Sunday 3 August 2014

Sea Kayaking in Croatia and more of the same in Cham

STILL no sign of summer here in Cham - surely it has to come soon?!?! To escape the gloom, Sharon and I made the long drive down to the stunning Croatian island of Rab for some sea kayaking, an activity marginally more suitable for my knackered shoulder than cragging in Cham when the showers let off for an hour or 2. 

Ironically enough we didn't enjoy perfect weather and had to make some changes to the trip but the scenery and overall experience of living out of the kayaks was incredible. I did a few kayak/canoe journeys years ago in Norway and Canada (plus numerous rain/midge infested jaunts around the Scottish lochs and coasts) so it was great to rekindle my paddling career. I avoid anything involving white water like the plague but slowly paddling along on calm seas is the most fantastic way to travel and we will definitely be back to Croatia for more in the near future.

So, absolutely nothing to do with Chamonix conditions but here's some shameless showing off - 

Coffee in Trieste on the way down. Possibly the best coffee I've ever had.

Typically beautiful scenery and crystal clear water.

Moody light and vast space.

Sharon dwarfed by the scenery (click on the photo to see her) on the north side of Grgur island, which was a prison camp during Tito's reign of Yugoslavia.

A scary looking sky! About 5 minutes after this was taken we decided that we disliked the look of the weather so much that we should pack up the kayaks and paddle to a village a kilometre away and find a hotel. Our good sense/cowardice was rewarded when a storm of biblical proportions arrived shortly after nightfall. Watching it from the hotel with a beer in hand definitely beat the prospect of watching it from the tent.

A quick snorkel before dinner on our final night of camping. 

A brief trip into Venice to do the tourist thing on the way home. 

So I'm now back in Cham and though I'm keen to get out in the hills, I think I'll just get my head down and work as the weather looks pretty shaky for at least the rest of the week. One thing to bear in mind when all looks lost is that the last time we had a truly awful summer (in 2011), the sun came out in late August and we had the most fantastic autumn that anyone can remember. In the space of just over 6 weeks that autumn (after getting tap all done in all of June, July and early August), I managed to squeeze in 2 routes in the Vanoise, the Kuffner ridge, the traverse of La Meije, the Aiguille Verte, the West ridge of the Salbitschijen, plus a 3 week trip to Bolivia!!!! 

Stay positive :)