Seakayaking in Croatia 2019

Ari and I caught the train to Munich on Thursday evening and stayed with Josep.

We stumbled out of his flat shortly before 6 am on Friday morning and headed to the airport. Our delayed flight got us to Zagreb around midday and after a bit of faff with the rental car we headed away from grey and rainy Zagreb.

It was essentially my first time driving in Europe but with Ari navigating it went smoothly and we drove out to the coast. It was only 14 degrees on the way out but as we neared the coast the temperature increased and it was a nice balmy 25 degrees when we stopped at a campground as the sun was setting. We camped 20 metres from the sea with the ever present Germans. We spoke German instead of English so we probably fitted in well.

Ari is happy to be here  (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)

Above: Ari and I flew to Zagreb in Croatia. We hired a car there and I, yes I, drove to the Adriatic Sea. The weather was pretty rubbish when we landed. It was grey, and wet and dropped to around 14 degrees on our trip towards the sea. We dropped down from the hills near sunset and the temperature climbed and climbed until it was a nice balmy 25 degrees when we arrived. We pitched our tent in a stony little spot at a campsite by the sea. There was an electrical storm some way off in the evening and we listened to it.

On Saturday we drove an hour further South to a small town by the sea and met a guy with a large yellow double sea kayak. After a mere two hours of sorting our gear and packing it into the kayak, we were ready to go.

We kayaked along the coast in sunshine and crossed to the first small island. Then across open water to the big Island Zhalin. Grey cloud obscured the sun but it wasn’t too long before it was gone again. The water was a deep deep blue and a beautiful turquoise in the shallower parts. The island had many coves and after a short search we found one without anyone.

We stopped for a swim (at least I swam) and something to eat. After our private cove was invaded we decided to continue. We paddled up along the west side of the island near the shore. As we reached the end of the island we were exposed to the wind. The crossing to the next island was wavey and windy but enjoyable and we stopped for a rest when we got there.

The wind died down while we were there and the sun began to sink lower towards the horizon. It produced strong vivid colours which I captured with the multitude of cameras I had brought with me. I also brought my cheap drone with me and took a few photos with this of the water and shore.

We continued to our island destination and met our Air BnB guy. He took us to our apartment which was just a few 10s of metres from the sea up onto the island. It looked amazing. Lots of white stone on the outside and tidy inside. We cooked dinner in the evening and lazed about.

Heading off (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)Us kayaking (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)Our Air BnB (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)Cat and kayak (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)

1) We drove about an hour down the coast the next morning and hired a sea kayak. We left from Žaborić and kayaked to the island Zlarin. We stopped there for a break and a swim before kayaking along the side of the island. We crossed choppy water to get to another island named Lupac.

2) We spent some time on the small island of Lupac before kayaking further to the harbour on the larger island named Sepurine.

3) We met our Air BnB host at the shore and he showed us a good place to land further along. We heaved the heavy kayak out of the water with his help and unpacked it taking our stuff 30 metres or so up onto the island to a nice little apartment.

4) We left the kayak with a group of cats that seemed to have made  the little spot near the sea their home. As we came to move the kayak the following day we found they had been sleeping under it. Good guard cats I guess.

Inside our Air BnB (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)Cris cooking dinner (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)View out to the water (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)

1) The Air BnB was really nicely presented. Definitely worth going back there again… in another life…

2) We cooked a late dinner of slop. At least that’s what it looks like from the photo. Slop can be tasty though. I don’t remember if this was.

3) The Air BnB was not far from the water in the harbour of the island Sepurine.

On Sunday we went for a short paddle around the side of the island but the wind came up quickly and we retreated. In the afternoon we went for a walk instead and I had a quick swim in the warm water. The wind remained into the evening but it was gone by the following morning.

Off for more kayaking (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)Under water (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)View out to sea from the island (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)A guard cat (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)

1) We headed out for a kayak around the island in the morning.  We stopped for a break and the wind began to get up. We checked the amount of fuel left in Ari’s arms and judged the wind and decided to head back to the Air BnB.

