The end of September 2017, and time for a wee swimming adventure with some of my swimming buddies. George and Vince from Glasgow (who went to Milos in 2016 and have shared many adventures in Scotland with me), and Kirsty from London (who shared the Loch Rannoch adventure amongst others) ventured to Montenegro for a week of sun, warm water and some swimming.
Montenegro is a new nation formed out of the former Yugoslavia. It is located south of Dubrovnik, north of Albania, and also has a border with Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo. We caught a flight to Dubrovnik, then drove for around 90 minutes to arrive at our rooms on the shores of the Bay of Kotor, which is one of the most beautiful waterways I have ever seen.
The three gentlemen ventured out early for a few days, having fun staying in a shack on the shores of the Bay of Kotor. We swam each morning for an hour or so in lovely warm 23c water before having breakfast. It was great to swim without the fear of getting cold, and to explore. Our shack was right on the shores of the Bay of Kotor, so we could access the water from the front door.
On one of the days we ventured into the city of Kotor, which reminded me very much of Dubrovnik, with its walls and old town. We had a nice wander through the city, and found a some good places to have a cold beer and nice local food. I introduced the others to the octopus salad, and they were not disappointed.
After a few days in the sun, we moved base to Perast to meet up with Kirsty and the other adventurers on our swim holiday. For a change I was not the only Australian on the trip, but I will leave it up to the others to decide if two of us was too much. The group bonded with a swim around the magnificent chapels on Our Lady of the Rocks, and St George at Perast, which have World Heritage Status.
One of the great attractions of this trip is that we got to stay in a guest house that was exclusive to us. It was a superb guest house with breathtaking views of the cruise ships making their way into Kotor. There was only 113 steps up from the street o our rooms, not that I counted.
Another great attraction of this trip was the variety of swimming. We swam in the Bay of Kotor, doing both coastals and crossings: swam in the river Moraca that feeds into Lake Skadar (the largest lake in eastern Europe, and forms the border with Albania), as well as the lake itself; and swam in the Adriatic in caves.
After a week of great company, new friends, excellent food, and some of the best swimming, it was time to say a sad farewell to Montenegro. The four of us headed up to Cavtat for a few days in order to explore Dubrovnik (after a recommendation from a fellow swimmer). This village which is just near the airport is a great spot to access the famous city, with lots of daily ferries making the 30 minute journey. It really is one of the best ways to arrive at Dubrovnik, arriving into the old harbour, leaving plenty of time to explore the city made famous by Games of Thrones.
Like all good things, our time in the sun had to end. By the end of the ten days, I had swum 17 times for a total distance of 27.5km, made new friends, and had fun adventures with old friends. If you ever get a chance to go to Montenegro, take the opportunity before it becomes more popular. As you can see from the photos, the scenery is stunning, the weather is fantastic, and the food is excellent (try the octopus).