I am not just passionate about Croatia – I am passionate about SWIMMING and wherever there is water, I want to be there. Croatia was just the “cherry on the top”!
I discovered SwimTrek’s website and decided that my first trip overseas was going to be the Croatia Dalmatian Coast. What could be better – the chance to travel which I had always longed to do, to do lots of swimming and the chance to meet swimmers like me, just did it for me! This trip was the trip of a lifetime. I gained knowledge, made new friends and have grown some more. I travelled from South Africa to Croatia on my own (at the age of 56) and did not feel at all apprehensive or scared. I was like a sponge – soaking up everything there was to see and do and I just could not get enough of everything.
On the little island of Privic Luca, we stayed in a lovely hotel which was managed by very friendly staff. The people in the rest of the group were, at first, complete strangers, but we all had a common interest – swimming - and quickly bonded. Every day we would get together over drinks and dinner to discuss the day’s swims. Each person in the group came from a different background and culture – we had “granny”, her daughter and her grand-daughter, we had 2 lovely young guys who took it upon themselves to “look after” the older members of the group, we had a couple from Sweden who were an absolute delight and obviously doted on each other. We then had the 2 young girls from Germany and the 2 couples from America who were related by marriage. We spent a lot of time with this group and the camaraderie between us all was great. Everyone encouraged the other and assisted each other with swimming tips. Swimming is a common platform where people can meet and totally enjoy each other’s company. We were also able to do lots of sight seeing on the islands around Privic Luca and I just wished that I could have spoken their language to find out more about their history from the “oldies” on the island. I am sure that they would have had lots of stores to tell us that we would not get on any website or history book.
In July, the sun in Croatia only sets at 9.00 pm in the evening and it was a bonus to spend so much time outdoors. Watching the sunset was beautiful. The weather was perfect in the time that I was there. Every day was sunny and clear skies. It was also extremely hot and obviously the best place to be was in the water. The Adriatic Sea is so blue and so very clear and it was just so amazing to swim in. There is no pressure on how fast you go – it is not a race, just a leisurely swim around the islands and to see the starfish and coral. We also did some channel crossings and it amused me that the one day we were told that we could not do the crossing as the currents were not good and the wind was blowing. This absolutely amused me because the guides had no idea of the sea conditions that Durban, South Africa has. In Durban, we have what is called “the Dolphin Mile Swims” which takes place each winter from April through to September. Our Durban winter is absolutely stunning but sometimes the sea conditions are pretty hectic with waves crashing down, side currents, swells over 3 meters high and rip tides.
The guides at SwimTrek were absolutely amazing – making sure that our safety was a top priority. The lunches we enjoyed on the boat each day was tasty and filling and had loads of variety. They took a video of us swimming the one day and that evening went through each and everyone’s strokes. They pointed out faults that each of us might have had and advised us on how to improve. This was extremely interesting as not everyone sees what they look like when they are swimming. It is then easy to see what problems you have and then try and correct it.
At the end of the week, we exchanged e-mails and we still keep in touch. I have already received an e-mail from one of the lads who is interested in doing another SwimTrek and wanted to know if I would be able to join him.
I am now extremely keen to do the Mexico SwimTrek!