What a beautiful morning. I can’t believe it is October. The sun is shining and it will be in the mid 20’s today.
I went down for breakfast around 7:30am and before long the whole group was down. It is a full breakfast which is nice. Our coach leaves at 9:30am so we still have plenty of time to organize poles and get fixings for lunch.
Everyone is on time and off we go, up, up & up to the drop off point – we are very happy they are driving us up to this point. One of the first comments from several people when we arrived was “oh man, look at those ‘bleeping’ high mountains”!
Out we get and separate into the easier hiking group and the harder hiking group. I chose the easier to be with the majority and assist where I could. And we are off, up more hills and through derelict old villages. Centuries ago, the Croatians lived high up the mountain to avoid invading enemies and pirates.
After a large earthquake in 1962 their homes were destroyed, and they moved down to the coastline – pirates, Turks, and Venetians were no longer a threat. In 1968 when the coastal road went through, tourism sprung up everywhere and the villagers opened hotels, businesses and prospered. These families still own the land above and are now trying to escape the tourists and are rebuilding the old hilltop villages.
Hiking along the contours of the Biokovo Mountains we are constantly rewarded with spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea, the towns of Baska Voda & Makarska and the islands of Brac & Hvar. The weather is sunny and warm with the occasional breeze.
Around 12:30pm we stop at a little clearing for our picnic lunch, and right on time as we are getting warm and a little weary. Reenergized after eating and sitting the shade we start off again, we have another two hours before arriving in Makarska. We can see the town below, but it doesn’t seem to be getting closer very quickly. Our descent starts gradually, however before long it steepens and becomes tarmac – tow of my least favourite conditions.
It was a long, hot and very tiring descent into Makarska and many a knee and toe were complaining! Finally at 3:00pm we arrived at the waterfront promenade and collapsed into chairs on a patio cafe. We were tired, but nothing a few sparkling waters won’t cure. 😄
We meet the coach at 4:30pm and we’re back in the comfort of our rooms by 5:00pm. Everyone rested for a couple of hours before filtering down to the lobby bar to meet for the walks briefing for tomorrow. Shortly after we head into the dining room and once again have a fantastic meal.
The group is mingling very nicely and getting to know one another – lots of chatter and laughter which is wonderful.