Kayaking the Zrmanja RiverJune 26, 2017 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F
Kayaking the Zrmanja River
We said our farewells to Korana Village and our excellent cook, Mariana, and set off for the river kayaking adventure with planned stops along the way.
The first stop was an overlook of Plitvice, which was great to see where we'd been walking 2 days before. The next stop was a coffee and rest stop in a village that showed more evidence of war destruction than we'd seen before. Apparently this was a town that was not as high a priority for rebuilding as our previous two destinations.
Our REI guide, Micha, was 9 years old when the family was evacuated from Croatia to Bosnia, then to Syria (strange to hear that now). Micha and his family returned about 9 years later, after he finished high school. A lot of the things he tells us about life in Croatia is amended with "after" or "before" the war. Like how the village in the distance where we stopped for an overview of the Velebit mountains used to have 5,000 people, factories, a high school, and now it has 300 people, mostly retired, farming goats and small gardens.
Still, things aren't all doom and gloom. He loves sharing the natural beauty of his country, and our group gets along fantastically, with lots of fun and jokes.
Also on the drive to the river we stopped at a 700-year-old Russian Orthodox monastery. Micha knows the priest and arranged for him to explain about the history of the building and its artifacts. Like how Interpol found their lost/stolen icons in 1984 in Amsterdam and returned them to the church. We also heard Gregorian-type chanting/singing in the distance.
Now, on to the kayaking: we were on the river for about 3-1/2 hours, paddling through green-blue water with occasional small rapids and a few small waterfalls we could go over for some low-stress fun. Darryl got to go down a 6-8 foot waterfall at one point because only one person from each double kayak could go safely. The rest of us walked around and took pictures of the daredevils. And none of us went over the 40-ft waterfall shown in our pictures. We were the only people on the river the whole time. This is really a beautiful country with very friendly people.
We ended the day in Novigrad, a small town on the Adriatic Sea on the Dalmatian Coast. We had an open-air dinner of sea bass and calamari as the sun set and the large crescent moon began to rise.Read more