Flying bulls ... Giant carrots on limestone pavements on islands... An accordionist, torches and Brazilian flip flops next to the kayak ... No, I'm not dreaming and I’m not completely crazy ... I can explain everything…Honest.
It all began with a morning call from Cvik, the communications manager from Red Bulla. At first I thought he was joking when he said he would send a helicopter to take a few shots of us from the air. But when we heard the sound of a powerful helicopter equipped with a recording device there was no other than to believe in fairy tale about flying bulls. I don’t know how much it costs to fly such a machine, but the photos and video footage of Bol and Zlatni rat from the air, probably the most famous and most photographed Croatian beach, were an extremely valuable gift from Red Bull. Mislav, their athlete responsible for this airdrop, was delighted. And if there weren’t for Vlado from the oldest and largest Croatian surf center, where he borrowed the kayak, none of this would have happened. So the Big Blue helped Red Bull give Mislav wings.
We explained the flying bulls, now follow the giant carrots. So we paddled smoothly through the calm sea from Bol towards Vrboska on the island of Hvar. Such calm is rare in the channel, which is known for its constant winds that make it an interesting location for windsurfers and kite flyers from all over the world. When the sea is so calm I like to kayak alone, in the silence disturbed only by the rhythmic plash of oars, so I was a little separated from the rest of the trio. For a moment I thought I was stuck too much in a meditative state when on a small island ahead I saw gigantic, two-meter carrots protruding from the rocks. The fact the island is called Zečevo (Rabbit’s), and rabbits love carrots, that Čedo eagerly offers us for breakfast, perhaps is some kind of an explanation, but is still quite far from a rational one. Googling later on the internet I discovered it was an artistic installation by a sculpture workshop held a few years ago in Jelsa.
After a short break with a mutant-vegetable on Zečevo, we paddled to Vrboska, the smallest town on Hvar. Due to the deep fiord and small bridges that connect the narrowest part of the channel, Vrboska is called "Little Venice". Here we met the kind people from the Pačo proposed a change to the original plan of entering the town of Hvar on bikes and instead offered to enter the harbor in kayaks. Until now the proposals by locals seemed better than my plans, so I accepted the proposal Hvar adventure
I’m a little bit sorry that, due to little time left, we won’t pass through the Stari Grad Plain, which was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List a few years ago, but it turns out that there is an even better view of this sight from the main road which we are riding on. Stari Grad Plain is significant because its plots date back to ancient times and it is the best preserved original division of land made by Greeks in the Mediterranean. Each arduous turn of the pedal on the ascent to the tunnel on the road to Milna, where we would again sit in kayaks, paid off as soon as we crossed to the south side of the island. Hvar landscapes and views of other islands, Korčula, Vis, Paklenjaci or the impressive Pelješac peninsula, are simply amazing. Miracles on Hvar are so frequent that they are already considered common. Starogradsko polje is significant because its plots date back to ancient times and it is the best preserved original division of land made by Greeks in the Mediterranean. Each arduous turn of the pedal on the ascent to the tunnel on the road to Milna, where we would again sit in kayaks, paid off as soon as we crossed to the south side of the island. Hvar landscapes and views of other islands, Korčula, Vis, Paklenjaci or the impressive Pelješac peninsula, are simply amazing. Miracles on Hvar are so frequent that they are already considered common.
We switched to kayaks in Milna and after the first cape we encountered another adventurous friend, Darija, along with three Brazilians. They loved Welcome so much that they wanted to join us and peddle with us to Hvar. We continued along reinforced and with international support. Then just before the final cape before entering the town, the spectacle began. First we heard from a boat coming in our direction an accordion playing the unofficial anthem of Hvar made by the local rockers from the square Gegota, called Jamajka. That song cheered me up and the hilarity of passengers who sang it, but I did not think it had something to do with us.
Many times people waved to us, greeting and cheering us from their boats, speed boats and tourist boats, while we paddled past them. But when the ship began to turn and follow us and I recognized among the singers Georges, the marketing manager of the Turističke zajednice I realized they were there for us. Then other boats, speedboats and sailboats began to turn and with the ship sirens, shouting, cheering, as well as songs and, of course, the torches, surrounded us and sailed with us. In an instant there was a crowd and the noise of their loud sirens which was enhanced by a number of sailing ships berthed in the city port. I think that even the Hvar adventure team was surprised by such a reception. Luckily I had already managed to cry the tears of emotion and glee before docking and confronting the rest of the cheerful welcome committee. I looked ridiculous enough in neoprene shorts and a protective cover that looks like a skirt; so to cry in front of so many people wouldn’t leave me with any dignity. There were many people at the top of the Hvar waterfront of the world, and somehow informally honest and cheerful mayor Pjerino welcomed us, who helped to pull kayaks out of the sea, the president of Hvar artisans Kate, Zrinka from Suncani Hvar… There was a table on the waterfront with a homemade brandy, wine, cheese, prosciutto ... right, honest, cheerful and happy welcome.
The Hvar fairy tale continued in the evening in a magical environment of a tavern "Stori komin" (Old fireplace) in Malo Grablje, an old, abandoned (with the exception of the mentioned tavern) hamlet of stone houses squatted in the impressive cliff of a deep canyon. The party with the precious pe HA, and a very exotic, charismatic boss Berti went on long into the night which is why I’m a day late with this blog. Don’t hold it against me. It’s a miracle I remember everything.