For the last 2 weeks Mark and I have been doing what we do best together… chasing adventure. This time we were Croatia-bound starting in Dubrovnik for a week sailing with Medsailors around islands bordered by deep blue turquoises while journeying to Split, before jumping into a car to road trip on the mainland and heading home from Pula in the north. Destination? Exploration. The plan was that we had no plan. We didn’t even read the itinerary or our Medsailors trip because we find comfort in not knowing where the next day, next minute or next hour might end up taking us. And that decision to remain open to adventure, was the best decision we made.
About What Happened
We chased waterfalls, explored by bike, explored by foot, jumped in turquoise lakes, jumped off jagged rocks into the sea, biked up a mountain, discovered a cave you can swim into, hiked in national parks, got lost in a pine forest and spent 5 whole nights camping under the stars and 3 whole nights seeking shelter in accommodation booked along the way. We even ended up in Slovenia. I never dreamed we’d end up in Slovenia. We zig-zagged between the cool wet highland and the warm dry low land, we got rained on, sun kissed and salt kissed.
We drank Slovenian coffee, tasted Croatian pastries, discovered hobbit holes, jungle camps, towns that were dead and towns that were alive. We even spent 3 glorious hours eating Pizza and eating gelato in Italy. We saw fig trees, pommegranate trees, persimmon trees, and olive trees in the flesh. We lived like hippy royalty, taking every day as it came, following the weather and chasing the next adventure. Hopping from national park to national park, soaking up Balkan and non-Balkan culture along the way starting every day with a bowl of muesli to fuel our adventure before heading into the no-mans land of our plans. It was any adventure queen or king’s dream come true and we were living it.
For those 8 beautiful days, there was no family, no friends, no job, no London, there was just us, Google Maps and our hearts yearning for new places, new smells, new sounds and discoveries beyond that of any tourist board brochure or pre-determined adventure itinerary.
Seriously though. Slovenia.The gorgeous houses, the pine forests, the biking trails, the coffee, the expansive landscapes and 42km of coast. Slovenia was an unexpected dream come true and it’s definitely up there in the adventure R&R hot list in my eyes.
We actually ended up there because I am one lucky girl and have a travel buddy who has a spirit as adventurous as mine. We were looking for somewhere to mountain bike. Plitvice Lakes was wet. Our tent was wet. Everything we had on us was saturated by the rain after we hiked Plitvice Lakes. We were cold. And we were over the rain. But we were hungry for endorphins, for adventure. And so Mark found a place called Kočevje through a couple of google searches.
Turns out the hostel we stayed in only opened in April and this was the first year of the biking trails being drawn up for tourism. Meaning that we found a sick new spot that was off the beaten track. Not only that but the hostel prepared a fresh breakfast every morning of local produce – the perfect adventure fuel to kick our butts up that mountain. Yes, that’s right, we climbed to an elevation of nearly 1000m – mainly because we got lost and went the savage uphill route but adventure called and we rode it out ’til the end. It was uncomfortably challenging and perfect all the same.
Lessons Learned on What to Pack
And we were almost prepared for all of it, but Croatia in September isn’t what you might imagine it to be – it’s not sub-tropical med heat any more come the end of September. Take note. Not only that, but it’s incredible how one part of the country will be 14℃ while the coast will be 21℃.
You’d think I would have learned my lesson when I had no choice but to buy a really expensive jacket in Norway… but I didn’t. And once again I had no choice but to invest in a new jacket along the way (this time not as expensive). As well as a beanie, second jumper, more socks and trousers. Don’t worry I’m working on a packing guide together with Medsailors so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Note to self, it gets fucking cold in Europe, OK! It’s not the tropics. You always think it’s the tropics Lou.
I always think it’s the tropics guys.
New Discoveries, Ideas for You and Getting Creative
So, now I’m working on some guides for you, going through all that footage and photography to bring you the highlights from the trip and share everything we learned along the way so you can be prepared and inspired your next trip to Croatia. And hopefully Slovenia too!
Have you been to Croatia or Slovenia?
Where did you go? I’d love to know!
Or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask… i might know the answer, i might not, but i’ll try to point you in the right direction.
Stay wild adventurers!
with love, L x
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