Day 31 for the records. Short fruit and yoghurt breakfast at home and off to Trogir for a morning excursion. Parking well organized again. What can I say? Another romantic and charming small old town area with the morning preparations of the shop and restaurant owners. Choose a restaurant at the church square for the second breakfast and watched the Japanese tourists photographing their wifes and friends. Sometimes this is just a pleasure (see below). Set navigation to Paklenica National Park near Zadar and Starigrad. First stretch long uphill country road then the top highway A1. I cannot describe it differently than smooth sailing with cruise control.
As the road to the park became rather narrow I asked a couple in a restaurant garden. They were from Austria from the province of Steiermark. Later I met a dozen of them. They drove a motorhome as well and gave green light for the narrow road ahead. Reached the gate, went for the ticket only to learn that my main motivation to come was closed since half an hour, the famous “water dripping” caves. A little disappointed I asked for a hike achievable in the afternoon. A very charming lady guide gave me good advice and sent me off on a trail. Had to park 2 km inside and was a little proud of myself how quick and efficient I was prepared for the adventure.
Just at the very beginning of the trail were a dozen of Steiermark boys and girls busy at the “climbing garden”. Had a short chat with some, took the pics and headed off into the gorge. Buy the way, the rock walls were nothing short of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, just not that high and wide.
I went next to a wild water river and the gorge remained very narrow only widening later. Many more people came downwards, I overtook only a few upwards. The countryside stayed impressive all the way up. As a little “proof” of it, many scenes of the Winnetou films were shot here. Needless to say that at a fork I choose the opposite side from which I should have following the lady’s recommendation. So instead of about 450 m altitude I reached 620 m. A narrow margin anyway. Up there I met Adi and Robert who were part of the party of Steiermarkers, but of my age. Great company on the way down, great conversation and good fun.
Later I found the camping ground and a stand 20 m from the shore with a sunset from the fairytales. My stand neighbour without asking helped me to roll the vehicle onto the levelling blocks at the rear axle. He measured the water temperature at 14 dgr because of cold mountain streams coming in. I tested the waters, and he was right…
Long chat to the owner of a Land Rover Defender. They can tell stunning stories.