11km from the village of Kostanje behind the coastal range and down into the Cetina Gorge.
Today our bus drops us off at Kostanje. The hike this morning is beautiful, sunny skies, quiet village’s, small farms and lots of beautiful flowers everywhere.
The paths are gentle, although they do get a little more challenging underfoot as we ascend 240m up to our lunch spot with views of he Cetina River far below. We are a large group today and the conversation is lively as we eat our lunch. The views are spectacular from here.
Ok, lunch is done and now it is time to take the donkey track switchbacks down some 700m or so down to the river. Reminds Doris & I of many a trail in Nepal and although some of the group is quite tentative, we all manage to wee wind our way slowly down.
Before long we are in the long speed boat and whisked off to a historic mill that has been made into a lovely restaurant. The place is lively and our waiter, I will call him Borys as he has that deep, deep voice that only a Borys can have, is very efficient with the nice cold drinks. We are all happy to be here and have the trail behind us.
Now it’s time to take the boats to Omis on the coast. The two young men driving our boats are joking amongst themselves and before long the whole group is laughing. We are not quite sure what they are saying, but do mention the word pushka which apparently means booty! Hmmmmmm, I think we may have been the ‘butt’ of their jokes. It is all in good fun and before long we are skimming along the river looking back up, up & up to where we have come.
The group is divided into two boats, and you know what that means – competition! The race was on, first they were ahead, and then we were and on it went. Hilariously, Doris & Janine, who are both Dragon Boat paddlers, got out their hiking poles and started to ‘paddle’. The cheering and clapping was beyond funny – what a great group!
As we come closer to the coast, the limestone walls of the gorge are still high above us. We pass a collection of wood huts along the river which are fishing huts, or as we called them, man caves. Further along we see rock climbers climbing up the face of one of the cliffs and then we dock at this gorgeous quaint town of Omis.
We have some time to wander and one of us discovers a fantastic jewelry store that specializes in handmade unique pieces made from Brac stone. The owner of the store was the designer/artist and had wonderful pieces. Most of the ladies purchased at least one or two items and we were in retail heaven! I had wanted to buy something made from a Brac stone (used in buildings around the world including the White House) while on the Island of Brac but couldn’t find anything I liked. I was beyond thrilled to get a piece I could wear! Martin referred to our purchases as ‘Brac Bling’.
Having had a great day, the spirits are high as we board our coach back to Baska Voda. Shortly after we arrived at the hotel, we all don our Croatia Hoodies and head to the beach for a group photo. Martin is our famous photographer and does a fabulous job – what a great photo and memento of the week.
Cocktails, and what’s on for tomorrow’s final hikes, are up next. We choose to sit on the patio as it is so beautiful in the evenings. Many of us wear our Brac Bling and the banter is endless. Dinner is fabulous as always and we carry on for a little while back in the bar inside.
I am really going to miss the group when our week is finished.