People and paradise

Thursday 2011/04/21

I don't seem to be able to leave from Prpa's. I just can't stop listening to this man's stories. His manner of speaking is very clear and concise but at the same time very moving, full of love, pride and respect for the mountain he knows so well and cares for so much. The Velebit mountain range is Prpa's life, and Prpa is the embodiment of Velebit. Listening to Prpa's archaic words, carried on his husky voice, they sound so ancient and wise you get the feeling as if this extraordinary and magnificent mountain is talking to you through him.

Ljudi i rajevi

To experience the full splendour of Velebit, make sure you pay Prpa a visit. And not just because he may well be the only real living connoisseur of Velebit, willing to share all of its many secret stories, but also because of his wonderful mountain lodge which instantly puts you right in the centre of this mountain's amazing beauty.

Near the lodge there is Kubus with gorgeous views of the sea from one side, and the beginning of Dabarski kukovi from the othe. There's also the old road Terezijana, with the Premuziceva staza path leading to Ravni dabar and over Alan all the way to Zavizan.

A few hours later I left the lodge and took a macadam path towards the farthest eastern part of Dabarski kukovi. I passed through this calcareous, rocky back bone of Velebit, whose reef stretches for 5-6 kilometres to Bacic kuk, and started descending towards Rizvanusa.

Unlike Prpa, Goran Super is a very modern and enterprising man. Ten years ago he set out to develop an Adventure-recreational centre on his family estate. "Rizvan city" is nowadays very successful and an indispensable destination for everyone in search for some exciting, action packed adventure in unspoiled surroundings of magnificent, natural beauty. Goran and his team are doing excellent business over here, which is evident on their guests happy faces. (Our faces were that much happier for having a fantastic meal over there.)

While we were there, we couldn't leave without seeing Nikola Tesla's Memorial centre in Smiljan. I don't think I need to explain much on that. What a genius!

The rest of the day was pretty much all pedalling. We had to make up for the late start and there was no more time to be wasted. In short: I thought I was never going to get to the end of the notch from Siroka Kula to Bunic, I was worried about the dark so I gave up on trying to meander through some unknown pathways at Plitvicka jezera, and the section from Korenica to Prijeboj has the traffic packed with trucks and is not the best for cyclists. I managed to gather 100 kilometres all together. And, if you'd pardon, my bum hurts just thinking about it. Literally.