Thursday, June 12, 2008

adventures in croatia

For those of you who have never hot-air ballooned before, I highly recommend it. My best friend Jason took me on a hot-air balloon trip to Croatia and the views were spectacular. As we floated effortlessly over the national parks and lakes, we could see the sea in the distance. Upon seeing a busy little stretch of coast, we decided to land and check out the scene. I think Jason is much better at flying the hot-air balloon than landing it because we over shot our target and ran into a fence when landing. When we landed our balloon, we had to check into the country at the local government building that was no more than the back of a trailer. They told us that we had to catch a boat to the only island that had the authority to issue visa's, so out we header. We decided to swim to the island because it would be that much more adventurous and began the swim (it was only a couple miles anyway.) Halfway through the swim the boat drove by and we hitched a ride because we had already had our fill. Down the channel we speed, turning between tiny islands with the wind on our bare scalps, racing the other boats for fun, until we saw the island that we were headed to. There was a ramp in the water right before the island that water-skiers used to launch off of and we were headed right toward it!

We hit the jump at full speed and flew into the air. We had at least four seconds of hang-time and landed back in the water with a thud. I turned to give Jason a high-five, but he had gotten tossed out of the boat and the boat was not slowing. It pulled up to the island and I got off to get my visa, figuring that Jason would just swim in. There were all sorts of colorful characters there. There were African tribes people, a whole herd of elementary school kids, the circus act with all of their animals, and random people dressed up in Mardi Gras and Halloween attire. It was quite a scene. Deciding that this would be better to experience with Jason, I went to sit under the shade of a tree while waiting for him to swim in. The beaches and the water were lovely that day and I cannot wait to go back. I will probably make my way back there some day. Who knows, maybe I will go next week!

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