Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Croatia Sailing: Split

Suddenly it was the last day of our Croatia Sailing tour. We were headed back to Split, but not without a final swim stop.

This meant everyone on deck for a final plunge from the top of the boat. It also meant some hilarious pictures.

Ready... set...


Synchronised divers, kind of 

What a splash

Where are you going again starfish?

Solo jump from the roof, ahhh!

We lay out on the top deck for a last time, pumped some tunes and caught a last bit of sun. But it wouldn’t have been a proper last day without some rapping from Agenda MC.

Yes, we were about to appear in a hip hop video – you know the ones set partying on a boat with bikini clad chicks hanging out in the background? Yep, that was us, featuring Marcus the pirate cracking us all up.

Dobar dan I’m on a boat

We arrived in Split later that afternoon for a walk around town, some sneaky gelati, and to hit up the ATM. It was time to settle our bar tabs on the boat. Mine wasn’t as bad as expected, rounding off to about $200 for the week.

Hanging with Gandalf the Grey

We had a final group dinner at the Goli and Bosi hostel restaurant, where we celebrated Jesse J’s birthday with tequila shots. It was happy hour and they were so cheap! How could we refuse?

Bottoms up!

The celebrations continued at Charlie’s Bar, where we drank cocktails outside on the street and good old cement mixer shots inside at the bar.

Always a party

Ready to mix cement


Nikki Lab, bartender

Next up was the more chilled Red Room, followed by a walk to the Beach Club nightclub overlooking the water. This was probably the busiest club we’d been to all week. We danced the night away with our new friends before calling it a night and making the walk home to the boat.

It was sad to think we would be leaving so many great people the next morning, but have made plans to catch up with many of them back in Australia. A big thanks to Grace and Trev, Steph and Andia, Marcus and Jesse J, Cara, Jimmy and Shelly, Emma, Lani, Courtney and Sally for a fantastic week. And especially to Adam aka Agenda MC, when you become famous remember us!

I would strongly suggest picking up a Busabout or Sail Croatia tour around the Dalmatian coast, it has been an absolute highlight of the trip so far. Everyone I know who has done one of these trips has had the most fun, and the scenery alone is to die for. I would definitely consider doing this or a similar trip again, and hope I can make it back to some of the stunning Croatian Islands. I will miss this place.

I'm on a boat

Croatia’s biggest fan,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Croatia Sailing: Omis

Today we would visit two islands on the Dalmatian coast, Pucisca and Omis. I was still in bed when we made it to Pucisca and had friends knocking on the door saying we were going swimming.

Pucisca is the marble capital of the world, and sure enough we had docked our boat outside a marble workshop. We swam in a bay, diving into the forever ‘fresh’ water. After lunch on the boat we were ready to head off to Omis, but not before smiling sweetly at the captain and convincing him to delay our departure so we could have another quick swim. Of course he obliged, how could you say no to us?

When we got to Omis we had two choices; dress for the beach or dress for a hike.

Runners on, sports gear on, drink bottle in hand – what were we thinking?! We started the hike to visit the mountain fortress, following our guide Adam (Agenda MC) and some red markers painted onto rocks.

Yep, we were headed up there

Looking at the mountain or checking out Agenda MC?

This was the most exercise we had done since our walk in Gruenau! The alcohol was sweating out of us the higher and faster we climbed. We went the wrong way and had to go back once or twice, stopped for a few drinks breaks, and finally made it to the old fortress.

Wow we were high up. Did we really hike the whole way up?!

It's a long way to the top if you want a sausage roll 

Bop, bop, bop, bop to the top

It was super windy on top of the fortress, and we could see big grey clouds looming. We climbed up a rickety ladder unattached to anything, ducked under old beams and cables, and stepped over old boulders. But it was fun, and we had done it.

Welcome to my fortress, that looks more like a construction site

Hooray, we made it!

The storm clouds were getting darker and coming closer. With the unique and amazing view, Agenda MC decided to record one of his new rap videos from the fortress.

Thinking “ain’t no way I’m climbing down this mountain in the rain”, Ash, Livi, Cara and I decided to make our own way down the mountain. It couldn’t be that hard, could it??

