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Kayaking in Lake Skadar

You’re probably thinking “she’s looking for punishment”, and trust me, I wondered the same too. Barely recovered from our little escapade in the Bay of Kotor, we were on a pre-booked taxi at 7am the next morning, making our way to Virpazar in the south so we would not missed a kayak excursion of Lake Skadar. We would pretty much deposit our bags in our “cave apartment”, get changed, and run out the door for the meeting point. Oh yes…

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Our new adventure actually began in Vranjina, a short drive away from Virpazar. In the jeep, we met with our fellow kayakers – a family of four from Scotland – and Ben, the owner/operator of the tour company. Once in Vranjina, we were put under the care of Vuk, who is familiar with the lake and had been paddling here for a few years now. He would guide us as we paddled, and share some history and story of the lake and the Kom monastery, our ultimate spot of discovery.

We were known as the “Frenchies” and we were pretty much trailing behind the other three kayaks for a large part of this excursion. My shoulders were sore, and my palms threatened to produce a few blisters, but like a good trooper, I paddled on and we tried to keep up as much as we can with the rest of the group. From time to time, I left F to paddle on his own so I can take a few photos, but mostly, we were both glad to swap paddling-break so we can just sat in the kayak and admired the views.

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

We were surrounded by so much natural beauty here. Mountains and islands make up the panorama, and there was nary a sign of civilisation. The main inhabitants of the lands here are birds, and they nonchalantly flew by us in flock every now and then. It was calm, it was peaceful, punctuated by the sound of paddled water and occasional chatters among ourselves. A semi-hidden channel framed by lilies would lead us to the Kom monastery, the only surviving monastery from 14th century in the region, currently looked after by a novice priest.

The priest showed us the ground, the small chapel with its restored frescoes, and pointed out land route to the monastery that’s apparent for only a very short period of time per year but otherwise submerged in a couple of metres of the lake water! A simple picnic lunch was set up by the rest area of the monastery so we can all take a break and refuel, before making our way back via the same route, only potentially met with opposing wind. (Again?!)

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

Kayaking in Lake Skadar

I was very glad that it wasn’t as windy here than the previous day, so we could kayak with relative comfort. Well, as comfortably as my sore body would allow. Vuk had us stopping for a mid-lake pause on our way back too, for we had been kayaking a bit too well that we’d be back at Vranjina nearly an hour ahead of schedule. While he was making a call to have the jeep be at the pier on our return, F jumped in for a quick snorkel. Sadly, the water, while clean, did not have great visibility.

If you assume this kayaking excursion would end all nice and uneventful, I’m sorry to report otherwise. Just before the last bend towards the pier, so give or take 10-15 minutes paddle away, F felt something slipping off and the next we knew, one side of his paddle had gone missing in the water. Ooooops. We could not see anything floating in the water, so it must have sank quickly too. Now, how’s that for a little story to end a wonderful day of kayaking in Lake Skadar?

Ps: In case you’re wondering, we had a spare set of paddle that day so F did not end up having to paddle alone to get both of us back to the pier.

Ps2: Just as well we didn’t stay too long in the cave apartment that morning or else I’d demanded a different room because that place was filled with insects and spiders, and even dead ones on the floor and the spare beds. I wondered when it was last properly cleaned… And I was too tired to fuss after the day at the lake.

 

All posts in this series:
Montengro: Postcards: Herceg Novi | Flickr Photoset
Montengro: The medieval town of Kotor | Flickr Photoset
Montengro: Up, up, to St John’s Fortress | Flickr Photoset
Montengro: Postcards: Perast
Montengro: Kayaking the Boka Kotorska
Montengro: Kayaking in Lake Skadar
Montengro: In search of the Walnut Valley
Montengro: The ruins of Stari Bar | Flickr Photoset



Category: Europe, Montenegro, Travel

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2 scribbles & notes

  1. medca says:

    while…seriously gung ho on the kayaking eh and super yucky cave apartment!!!

    • Lil says:

      I was glad that was all the kayaking we had to do though. Didn’t even consider doing one more in Dubrovnik after these!

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