Oct 1st and 2nd 2018
Today was our second day in Croatia and boy did I have a grand time. We decided on Saturday to book a kayaking trip and happened to be able to get a spot for today (Monday October 1st). This was the single best decision we have made so far on this trip. I am going to sound like some sort of TV commercial for the rest of this post because we had such a darn good time. If you go to Croatia and don’t kayak I will know and I will be very sad. Hello this is Christine by the way.
So we started out getting a bus to Gruz Port to meet our guide/group and catch the morning ferry to Lopud. The first great thing we found out was that it was just us, our guide and ONE other couple. I really don’t like huge groups of people so this was absolutely ideal. The other couple was Hazel and James from London, England and they were so fun to hang out with! Our guide, Ivo, is the only local Dubrovnik kayaking guide around, most others come from different parts of Croatia. The day of our tour was his last day as a guide (he is going back to college, studying to be a civil engineer) and he said we brought him extra luck because everything went so smoothly!
We paddled around a group of islands called the Elaphiti Islands (Above) and got to go under a magnificent limestone arch and then moved on to the cove on the island of Šipan where we got to cave dive, snorkel, and cliff jump! Ivo said the last 5 tours couldn’t go into the “blue cave” because of the rough waters, but the day we went it was perfect! The water was real cold and the cave was even colder so, after we were all shivering, we moved on to snorkeling and jumping off a nearby cliff!
Now folks, I am terrified of many aspects of the things I just mentioned. I am afraid of being eaten by something in deep water, I am afraid of small spaces that I can’t get out of easily, and a few more things that have hindered me from enjoying myself on the water before. But today I just went for it and had a freaking amazing time. It also helps that the water is so clear and also so salty that sharks aren’t even an issue.
After we did a little mild cliff jumping (also something I just went for even though I scares me a lot) an sunned a bit on the rocks, we made our way to our lunch spot. Ivo booked us the cutest restaurant where he knows the servers and owners (because he has been kayaking here like 5 days a week for months). We sat in the sun to soak up the warmth and started off with a few great tasting local beers. Then we dug into some octopus salad and my main dish of sea bass that I had to de-fin and de-bone (all these things I would usually stear clear of but were SO DELICIOUS). We devoured all of our food including some wonderful home-made olive oil that we slathered on everything. This island, Šipan, is known as the Golden Island because it has some of the best olive oil in the world. So good, in fact, we bought a whole bottle to bring home!
Before we left to finish off our kayaking trip, we had a few minutes to explore the little island. While we were off checking out a cool old house and gardens, James proposed to Hazel and she said yes!!!! We were all so excited for them, but Ivo especially because he said he has never had anyone get engaged on one of his trips!
After lunch, the wind picked up a bit and paddling got even harder, but we both stuck it out and made it “the long way” around another island called Aruda (not sure if that is spelled right) where we got to kayak in another, bigger cave while Ivo snapped some pictures (that we will receive in a few months probably).
Paddling our kayak back across the channel to the dock was a pretty difficult challenge but the views we got to take in during the start of the golden hour were absolutely magnificent (we were a little too tired to remember to get any pictures of that). We arrived back on land, put all our gear away, and awaited the ferry back to Lopud surrounded by more stunning views.
Not much to report after we arrived back in Lopud, just a taxi ride that was too expensive, but fast and a much needed shower. We snuggled into bed safe and sound…..only to be awoken (or awakened if you prefer) by one of the most powerful storms I have ever heard or seen. The rain was unrelenting for at least 6 hours, there was marble sized hail raining down off and on, huge and constant bolts of lighting, and thunder so loud it actually hurt my ears at one point. Our Uber driver to the airport today (October 2nd) told us Dubrovnik hadn’t gotten that much consistent rain since he has been alive and that four small boats sunk in the harbor because of the storm. We went down to old town to get a picture of the “Shame” stairs from GoT before we went to the airport because we realized we forgot to do any GoT stuff, so here is a picture of that and also some precious cats. Glad it is all sunny today and ready for us to depart on our plane to Munich!
**This is being posted pretty late because we have had some technical difficulties in our last two places. We will be uploading our last two countries ASAP!**