2) The great thing about having a water proof camera is you can do this.

3) We went for a walk around the island in the afternoon. We found a small track that lead us along near the water and past the spot where we had landed with our kayak in the morning.

4) The guard cats were still waiting to look after our kayak.

On Monday we paddled back to our rental car, this time following the shoreline. We had a fairly strong tale wind after about an hour and we could just sit in the kayak and slowly move along. With a mix of paddling and being pushed by the wind we found our way back to the car. Another swim for me and then we drove to the Krka national park and spent the afternoon looking at waterfalls with many many other people.

We drove some of the way back towards Zagreb in the evening but then headed out to the coast and stayed at a small campsite where Leonie, Brendan, and I had been in the past.

Kayaking back (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)Waterfalls (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)Night at camp (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)

1) We kayaked back to the mainland and drove to the nearest national park in the afternoon.

2) The national park was pretty nice except it was fairly over run by tourists.

3) We drove some of the way back towards Zagreb in the evening before taking a detour down to the little camp site that I’d stayed at in 2015 with Brendan and Leonie.

On Tuesday we went for a short walk on the coast and then drove back to Zagreb catching our plane back to Munich in the evening. We arrived back in Lindau shortly after midnight.

At the coast (Seakayaking Croatia Sept 2019)

Above: We spent a little time at the coast in the morning before driving back to Zagreb and flying back to Munich in the evening.

A week in Croatia

Brendan and I headed off to Croatia for a week. I’m now back in Germany and on the train heading back to Freiburg with the unwashed look and no doubt smell…

We met up in Stuttgart at the airport and cunningly camped a night in a nearby paddock. On Thursday we flew to Split and spent the day driving up the coast and swimming in the delicious warm water. We camped the night near a national park and wanted to go for a little trot through the park in the evening but they were ‘closed’ (meaning there was nobody there to take our money, just a guy blocking the entrance). It seemed like the spirit of national parks was being abused so we wandered around the back way and had a look around.

On Friday we drove further up the coast to Zadar. We touristed around the two towns a little before we finally ended up further up the coast outside a little town named Starigrad. We found a fantastic little camp site there named Camp Stine. The folks there were very very friendly and laid back. The camp is right down by the seashore on a number
of terraces. They treated us like friends and offered us beer on the house and to collect things from the local store for us.

On Saturday it was off to the island of Rab about 1.5 hours drive northwards. We had a short ferry crossing before driving to a kayak company there. I wrote about kayaking on Rab in a separate post so I’ll go onto Sunday evening where we drove back to Camp Stine once more. We went for a walk in the national park near the camp on Monday and headed down to
Zadar again via Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday. We met a couch surfing lass in the evening in Zadar and then drove South camping somewhere along the coast. On Wednesday we went and visited a canyon to the South of Split. We swam in the river and I went running for a bit in the hills. Then back to Split where we tried to find some rocks for some soloing above the sea but couldn’t find any. Instead we found some fish to scare as we dived from a large anchor jetty off the shore.

We drove back to Trogir in the evening and amused ourselves looking for a
restaurant in the windy streets of the old town for a while before settling on one. After our seafood dinner we headed North and found a hovel to free camp in for the night. An early start and we were flying back to Germany.

Market (Trogir, Croatia)Sometimes we worry about Brendan (Croatia)

Above left: The market in Trogir had lots of delicious fresh fruit and goodies. Above right: Sometimes we worry about Brendan.

Dalmatian Coast 3 (Croatia)Statue in Šibenik (Croatia)

Above left: The water on the Dalmation Coast was a delicious turquoise colour. Above right: Even statues need kisses.

Meow (Croatia)Fly away (Roški slap, Croatia)

Above left: The cats of Šibenik like to keep an eye on proceedings in the town. Above right: A friend we met along the way in Roški slap.

