It's been nearly 11 hours since we sat down in our kayaks heading for Porec. We were rowing towards the small island of St. Jerolim, in between Brijuni and Pula.
„Niksa“, I asked, „are we gonna approach it from left or from right?“,
„Let's go from the right side... it will last longer“.
And that's how it was. We had been rowing for twelve hours straight and we still haven't had enough.
What a fantastic kayaking journey. And so completely different from our first day at sea, but still as enjoyable. The sea was dead calm throughout our journey, and when we really needed a push, the wind gave us a nudge and we were racing faster than 4, 5 miles per hour.
We were at the sea since 8 am. This time without any media fuss all around us, but with a few cheerful morning joggers, and the captain of Port of Porec wishing us good luck.
It was a surreal and beautiful start to the day. The sea had melted together with the sky, and little islands scattered around us looked like they were floating on air. Think scenes from the Avatar movie. This part of the trip that took us to Vrsar is amazingly beautiful, with numerous small islands around where you can just play. Niksa and Sale have already been here many times, but now they realized there was something different. The stillness. The sea that's usually foaming from all the scooters, speed boats and yachts, is completely calm now. Instead of all the usual seasonal hullabaloo, famous tourist camps Plava and Zelena laguna gave us a quiet farewell, peacefully awaiting the new season.
It seems like we have really attracted some serious media interest. While approaching the Port of Rovinj, we could hear people screaming „Welcome“, „Welcome“! So, when I asked a few workers on the jetty how come they knew about us, they said: „ Well, you've been all over TV yesterday, of course we know all about you!“
Somewhere towards Bale we met two fishermen. They were surprisingly well equipped and were filming us on their camera for a while. They also did a little interview with us. They knew everything about the Welcome project! Before we parted, one of them started explaining to me which way to go next, and then he stopped himself pointing out: „Why am I even telling you this... you've got your GPS and you're doing your thing.“
From Rovinj to Brijuni we went, as the fisherman put it „downhill“, driven by the wind and waves. Upon arrival at our first national park on the list, we were pleasantly greeted by wonderful Jasna Sabadin, who served us some amazing meals yet again. She grabbed some porcelain dishes out of a bag and started serving us with risotto, soya burgers (I don't know how she found out I don't eat meat), and apples filled with honey and walnuts.
Before leaving Brijuni, we went around the Verige bay to take a look at a magnificent Roman villa rustica, set in the grounds surrounded by herds of deer. Since it was still day, and we weren't feeling tired yet, we decided to go to Stoja, to shorten our tomorrow’s trip to cape Kamenjak. And for a special treat we got to enjoy the most amazing sunset. When we got to Stoja I said goodbye to Niksa and Sale. We'd spent two amazing kayaking days, and their company proved to be of great help. Goran Modrusan took over their shift. This ingenuous istrian adventurer will be my host for the next two legs of the trip. I can hardly wait.
P.S. The first person to contact us offering their home hospitality was a lady from Premantura, called Lenka. Her kindness and welcome with which she greeted us, serving crab, premanturian specialty, and amusing company of the director of Kamenjak Public Institution, were in the true spirit of the Welcome.
P. P. S. I'm finding this blogging far more tiresome than all the rowing I’m doing. I wrote last night’s blog after 2 am, and I woke up at half past 6. Today’s text was done last night after dinner, but I wrote a few more bits early at dawn, so I was a bit late to start the next trip. So, do forgive my writing style and level of dramatics in the text, at times.