While we were in Croatia we were invited on another paddle with the lads from Outdoor Croatia this time an afternoon /evening paddle to miss the mid day sun and enjoy the red sunset from the sea,
We met the lads at their office in the port where we hopped in the van to load up boats from their mainland hideaway,
We launched onto the inland estuary with Marko as our guide, paddling upstream to meet the river and the top of the tidal stretch from here we were shown the Bosnian boarder and some of the key vantage points from the war, as well as the old water station which supplied Dubrovnik's water until it was damaged during the war,
Its hard to believe this Country and in fact this region was involved in war during our lifetimes and the lifetimes of many still living in the area.
We continued along the river out towards the sea. Passing by roads and villages and boats on our way to the new bridge, a large suspension bridge which crosses the estuary spanning just over 500m and save 45 minutes of driving along the old road now takes less than a minute. As you pass under the bridge the Gruz Harbour is to the left and here you will find cruise ships lined up with day passengers flocking to the streets if Dubrovnik's old town, each ship carries between 2000-4000 passengers plus crew which offer a huge passing trade to local businesses,
We passed the entrance to the port as we skirted around the new inflatable water park and onto the Lapad coastline, this area is heavily populated by tourists with about 15 hotels in a small stretch next door to one another all hugging the rocky beaches offering swimming and watersports from their front door, we headed past the hotels and made for a small rocky outcrop which housed a lighthouse building and some interesting rock slots to paddle through, as we weaved our way through the gaps we headed back for the main coastline, looking up at the towering cliffs above with no access we had left the busy hotels behind for quiet tranquil paddling before we hear the slapping and bouncing of a pair of jet skis flying by.
The coastline is full of boats weather it be small fishing boats, fun pleasure boats, yachts or multi million cruisers the Adriatic has it all and because of it warm climate and no tides if you have money you can have a big boat and sail with little experience, luckily many of these people never take their boats anywhere the water actually move and has tides,
We continued across the bay heading for a locals beach and beach bar where we tied up for a cool beer and a quick dip, with the beach crowded with locals, sunbathing, or huddled around playing cards it was a nice stop off for a dip in the cool blue to stretch the legs before rounding the head for the old town,
As we passed the corner with the city's walls high above our heads we cut into the below the pile gate for a photo opportunity, we rounded the Old Town of Dubrovnik taking in the spectacular view of the old walls, earlier in the week we had taken a walk on the walls to look out to see this time we were paddling from the bottom looking up, as we passed cafes some were swimming from the rocks others fishing all relaxing in the evening sun, we took a turn and headed for the island of Locrum Just off the Dubrovnik coast another magnificent island with much more greenery than some of the others, full of trees. On the backside of the island we found more people fishing looking for their dinner, many had climbed down the cliffs and rocks to find their own secluded spot, as we came to another large sea cavern we were passed by a rival outdoor company paddling around the island on double sit in tops struggling to move as we glided onwards in our 16ft6 Capellas making the job look easy having already paddled 15km plus where these guys had done less than 2km.
As we rounded the corner we were greeted by a sunset view of Dubrovnik's old town a perfect end to the paddle, one of the most beautiful city's silhouetted in one of the most beautiful sunsets, reds and oranges of the evening sky passing behind the hills behind,
As we paddled back into the Old town we were greeted once again by Vedran with the van where we loaded up before heading back to their apartment for some dinner, we were greeted by Johnny who had been busy rearranging the fridge for the beer, that evening we chilled out on the terrace drinking Slovenian beer (Croation beer is terrible as Jonny put it like sex in a kayak - Fu**ing close to water!) and a feast of meats and salads, long into the night.
Thanks to all the guys at Outdoor Croatia, Vedran, Marko and Johnny you were fantastic hosts and will be travelling back again soon for more adventures,
For more information on sea kayaking in Croatia as well as other activities on offer check out OUTDOOR CROATIA
And the OUTDOOR CROATIA FACEBOOK PAGE
They are genuinely nice people and always happy to give the best advice on planning trips away.
Labels: canoe, kayak, keen, keen europe, paddle4play, palm, playak, pyranha