Camping on the coast (Camp Stine, Croatia)

Above left: Camping at Camp Stine certainly beats the nasty overcrowded campgrounds in Italy and Austria.

 Brendan does some bouldering (Croatia)A small elephant (Croatia)Faster than a speeding snail (Croatia)

Above left: Brendan got excited by some rocks and had to climb them. Above middle: We found a small elephant while wandering around. Above right: The local wildlife. We were faster than a speeding snail during our walk through the park near Starigrad.

Brendan at Camp Stine (Croatia)Trogir (Trogir, Croatia)

Above left: We can highly recommend Camp Stine. Super friendly owners, not crowded (while we were there), right near the sea, free wifi. They even gave us a couple of complimentary beers when we arrived. Above right: By the seaside in Trogir.

Brendan by the sexy shop (Trogir, Croatia)The last dinner (Trogir, Croatia)

Above left: Brendan has to make the tough decision between the wine shop and the "sexy shop". Above right: The last dinner… So to speak…

Evening in Trogir (Croatia)

Above: Trogir is quite nice and only a few kms from the airport if you fly to Split.

Free camping (Croatia)About to leave (Croatia)

Above left: On our last evening we decided to try some free camping and hid our tent by the side of the road in some trees. No problems. Above right: My, we do have a lot of toff.

Sea kayaking, Rab Island, Croatia

We are waiting at the ferry terminal on Rab Island , Croatia for the ferry that will head back to Jablanac on the mainland in half an hour. We’ve just spent two days kayaking
around the island. We came over here on Saturday morning and hired a couple of single kayaks from a very laid back kayak firm/family in Rab. Then it was onto the water and off.

The weather was as usual perfect and the water was an amazing turquoise colour. It reminds me of the Soca river in Slovenia.
Unfortunately, there was an abundance of older topless German women hiding in every little inlet ready to pounce. However despite this slight drawback the island was very
nice. It reminded me a little of the Abel Tasman. In parts the bush looks similar from a distance. The rocks are white and there are lots of little
inlets to hide in.

Brendan sea kayaking (Rab Island, Croatia) resize Camping (Rab Island, Croatia) resize

Above left: Brendan in his kayak on the Adriatic Sea. Above right: We camped the night on a small island Sv. Grgur.

After a couple of stops to go swimming in the delicious warm water we came across an old Slovenian dude in a sea kayak. We paddled with him for the
next hour or so until my weedy little not-used-for-many-years arms gave up and he kayaked off into the setting sun that was not yet setting due to it
being summer and all. We continued on at our pace and reached another island off to the North of Rab named Sv. Grgur where we met our Slovenian friend
again. We pitched our tent on the island and wandered around for a while. In keeping with our experience of Croatia so far the island was sparsely vegetated and very dry, many white rocks, pine trees in parts and other trees I couldn’t identify. Our Slovenian friend saved the day after our cooker failed to start proving that MSR Whisperlite International cookers do indeed require their fuel filter.

Kayaking near Rab Island (Croatia) resize Rocks on Rab Island (Croatia) resize

Above left: View from the kayak near Rab. Above right: We found some nice rocks to climb around on Rab. We found a spot to get out of our kayaks and did some deep water soloing around the rocks.

Today (Sunday) we headed away from our satellite island in the morning back to Rab Island. There a nice little spot presented itself to us to do some deep water soloing. We parked our kayaks in a little cove and braved the spikey rocks for some premium soloing. We kayaked off for bit until we found a tiny beach for lunch that wasn’t inhabited by saggy boobies and man bum.

After lunch we had a long paddle around the end of the island and then back to Rab. And now we’ve crossed over on the ferry and we’re heading south. I am on insect swatting duties (a few buzzy things have found their way into the car) while Brendan navigates the windy roads.

View towards the mainland (Rab Island, Croatia) resize View while kayaking (Rab Island, Croatia) resize

Above left: View of the mainland. Above right: View from our lunch spot.

Above: Deep water soloing on Rab Island.