, he is tender and very expressive.


In the end, we can no longer imagine moving forward in our journey without him. He took his place in our van and an even bigger place in our hearts!

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