To get to the other side, of course! Sorry, too cheesy? (continued from “Day One on the Dalmatian Coast”)
Upon realizing I was on the wrong side of the island, I panicked as I frantically searched on my phone for a cheap and easy way across. Bingo. I found a local bus station down the road with relatively frequent buses to Vela Luka, which is where I wanted to be. Phew. I walked around and explored Korčula (town) while I waited for the next bus, and tried not to melt in the heat as I took in the incredible view.
Finally, I got on the bus and was on my way to Vela Luka. I tried to sit near the front, but I still felt a bit nauseous going up and down those wild curvy roads. After an hour on that roller coaster ride, we made it to the other side in one piece. I then spent about 1.5 hours sipping an Orangina so I could charge my phone in a local café. Once it was back to 100%, I explored the little port town and lay down for a nap in the late afternoon sun, using my backpack as a pillow.
I had a nice rest followed by a romantic sunset dinner…
…and once I finished eating, I went to meet everyone at the ferry port. As I was looking for the group (none of whom I had met before in person), I saw some people wearing sweatpants walking up a side street. Sweatpants = Parkour. WAIT FOR ME!!!
I ran up the street and introduced myself to everyone as we made our way to the home of one of the local guys who had agreed to host us for the next few nights. I am so incredibly grateful for people like him who are willing to take in a whole group of crazy strangers and put a roof over our heads for free. I wouldn’t be able to travel as much as I do without the generous hospitality of the parkour community.
Day One: Motion Tour (Motion Tour 4: Adventure on the Coast with Williams Belle)
We got a good night’s sleep that first night and started around 10 the next morning. We had an awesome group of people there for the Motion Tour, coming from all over– Croatia, Serbia, Italy, France, Canada, and the U.S. (represented by yours truly, of course). I lucked out and the workshop was led in English since it was a common tongue for everyone there. I always feel like I’m cheating or something since English is my native tongue and it comes easy to me, but it is always a relief when I don’t have to struggle so much to understand and keep up.
The event was well organized and I enjoyed learning from the three outstanding movement artists who led the workshops. What was unique about this event is it was heavily focused on play. We did a lot, but you never realized how hard your body was working until later because we were having so much fun.
It was hot as hell, and I went through about 4 water bottles in the first half of the day, but I felt so blessed to be on this beautiful little island off the coast of Croatia, training and playing with an amazing group of athletes and artists. We played games together and challenged each other. We climbed and swung through trees and jumped around on neglected walls. And we played a reflex-focused game that also required a good amount of trust as we closed our eyes and allowed our partners to spin us around and confuse us before opening our eyes and running forward upon their direction.
We trained all morning, rotating through the different workshops, ending with an interesting talk about why we train, a question we were encouraged to ask ourselves more often. Following the workshops, we had a little water/snack break before wrapping up with some stretching and a cool down.
Then it was finally time for lunch! It must have been about 3:00PM by the time we ate. By then, I was used to the late European summer schedule after having spent a month in Spain. I ate A LOT of pizza while I was in Croatia. Everywhere we went, pizza. And Greek salad. Real Greek salad, not that American BS that comes with lettuce. And delicious nectarines from the local fruit & vegetable stand in Vela Luka. Yum!
We finished that first day with a relaxing and playful afternoon on the beach, followed by another late dinner before crashing at the house to rest up for the next day of adventures…