14 ladies, 2 guides and Tonchi the yogi do Croatia for a week…
Sounds like a good story and it certainly didn’t disappoint thanks to our very own E.L. James on board. But that’s another story. Pomalo describes and captures the essence of the mentality and lifestyle of this Dalmatia coast on the Adriatic Sea, a place far from the madding crowds. Between the magnificent views of the sapphire waters encompassing over 1100 islands paired with the local culture and gastronomy of the area, we took advantage of everything this part of the world has to offer. Our hikes took us from the historic emperor’s palace in Split to the islands of Brac, Hvar, Korcula, and Peljesac before reaching the pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik. And that’s just the logistics…
The real star of this story is my group of incredibly strong, beautiful open-hearted women that kept us belly laughing till it hurt on a daily basis. This was a friendship circle like no other where everyone played together in support and love. Serious good energy. The weather gods were good to us but never too good. But our guides always had a plan A, B, and C and it was invariably perfect.
Even when the lights went out in Hvar, our plan B turned out to be a plan A as long as the bar was open, pizza could be delivered and we could dance on the table!
The spiritual vibe was ever-present throughout this journey and only proceeded to intensify with a visit to the Monastery Blaca built in the 16th century inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. We not only hiked though charming (some abandoned) villages famous for lavender and rosemary but we had a rare retail opportunity from the lavender lady. What a treat for my girls…nothing like a gift shop in the middle of nowhere en route to a memorable lunch at a Konoba (family owned) on a terraced landscape serving absolutely delicious fresh local eats. The Croatian way to dine with just another 2 1/2 hour hike after lunch through still untouched coastline dotted with fishing villages and thick woodlands to town.
The boat rides were the most enchanting and such an integral part of island hopping. Korcula, the island considered to be the hometown of Marco Polo and where the silk road started, was the most idyllic for me and the one I will dream of returning. Just to stay at hotel Lesic Dimitri again where each room evokes Marco’s journey from Venice to India to China. And where we practiced yoga and pranayama while holding our mula bandhas with Tonchi who travelled far and wide to be with us in our converted living room yoga studio.
This was after a kick ass day of adventure and philanthropy in the village of Pupnat where we indulged in a late afternoon meal in the famous 3-generation-run konoba Mate. Being able to come together and share our asanas after experiencing the joy of the children’s faces in the school we gifted laptops only enhanced our gratitude for our own blessings in life, like the mussels we ate in Ston, where we had the chance to climb and discover the second longest stone wall in world in the pouring rain!
Or choosing not to walk because of an injury but still smiling and taking it all in while the rest of us were slipping and sliding learning about how important a role this ancient salt works had in the 14th century for the Republic of Dubrovnik…our final stop before the story ends.
Marble streets and Baroque buildings with rich history make this town the most popular stop in one small Mediterranean country of Croatia. But in the end, this trip was all about our amazing guides Mijo and Damir and their ability to maneuver and please 14 ladies with grace. Yes Mijo, your quote will live in our hearts forever. “I think we did something”. And boy did we ever.