cast away community

Or should it be isolation diaries of a beach bum?

One can not help but think of a reality show like Survivor when you arrive in Starigrad, Hvar after your two-hour ferrie ride from Split and eighteen other people welcomes you to the piece of untouched heaven on the Adriatic sea. This workaway has a special story. So there is this family. The mom passed away many years ago and the two kids decided to take the moms dream and make it a reality. To create a lovely place for travellers to visit and stay for a while. So twenty odd of us workawayers from all over the globe came here to help them with phase one. As we took the winding road from Starigrad to the small village of Gromin Dolac, with about twenty inhabitants in the summer, we crossed the most beautiful little lime stone village Pitve. A few kilometers later we reached this really old school tunnel. Such an amazing experience to take the jeep track through this cold, hand dug tunnel. Arriving at the beach camp, with two private beaches, one generator, bucket system WC, open shower, rainwater tank and a few tents overlooking the perfect ocean. This is just fantastic. Rough it out for a few days. Building a beach bar and then some.

Like I said, this workaway experience could easily be a survivor series. In myself I had moments of second guessing my judgement when getting myself into these situations where physically I am so uncomfortable that it hurts. It is kind of how it goes I suppose. The last two weeks were a good one. Faced two things that scared me and I conquered the fear within. Solo rock climbing and horse riding after a quad bike accident. The third thing was camping for 10 days. My previous camping experience was last year in the middle of Pesach next to the Kinneret. That was four days of absolute personal tent pen expanding. Funny how camping experiences do this emotionally. Sometimes you ride the wave and the timing is just perfect and another time you ride the wave and you get wiped. Either way, you get back on the board and face the next wave. The first few days my world was taking a wobble or so, but I guess it was all about getting use to the limitations and primitive living here in paradise. Limited electricity, water, accessibility and no wi-fi. Technology break. Society break. Pseudo community time. But my host was so good to me, he gave me a lovely tent and my own space. This did help alot. Also some of my new found friends were easy to talk to. Everything worked out all too good at the end.

The name of the village Gromin Dolac means Thunder valley. Gosh did we hear why that is called this. It was spectacular to experience nature while being so vulnerable on an air-matrass in a tent. Love thunder. Rather odd to experience a real thunderstorm right on the ocean. Northern stars also came alive in this special place. For endless moments I would hang in the hammock and just stare and wish upon all the falling stars.

My absolute favourite was to get up in the morning, stroll down to the beautiful stoney beach and take a swim in the crystal clear water. The water was super clean. So far removed from the usual ocean traffic and polution. My swimming goggles did also come in handy. Hunting down all the pretty fishes.

Everyday after breakfast we had a briefing session with the tasks of the day being appointed and discussed. This was sometimes tough to execute in the sun, but also felt pretty good to mean something to someone. The group very diverse. Lovely bunch.

My last day at camp we took a lovely road trip around the Northern side of the Island. Lavender ice cream in Vbroska is highly recommended. Old town of Starigrad with small cobble stone streets were beautiful. Hvar city has an old town, beach bars, small islands and good restaurants to visit. We had a swim and a drink at Hula Hula bar.

If deep water solo rock climbing is your thing, then Hvar Island is for you. Lovely limestone rock. With a cragg or cliff face next to Sv.Nedjelja. This DWS spot is only accessible by boat. Seeing that Hvar has many sunny days a year the sea tempratures are the most important thing to check before planning a trip here.

After growing in my lovely mediterranean olive skin colour and building some muscle, it was time to say goodbye. Spend about ten days with 28 different people from all over the globe. It was good. Thank you all for being stunning. Happy travels ahead as our paths split again. If anyone wants to come and experience this piece of paradise off the beaten track for a few days or longer. You can find Cast Away Airbnb under Gromin Dolac, Hvar Island, Croatia.

In the technology break my mind was busy with many thoughts and it was one of the Belgium guys that constantly reminded me to let my thinking go. Sometimes your thinking can keep you from feeling. To not be afraid of my feelings and that in allowing yourself to feel could lie the key to tomorrow. How profound. This was a principle that also stood out a few years ago in Nepal. Funny how it got highlighted again in a primitive natural setting. Stunning experience.

So this brings me to a quote from a travel book I am reading currently: Travel more like Gandhi-with simple clothes, open eyes and an uncluttered mind. 

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