A little sprinkling of shear speed, a dash of ridiculous heights and a lathering of chilled floating vibes. These activities in Dubrovnik were essential for me to enjoy this holiday or else I’m sure I would have succumbed to the inevitable. I would have joined the tourist masses for good. I may have even, started taking photos with an IPad. I shudder at the thought. (See last post for more details on what I’m talking about).
If you want to spend all your money in one go, but have a great time, hire jet skis. We hired them from Mokošica and it turned out to be a stroke of luck. The hotels that hire jet skis had crazy prices like €80 for 20 minutes or €200 for 2 hours. Ours on the other hand, was 200 euros for 4 hours. We set off at midday and explored all the islands for miles down the coast, dropping anchor to snorkel in a cove or two. There was also a cave with a tiny entrance and when you got inside and looked out, the turquoise blue water could be seen through the jagged cave entrance that is mainly underwater. We stopped in the beautiful town of Sudurad for a drink and some ice cream before turning back to see the Old Town from the sea. It was safe to say that my brother and I didn’t hold back with the jet skis, the speed was just too much fun and at points we were going over 40mph. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Perching on the cliffs next to the Adriatic, the city of Dubrovnik is a great place for this extreme sport. The best places we found were from either of the regularly frequented bars outside of the old walls situated on the rocks. These are Buža bar 1 and 2. They are reached by very unassuming little doors into the base of the wall and then it opens out to the rocks. We immediately found a spot and had a little swim.
Building up our confidence on the smaller rocks first, we slowly went higher and higher, confident in the depth of the water and our ability to swim back (despite the reasonable current). Eventually after testing the waters literally and figuratively, we braved the highest jump, where our kayaking guide had told us he had never seen anyone jump off before. We estimated it was about 16m high and after a climb up there with a random kiwi bloke we were bricking it. This rock was at the base of the wall and one of the bars was visible from there, so no pressure at all. The kiwi guy went first and that is when we really saw how high we were. He just fell forever. It was surreal and terrifying. Next my brother went, who admittedly has had some platform diving training. Then me. My thought process was somewhere along the lines of, they survived the jump so I probably will, just keep everything straight and tensed all you’ll be fine. My own advice did wonders as you may be able to tell by the fact that I’m writing this post. The fall was amazing, the landing was very hard especially without pointing my toes enough and my body just crumpled soon as I hit the water. It was exhilarating but also very scary. Awesome fun.
Note: not all places around Dubrovnik are as deep as here. Make sure you check the depth before you jump otherwise you’ll be able to relate on a much more real level with Javier Bardem in ‘El Mar Adentro’.
We took the last tour of the day and you don’t need to worry about which tour company to go with because they all do the same things. However, with ours, we got a small bottle of local wine when/ if you return, so there was no decision. The kayaking was easy due to the sea being calm and having done kayaking many times before. You’re put in double open top kayaks, and head off towards Lokrum, the island just off the old city. We had the choice of going around the island or just heading straight for the cave. My brother, having nothing in the way of motivation, decided he wanted to go to the cave.
The cave is an amazing sight, with a hole in the roof and opening out to the sea. Only problem is, you can’t move for kayaks. They’re omnipresent. The upside is there was a place to jump off a cliff which was good fun also our guide told us about the previous use of the cave before all the tourists came. The hole in the ceiling was used to lower a piano down into the cave and they had a tunnel to get in there with chairs and candles. The locals would sit, sing and play the piano by candle light in the enormous cave with the waves lapping at the shore. Sounds incredible to me.
On the way back to the city, the sun was setting and the sea was reflecting all the colours of the sky, it was beautiful. A leisurely paddle brought us back to the old walls and some wine. Not a bad way to end the day at all.
These activities were the highlights of the holiday for me. The kayaking was relaxing but the first two had my heart thumping and my face grinning uncontrollably like some lunatic.