Day 68 – Rafting!

Zadar, Croatia

Originally today I was planning on sailing around the Kornati islands but when I was out on my day trip yesterday I found out the UK guys were going rafting today.  After unsuccessfully trying to get to the Soca river in Slovenia last week to do rafting I instantly changed my plans.

So today I went rafting!

Early this morning myself, Joe, Will, Sean and Amanda (a girl working at the hostel) loaded into a van and, after stopping to pick up two other people from another hostel, were on our way.

I’ve gone white water rafting twice before and both times there was an extensive safety briefing to the point where you were positive somebody, if not everybody, would end up in the river (of course no one ever was).  Anyway, today’s safety briefing was conspicuously absent.  After suiting up in life vests and helmets that I’m assuming are only there to make you look ridiculous, we loaded our raft and were sailing away.

Now, I should point out at this point that in our group I had the most sleep last night at 6 hours.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I had more sleep than the other four combined.  The garden party at the hostel that I left “late” last night at 1am in fact went til about 5 or 6 in the morning.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that we weren’t the most rambunctious group and we certainly weren’t padding that hard.

Turns out the course we were on really didn’t require that much hard paddling as we kind of drifted down the calm river most of the time.  This was good and bad.  Obviously it was good because drifting on the river is kind of nice when you’re half awake but it was bad because if I’m going rafting I want the waves and the water flying in my face like I had on previous times.

We did hit a couple patches where we got wet but overall it was a pretty tame course.  We found out our guide is from Bosnia and was an Olympian in 2004 which is pretty damn cool.  We were enthralled with his stories on Bosnia life and, indeed, his own life.  I actually have him on facebook now so when I hit Bosnia I have a contact there.  He also promises some more challenging courses in his homeland so I probably will end up going rafting again in a couple of weeks.

By 2pm we were back at our hostel and since we were all kind of dreary it was a “sit on the patio relaxing” kind of afternoon.  Some of us napped, some of us played cards but we all took it easy until it was time for dinner.

For dinner tonight I knew I was going back to 2Ribara (the place I went with great cheap food and great service the other night).  After raving about them for awhile, the others joined me along with a couple more people and seven of us walked down to the old town to the restaurant.

For dinner tonight I started with a warm tuna salad with fresh grilled tuna, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.  We each had different entrees and I chose a stuffed veal dish served with grilled vegetables and fries.

Once again the food was amazing and we all came away from the table pleased and stuffed.  Whew!  That’s alot of pressure when you highly recommend the place and everyone comes based on that recommendation.  Thankfully it was a great experience.

And that’s it for Zadar.  In the morning I leave for Split and will stay there for awhile, explore the islands around the area and then head down to Dubrovnik later in the week.

Euro Trip 2013, Zadar, Croatia, Trip Journal
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