We climbed down the OH&S failure of a ladder and started following the red markers down the mountain. But then there were two markers, and then there were no markers. Where were the markers??

It was the blind leading the blind. Somehow we ended up at a dead end, with nothing in front of us but a huge slope of rocks. Seeing no other way down, we decided to go down the slope.

Extreme rock sliding would be an understatement. With every step we were slipping and sliding down the rocks. Laughing and also squealing, falling everywhere. Bear Grylls, who?

This just took us further into the bush. At the bottom of the rocks was a barbed wire fence, with nowhere else to turn other than back up the slope. So we really weren’t supposed to be here. Some of the girls climbed through the fence, dangerous, I climbed over the fence, equally dangerous.

The fence

Lucky it wasn't electrical

We were the female equivalent of Action Man, and so far had escaped without injury. And we had made it to a road! A road? We didn’t cross any roads on the way up?

We found some stairs that we thought might lead to the bottom of the mountain, and got the fright of our lives.

A dog! A dog barking so loud and so close to my face that I almost ran back up the stairs. Did I mention I’m afraid of dogs? Then we realised we were in people’s backyards. There was an old man gardening, looking at us suspiciously. There was another scary dog, as well as an old lady. We managed to ask the lady for directions back to the water, and we were set on the path home to the boat. We danced and sung when we saw familiar buildings and shops, and finally made it back to shore.

Clambering onto the boat we were dirty, sweaty, and dusty with leaves and twigs in our hair, to see everyone who had stayed up on the mountain already relaxed on the boat. You cannot be serious!

They were all like, “oh, we’d wondered where you’d gone”.

How long had they been back at the boat?! But I guess not everyone can say they got lost on a mountain in Omis and Bear Grylls freestyled through rocks and trees and nearly got eaten by wild dogs.

But Agenda’s video turned out pretty awesomely, despite the storm like clouds, that turned out not to be a storm.

Agenda MC doing his thang

Time for a shower.

That night it was time to reveal our special purchases from the day before for our themed Captain’s Dinner and party on the boat. Yarrrrr me hearties it was a pirate theme!

Bandanas, eye patches, bad eyeliner and we looked more gangster than pirate. Everyone got into the spirit of the occasion and we dressed like pirates, talked like pirates, drank like pirates and played charades like pirates.  

Agenda and his pirate hoochies 

Yo ho, yo ho

A pirate's life for me

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Captain Feathersword's first mates

Aye aye Captain Birdseye!

Being the better boat that we were, some of the passengers on our boat bought water bombs from the markets that we used to attack the other Busabout boat. It was the best fun, 15 of us including our crew sneaking out into the night and throwing water bombs across the dock.

They, of course, did not have anything to make a counter attack and so our fun was shortly over and it was off to a bar on the island.

It would have been a sight for the locals. We were still playing the game; hiding out behind doorways and under tables with water bombs waiting for the other boat to arrive for drinks. Great fun.

Planning mutiny 

Jolly Roger clad Cara ready for pirate assault 

But everyone was exhausted from the hike, the ambush and the intense game of charades. We walked back to the boats with our guns, swords, eyeliner tattoos and bandannas, for a somewhat early night.

Surprise! Pirate gottcha!

The Wolfpack does pirate night

Long Nikki Silver

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Croatia Sailing: Makarska

Breakfast finishes at 9am, so naturally I was at breakfast at 8:50am. Booya! The coffee was terrible but so, so good.

A bit of morning sun, a bit of pretending to read but actually snoozing and a bit of banter saw a relaxing morning. Keeping that theme in mind the morning swim stop was easily the most luxurious.

Have I ever been so happy?

Luxury is my middle name, initials are NLL so it could be true

There was no jumping from the boat, but climbing down the ladder (who wants to get their hair wet??) and living the life. It was pure bliss.

We arrived in Makarska shortly after to explore the shops and market place. We were given strict shopping instructions for the following night – a themed dress up party on the boat. A shopping challenge? We’re in.

Hours of trawling through the market later, we were relaxed at a beach front café drinking proper coffee and watching beach goers play volleyball in the water. I debated for almost an hour whether it would be appropriate or not to swim in my bra and underwear – why oh why did I get changed from my bikinis?!

Spending our day at the Bounty Bar

Playing volleyball or doing the worm?

