Food for thought

Saturday 2011/04/23

One of the things every resident of Croatian should definitely go and see is Premuziceva staza. Just as we learn about our history, our artists and poets, our culture... we should definitely encompass this into our knowledge and experience as well. It is possible to get to Zavizan by car, but anyone who can endure a three hour shopping spree or a ball game with the guys, should be able to go hiking through this masterpiece of persistence and ambiance construction. So, no excuses.

Sit gladnom ne vjeruje

This amazing sight is a truly priceless legacy left behind by the forest engineer Ante Premuzic. The path is constructed so that it is almost perfectly straight and smooth, very pleasant for walking as it passes through the ridge crest of Velebit and through its most impractical parts of Hajducki and Rozanski kukovi. Therefore, everyone interested can easily enjoy all the magnificent beauty of our amazing Velebit. Apparently the eldest person roaming these paths was a 95 year old lady. Premuziceva staza is 57 kilometers long, but the „must see“ part is from Zavizan to Rossijevo skloniste and back. Truly magical.

The most attractive part of Premuziceva staza, 16 km from Zavizan to Alan, Inga, Luka and I walked through accompanied by a team "Skamnica" from Brinj. Elvis, who I met the day before in Otocac, gathered a team over night so they came and joined us. Apart from him, there were Mladen and Goran, a guide at the Velebit National park, who told us many interesting stories and was a very useful source of information during this great walk.

The team from Skamnica, performed a real American cavalry type rescue and saved poor Cedo. By some strange wonder, our coordinator always used to attempt feeding a number of speleologists and adventurers on nothing but cabbage, that is until he realized how important food really is. It somehow always seems to happen that he finds himself too far away from any food shop or restaurant. Since the cabbage episode, which we're not to mention again, Cedo's creative kitchen hasn't improved much, unfortunately. It usually consists of some combination with bread and Turkish delight or nothing all. But, you can't get angry with Cedo, especially when the superintendent Ante Vukusic is there bringing hot jacket potatoes, freshly baked bread and home made sausages. Our dinner was so delicious and tasty that it made our Cedo think and make some phone calls. Later on Elvis and the team arrived with more bread, cheese and many delicious foods from a place called Krasno.

It took us almost four hours to get to Alan. We enjoyed every meter of Premuziceva staza, climbed to the top of the nearby peak of Gromovaca, took a shortcut over a snow covered slope and admired some completely new wonders of Velebit. When we got to Alan, our very kind host, Ivo Hapac was already waiting for us, as was Cedo, who wasn't very happy about us being late. I said goodbye to Inga and the alpinists and rushed off on my bike, down Velebit through Jablanac.

Speed boat escort from the diving club Ronilacki klub Amfora was already there waiting for me and I was soon rowing towards Novalja. Crossing the channel took less than I expected, so after the speedy bike ride over the old lungo mare path, I arrived at Novalja exactly on time, to my own and Cedo's absolute surprise.

I was given a very nice welcome by the director TZ Novalje Tatjana Peranic-Samarzija with very appropriate gifts. The team was very pleased to get some delicious cheese from Pag, officially the best cheese in the world.

Our welcome at Novalja was so pleasant that the news I read about vijest a whale shark they had caught near by the island of Molat, made me that much more disturbed. I will be passing by this island on my next kayaking route. I can't even imagine how I would react if such a beast came out at me. Well, I hope I don't find out.

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