Sovlje beach house
Sovlje Travel Blog› entry 4 of 17 › view all entries
August 28th, 2007 – by: cneoridium
The only danger was Suni the cat. She's "not quite right in the head" and will lurk under furniture and take a vicious swipe at you as you walk by or shred your belongings in seconds.
Zvonka's father Hrvoje took me out fishing the next morning out among the islands. The whole sea there is dotted with tiny, uninhabited islands. Using little wooden pole-less fishing reels, basically a spool with a handle, we caught a big bag full of tiny, but good tasteing fish, at least 8 species in just a few hours and cooked them over pine cones in a barbecue he had built in the back yard.
In the afternoon he dropped us on a tiny island to explore while he fished out in the channel, came back to pick us up later. The water was warm and tranparent and we spent most of the days underwater looking at the sponges and fish. I mostly took underwater pictures while Zvonka scoured the bottom for empty sea urchin shells. We stopped by a couple more islands and cruised the harbor at Tribunj on the way back. The rest of the days were spent the same way, mostly swimming, exploring, sleeping and eating.
A typical day would start with figs and grapes from the yard with cheese, drinking tea made from different herbs in the yard, and hiking a trail over the hill to a 'secret' beach away from the scattered tourists who managed to find Sovlje.
With no sediment the water is crystal clear and well illuminated since the bottom is white. Unlike the Pacific that I'm used to, 40 feet down it's almost as bright as on the surface. The rock walls are covered in sponges and the gravelly bottom is plowed by endless sea cucumbers and dotted with burrowing anemonies. No sharks, but there are something called spiderfish that can supposedly kill you with toxins in their dorsal fins and are much feared by fishermen and swimmers.
Hiking in the hills gave a view of some of hundreds of little islands offshore. The habitat was mostly brush growing between white rock outcroppings with a mix of low shrubs and small evergreens, not unlike southern California in structure. Everywhere are current and abandoned groves of figs and olives. Ancient walls form terraces, and you quickly get the idea the people have lived here for a really long time... They have the same problems with wildfire too. The single firefighting plane for the coast constantly flew over, and a group of firefighters from Sibenik, some as young as 16, were killed fighting a fire on a nearby island while I was there.
The soil is so red in places that it stained the white cat sort of a pinkish color. Everywhere are outcroppings of gray and white limestone, somtimes polished, sometimes sculpted to different textures by the wind and rain. The towns tend to be in the narrow strip of flat land between the shore an the base of the steep hills above.
This is the kind of place you wish you could never leave, and that the summer would never end.
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