Surely I can go swimming in my underwear, there's no one here

That evening a stroll along the beach took us to the restaurant Orka, owned by some players from the Croatian rugby team. Can I get a hell yeah?!

Menu fit for a king, or a rugby player

Cute date night, with 12 of our closest friends

Family dinner

Waiting for the rugby players to bring us food

Our tour group on this trip was awesome; we made so many great friends and always had a laugh.

In Makarska we were promised the best sunset of the week, and Croatia delivered. It was beautiful.

Oh la la

Great looking bunch from "The Better Boat"

How romantic, the loves of my life

Later that night it was off to Betty’s Bar, also owned by the Croatian rugby players. Could this night get any better? The weather was warm, the cocktails were strong – really strong, and we were with the best of company.

My twin Marcus; same birthday and year, only different parents and country

Ball so hard

Our boat had a drinking challenge against the other Busabout boat, which we shamefully lost.

Jessie J taking one for the team

Jimmy getting it done

More cocktails, secret handshakes, hilarious dancing, more cocktails, strange gestures by Croatian men and it was one of the most fun nights we’d had on tour. It was going to be a late one, that’s for sure.

Living a life of luxury, Nikki 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Croatia Sailing: Korcula

I did not make it to breakfast this morning.

After a night partying in Dubrovnik no one on the boat was feeling fantastic. And it just had to be a morning of rough sailing.

I don’t usually get motion sickness or sea sickness, but let me tell you I felt unwell on the boat this morning.

We were bouncing up and down, up and down and the weather took a turn for the worse. Everyone felt queasy with most staying in bed, and lunch was postponed for two hours because the crew decided everyone would be sick if they tried to eat. Missing out on breakfast this was even worse for me, I was starving! But it was not pleasant and poor Livi’s motion sickness got the better of her.

It didn’t have anything to do with the amounts of alcohol from the night before, trust me.

By the time we had lunch everyone was feeling better, and we had docked the boat in Korcula for a tour around the city. I didn’t want a tour around the city, I wanted coffee. Get me coffee. No more of this missing breakfast bullshit.

Land ahoy!

A Croatian take on a skinny latte and some Wi-Fi later, we were relaxed at a café. Korcula is known for its jewellery and stone masonry, with jewellery shops in every direction. But could you believe we were too tired/ hung over/ seasick to care? Neither can I!

Korcula is also known for being home to the famous traveller Marco Polo. A childhood favourite game I was interested to see his house, although I don’t think the coffee or excitement level had kicked in yet.

The sun, it burrrrrns my bloodshot eyes

The residence of Mr Polo, I think that's him in the doorway

I'm on a boat, I'm on a boat.. no thanks I'm on dry land with food in my stomach

In true Marco Polo Italian style, pizza was on the menu tonight, followed by yummy cocktails watching the sunset from a rooftop bar. Literally a rooftop, where we had to climb up a thin ladder and through a trapdoor to make it onto the old roof. Thank goodness I was wearing a tiny skirt perfect for climbing ladders. 


Good drinks with great friends watching a beautiful sunset, it was incredible.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire

Thank you kind sir, if it is a blue drink you know it must be mine

Loving life. What hangover? What seasickness?

Croatian sunset, how romantic

But then, the highlight of the whole entire day.

Watching this Adonis on Croatian Survivor.

You can be our survivor 

Can you come back from Costa Rica for a week while we're in Croatia?

You get the picture??

We couldn’t understand a word, but we didn’t need to. We were all going for the babe with the six pack. Every girl on the boat was staring at the TV, listening to him whisper Croatian sweet nothings. We made up our own rules for what must have been happening in the challenges, and every time someone switched the channel during the breaks we panicked we were going to miss whatever it was this perfect human was doing, or saying.

Sadly once the episode finished and the hottie lost the challenge, it was off to the bar. After the night before only Ash, Livi, Agenda MC and I made it out, and I’m not even sure how we did. But the drinks were delicious and the music was pumping, and we spoke to possibly the tallest man in the world before heading home and going straight to sleep. I needed to be at breakfast in the morning to ensure I got my free coffee.

The yummiest drinks ever, freeeeee for the pretty ladies

Marco? Nikki!