Monday, 28 July 2014

sea kayaking in Croatia

Here's a summary-post about our trip to Croatia last week! I hope to inspire someone else to do the same some day, we really enjoyed it! 

Why Croatia?
We had never been to Croatia before but had heard good stuff about it. When we were planning out vacation we wanted to go somewhere warm, but not to just hang out by a pool or a beach, we wanted to do something active again, like last year when we took the surf and yoga trip to Morocco. 

What we did
We bought a package trip that included six days of guided sea kayaking in the Adriatic Sea, by the Eliphite islands. The package also included lodging, four nights on the island Lopud and three nights on the island Sipan. Four of the meals were included and so was transfer to and from the airport. The first place we stayed in we really simple but clean and with a nice balcony, but the second place we stayed in was really great, a small apartment with two baths. We might have been a bit lucky with that one, we did not expect such high standard. 

Sea kayaking?
Both me and A have been kayaking before, but the rest of the group we were in were pretty much novices, all but two or three. We were in total eleven people, all grown-ups, and the guides would adjust the pace and length of each days paddling depending on the group. There's room to pack things in a sea kayak, and each day we brought some extra clothes and towels because we'd usually stop somewhere for lunch and a siesta with sunbathing or exploring during the hottest hours of the day.

The last three days me and A got to paddle by our selves with our guide (professional white water kayaker Matija) because the rest of the group had only bought the three day package. Those last few days we did a couple of longer trips, that we're a bit tiring, but nice.

Eating and drinking was really cheap compared with Norway, plus some of our meals were included in the package, but I was only really happy with the food a couple of the times. the best things were when we ate at the restaurant Ouda (?) on Lopud, and in one really small guesthouse that our guide showed us. There we eat fresh fish and vegetables grown in their garden. Generally I would say that the simple food tasted the best. Fish or meat with vegetables, often flavoured with garlic, olive-oil and parsley. My favorite was a starter on the picture below, that I had in a restaurant on Sipan. This is some kind of pancake made of zucchini and potatoes. Yum. Also in this picture - what you get if you order a glass of wine. This small carafe contains at least two glasses. Very generous!

Pros and cons
The best thing about this trip was definitely the great conditions for kayaking. The water was super clear and warm, we had almost perfect weather all the time and good guides. It was also great to paddle in a group and get to know new people. It might have been fun to see a bit more while kayaking, it would have been fun if we'd seen some more animal life, for example. 

We used Adria Adventure, and they were just great. The guides were really helpful and friendly, if someone had any issues or questions everything was fixed very quickly. All ferry tickets and transfers were prearranged and they helped with looking after our luggage while we explored Dubrovnik both on the day of arrival and of departure.

Other things I will remember about this trip:

_Takings a nap in the room to the sound of crickets outside.
_The hypnotic motion of the waves and the paddle in the water
_Getting up kind of early in the morning and it's already warm outside
_Walking barefoot on warm asphalt
_Taking a shower after a long day covered in sand and salt
_Still feeling the movement if the waves in your body even if you are lying on your bed at night
_Long dinners with new acquaintances in the sunset
_Having time to think about and plan for the future
_Water so warm you hardly feeling when you go in
_Eating and drinking a lot because your body needs it and because it's cheap

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