My first SwimTrek experience was 10 years ago. I went to Croatia and I was worried. I was worried about getting to this little known town called Prvić, worried about being amongst possible Olympian swimming champions and even worried about swimming in the deep sea. Yep, I was scared.
Travelling was uneventful, well as far as Gatwick.. My flight to Split was delayed therefore time spent organising the finer details of public transport had been a pointless exercise. I arranged a taxi to the port of Sibenik from where I was to take a private water taxi to Prvic. It was well into the evening when we arrived at the port and my very kind driver phoned the water taxi on my behalf, Croatian not being part of my secondary education. I was asked to wait whilst the pilot finished his supper and the obligatory bottle of wine. After a while he drove onto the waterfront on his moped - I only detected a slight wobble to the wheel, - we climbed aboard to find the boat lights weren’t working. “Not a problem” he declared, and promptly stuck his head through the roof hatch and set forth at great speed steering with his right foot on the wheel. Welcome to Croatia and your first SwimTrek experience Maggie.
On arrival at the hotel, my companions for the week were already seated at a long dining table and getting to know their fellow swimmers. I joined a group of four and they told me that their previous SwimTrek holiday was swimming the Thames. I retired to my room, phoned my husband and spoke tearfully about their fantastic achievement. I felt as though I was on the wrong holiday. Of course, it was only later that I learnt that it was a section of the river and not the whole Thames that they had swum and indeed they turned out to be ‘scenic swimmers’ and not the Olympic swimmers that I had feared.
I had a wonderful week. I came home full of confidence in my ability to adapt to unknown situations and promptly booked my next SwimTrek.
After my 5th SwimTrek holiday, I decided I would call it a day but when the next year came around, I thought “just one more” and so it has followed that now I am into my 10th year. I telephone the office to book my holiday and always end up saying ‘this will be my last’. They humour me and say ‘of course Maggie’. I will continue to enjoy destinations that I wouldn’t normally go to, meet people who I wouldn’t normally meet but through a shared passion enjoy a wonderful camaraderie.
After Croatia, the Greek Islands, Malta, Turkey, Slovenia, Mallorca, Scottish Hebrides, the challenging Hellespont, Montenegro and finally Oman followed. Experiencing all these lovely places, the Scottish Hebrides stands out for me. Now I’m of an age where I would prefer staying in a 5* hotel not camping on an uninhabited island armed with a shovel for, well, you know what, but the beauty of the landscape, the wildlife and the sense of peace that envelopes will remain memorable.
So after a decade of being an avid follower of SwimTrek, will I book another? Just one more maybe.