Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Marin Zovko Walked Through All of Croatia in 100 Days

October 27, 2020 – It took three months for Marin Zovko to walk 2,282 kilometers from Ilok to Prevlaka. He carried a 21-kilogram backpack with him, and he walked in the rain for days.

As 24sata reports, 38-year-old Marin Zovko from Zagreb walked the whole of Croatia in 100 days this summer, namely the trails Croatia Long Distance and Via Adriatica. He set off on June 28 and finished on October 5.

Croatia Long Distance covers the four most protruding points, the easternmost Ilok, the northernmost Sveti Martin, the westernmost Savudrija, and the southernmost Prevlaka. Via Adriatica starts from the southernmost point in Istria, from Cape Kamenjak, and ends also in Prevlaka. Marin successfully mastered both tracks and walked an incredible 2282 kilometers.

Loneliness was the hardest

He has been actively involved in mountaineering for six years, but by profession, he is an IT specialist. He walked an average of 25 km a day, and the maximum daily mileage was 57 km. Although he went through very difficult terrain and struggled with difficult weather conditions, he did not think about giving up.

"I wasn't sure either, but I believed I would get to the end," said Marin, who fortunately did not suffer any injuries on the way. He had the great support of family, friends, and co-workers, but out of all the physical exertion and weather conditions, the most difficult was loneliness.

"In 100 days of walking, I only had company for nine days, which means I walked alone for 90 days. And it used to be quite difficult, especially when Velebit and rain happen, and when you don't see a living person around you for five days. And then when you go down to a village after so many days of solitude, you talk to the lady at the cash register for 15 minutes because you wanted a little communication," said Marin, who was pleasantly surprised by the people he met along the way.


Next is kayaking on the Adriatic

During the trip, he met all the animals except the wolf and the lynx, but he had no major unpleasant situations. He says that you cannot prepare for such an endeavor, but you simply need to be in good physical shape.

"As the days went by, I felt progress. In the beginning, I had to stop every half hour, 40 minutes, take off my backpack to rest a bit and come to my senses, and towards the end, I could walk for two hours without stopping," Marin explained.

His backpack weighed about 21 kilograms on average, and the heaviest was 24 kilograms.

"I brought everything. I had a stove, cooking utensils, a gas cartridge, a burner, food for a minimum of three days, sleeping bags, a sleeping pad, a sleeping bag between two trees, T-shirts, long sleeves, leather jacket, hat, glove, miscellaneous electronics,” revealed Marin, who planned to complete the trip in 90 days, but the weather conditions dictated the pace.

In 100 days of travel, he also had 15 days of rest because, as he says, rest was inevitable for him. His next wish is to go kayaking on the Adriatic, but this time from south to north.


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Friday, 8 November 2019

Book of Innovative Walking Trails in Croatia Published

If you ever found yourself wanting to go out in the nature in Croatia but were unsure where to go, a new book has been published with numerous walking trails in Croatia. 

There are around sixty such trails all over Croatia listed and described in the book, from Slavonia to Istria and Dalmatia, put together by the authors Lara Černicki and Stašo Forenbaher. The book is titled "Kratke šetnje u prošlost" and unfortunately, for now, it can only be found in Croatian. However, some additional materials have also been published which will allow even those who don't really read Croatian to enjoy walking in Croatia. 

The walks in the book usually start from an urban setting or a more important place, and in an hour, two or three of walking will take you to some type of a fort, an old church, or similar remnants of objects which used to be essential for the area. Lara Černicki used to write a column in the Jutarnji list where she suggested where the readers might go for a weekend trip, which is what lead to the idea of this book.

The original plan was to write a historical guide of the region close to the Croatian-Slovenian border, on both sides. Still, recent history and erection of more significant barriers stopped that idea. But, the new one appeared as they walked on the Northern part of the Velebit mountain and reached a location that was almost entirely unknown to them but was a big part of the life of people living in the area in the past. They chose the trails subjectively, the ones they liked the most are in the book. The walking trails from this book are not located in any high tourist places, but some of them are close to those. Some locations are entirely unknown, but the most popular sites in Croatia, such as Dubrovnik or Plitvička jezera can't be found in the book.  

The walks are diverse, giving you a broad overview of the landscape and history of Croatia. Each chapter in the book starts with a short story of the history of the proposed route, and then the walk itself is described. The book explains how long the trail is, and where it's supposed to take you (along with a detailed map). In addition to the maps in the book, the publisher Libricon has created (and this is the part which is very useful to people who can't really read Croatian) a database of GPS trails for the walks in .gpx format, which is something just about anybody who enjoys the walks in nature will have the means of opening and using (including the most basic method, Google Maps). Some of the walking trails are marked clearly, but for some of them, there are no markers or signs. 

You can find the database of GPS trails here.


Read more about life in Croatia in our Lifestyle category.