Travel Journal

The Newest Member

(Friday 15 November 2013) by Mariken
Woah, we are way behind! We left Slovenia ages ago (two weeks) and are now in the EU's newest member: Croatia. Enchantée.

We spent some nice climbing days around Osp, climbing in Crni Kal and Misja Pec, which was brutal beyond belief! The hardest route I climbed there was a 5b and after that one and a 4c (a 4c!!) I was absolutely, totally pumped. So much for stamina... Training time! As the weather slowly turned bad, we decided it was time to leave Slovenia and head south, to Croatia.

We headed out for Dvigrad first as it has supposedly both rocks and a campsite, although the last one apparently is owned by a somewhat strange guy on whose 'whims' (quoting the Rock Climbing Atlas here) it depends whether it is open or not. Well, we found the rocks and the campsite, but apparently the camping mood was negative, as everything appeared to be completely closed. We went to Rovinj instead, which houses about a trillion campsites, which unfortunately were all closed too. I don't get it, perfect weather year round, beautiful climbing conditions and campsites are only open from April to October? :-?
Sunset at Rovinj
Sunset at Rovinj
The only campsite in the vicinity that was open, was one of the main campsites of Vrsar, at the other end of the Limski canal. We spent a few days there, but as dogs decided our tent was the best 'tree' available, we left after a few days. The tent still being 'wet' we decided to give up camping for a while and headed back to Rovinj to try out private accommodation. That proved to be a wise decision; after some shopping around between tourist agencies, we finally found a nice studio ourselves (by just ringing the doorbell at a house that had a sign outside), which turned out to be much friendlier and cheaper than with any agency. And the good thing of a studio is that I can cook again! (Cooking as opposed to making pasta with tomato sauce :-p).

The last two weeks in Rovinj were nice and relaxt. We carried out our ritual of having the car fixed again (leaking slavepump this time, the aftermath of our El Chorro gear shift adventure. Remember? Shutting down engine, changing gear, starting engine, driving a few metres, shutting down engine, changing gear, etc.) and spent the other days climbing or sightseeing.
The (old) man and the sea...
The (old) man and the sea...
The rocks in Rovinj are near the coast, so beautiful views and gorgeous sunsets guaranteed! The rock is good, albeit not that high and because of all the graffiti it sometimes feels like you're climbing the Berlin wall. The grading is sometimes a bit vague. I climbed a 6a without even realising I did it and then the 5b next to it proved to be totally impossible, unless it is a 5b/A0 (which would definitely make more sense). As I said, a bit off. When not climbing we were sightseeing the Istrian Peninsula: Rovinj, Porec and Pula. A word of advice: if you want to see these places and the Istrian coast, then don't visit the Istrian peninsula in high season, when it houses more people that China and India together. It must be terrible here in summer, but now it is peaceful and quiet. Our newest EU colleagues are multilingual; I am speaking English, German and a few words of Italian here. |:-)

Tomorrow and Sunday we will be enjoying our final days of climbing in Rovinj after which we will be heading to Croatia's major climbing area: Paklenica, near Zadar. It is supposed to be the new European climbing hotspot (next to Kalymnos), so we are eagerly awaiting our arrival there. Hopefully the weather will cooperate... We keep you posted!

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