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Trip Blog

The Last Stretch - Fran in Montenegro. Part 4.

By Fran Maitland , 14 July, 2016

Another lovely breakfast and we set off in a bus. Not our usual boat.

We arrived at the Lake Skader and set off in a new boat. Big and well shaded we enjoyed the trip through what looked like mangroves with lily pads until we reached a small island - a former prison. That's where we set off for our 2 km swim. It felt different in fresh water and with no salt, not as buoyant as we're used to.

It was also rougher, making it harder, but I loved it. The optional 1.3km trip was with the wind and made for a lovely swim. Everyone did the optional swim. The only disappointing thing was the water wasn't as clear. You can't see anything much. It's like swimming in a bubble.

A picnic lunch in a shady restaurant gave us a rest but no ice cream! Coll! We swim better with ice cream.

The afternoon swim was in the river, the Moraca and we were prepared for the cold. We'd been told it was cold enough for a wet suit, but it wasn't. Just refreshing. Until we swam into the river debris - floating natural material, a little slimy. Not so pleasant.

The last day of a SwimTrek is full of expectations. Will SwimTrek deliver whatever it is we think it has promised?

Would it be as advertised 'in the brochure'? - Well, we were about to find out!

Down to the boat and a cheery greeting from Pietro and Sasha and off we headed. Today we were going out of the two bays that connect Montenegro to the sea. Pietro gave us a little background history of the place and pointed out the submarine shelters from the war. We would be swimming into one later in the day.

We turned left out of the bay into the sea and conditions changed. The water colour was different, the waves a little choppier. Italy was across from us but we couldn't see it. We were ready to tackle it.

Along the coast we travelled with other boats. A small regatta of craft all headed for the caves. Sadly we couldn't swim in the first one because of the other boats. Why they let boats go in I don't know. It has spoilt what could be a great experience, but our trusty guide 'Coldark' promised we could swim in the next cave.

And we did. The water was clear and there were lots of little fish swimming around the rocks. It's great to see the bottom of the sea after the more cloudy bay waters.

Then it was time for our daily 'big swim' so Pietro took us to a calmer spot and away we went for a 2km swim into a beach and then out to the boat. For this swim, the timing between groups was better and we more or less finished together.

Lunch was at a long table on a shady terrace overlooking a pebbly beach with a roped off area for swimmers. Perfect. We had a variety of dishes, but no alcohol as we were planning a 3 km swim this afternoon. We did have gelato!

Back on the boat we passed around the headland found a calm spot in the bay and swam off past a ship wreck and along the coast. We passed beach houses and people fishing, till we came to the first of the submarine shelters. We had swum for about 3km and were so pleased with ourselves. Swimming into the bunker was a little scary, but we decided it would be a good place for a SwimTrek dinner and our event planners and Rosie and Sam could stage the whole event. Chandeliers, mood lighting etc…

The trip back was full of fun and spirits! Literally, as Pietro our boat captain produced a bottle of homemade Grappa and how could we refuse! So there we were drinking it out of white plastic cups.

Arriving back into Perest was a little sad. It would be the last time we would arrive back by boat. And it was still 4 pm. The town clock is stuck on 4, so it's always time for a sundowner!

Yes, the Last Day did deliver everything we expected. It was probably our best day of the week. Great swimming. Great fun. Lifelong friends.

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@removed_user_11935
STAFF MEMBER

Great blog Fran! Thanks for a fantastic week! haha 'Coldark' love it :)

posted about 4 years ago