Flying in over Dubovnik was magical, creating excitement for the start of our swim trek holiday in Montenegro. Waiting for 2 1/2 hrs in Dubovnik wasn't quite so exciting! We had coffee, read and played 'I Spy' trying to spot fellow Swim Trekkers waiting for the transfer. I spotted Tracey from Melbourne before we made our way to the transfer bus where we met up with Matt, Lucy, Ellie and Sophie.
The drive to Perest took about 1 1/2 through green, tree lined roads with mountains to the left and as we got close, the sea and the bay to our right. Excitement mounted as we drove around the bay and guessed which village was Perest.
Arrival was through a gate as the small village is restricted to local cars to maintain its heritage status. It's beautiful. This small village lines up along the waterfront looking across the bay to other small settlements.
Finally after 28 hrs we arrived at Perest Palace our beautiful home for the week. Our fellow Trekkers arrived - Michael from Germany, Yannick - Switzerland , sisters Anya and Sam from France and England, friends Rosanna and Catherine from London, friends Ellie, Will and Sophie also from London, couple Matt and Lucy from near Liverpool, experienced trekker Jen from the lakes district and our fellow Aussie Tracey. A great group!
We met our guides for the week. Coll from Cornwall and John from Newcastle and they look like good fun and ready to take on our mixed group of 16 swimmers.
Nerves kicked in at the orientation talk where we introduced ourselves and talked about our swimming experience. I was not the novice of the group this time ! I didn't want to relax because it's well known I have two speeds. Slow and 'not so slow with fins!'
Coll allocated our group colour hats according to the 1km time we submitted online. Did we tell the truth about our speed? Did we over or underestimate our swiftness? That will be the question. I was given orange along with Steve, Lucy and Matt. What! It can't be. Steve is much faster than I am. And apparently it's the fast group! I think there's been an error - but all shall be revealed at the first swim! We headed down to the waters edge down about 50 steps to the most picturesque spot. I love this place already!
The group were bonding and everyone seems to be ready to get to know each other and have some fun.
In we went. It was a bit crowed for me and swimming with out fins I quickly dropped to the back of the group and decided to enjoy the swim. Not orange group speed I'm sure! We went for about 300 metres had a chat then continued on towards our hotel along the shore line. About 800 all up. Lovely water temperature lovely swimming.
First night of the week is a group dinner held in the dining room of our Palace. Our hosts prepared a feast of local foods and kindly catered for the three gluten free eaters. Washed down with local wines the night was a great success and set the tone for what is sure to be a fantastic week.