Adventures World Peace - Part 1

CROATIA, PART 1: A Special Meeting (Part 1/3)

August 24, 2016,
02. A.DH + falls3421[w]

La version française est en cours de traduction. Merci de votre patience. 

What do you do with love at first sight in the middle of nowhere?

This morning, on Google, I discover the Una National Park. Nobody ever mentioned it. I feel “the draw” and choose a route accordingly. Left turn in 72.5 kms.

We ride on up and down windy roads through gorgeous high plateaus to the infamous left turn and with no hesitation we take it. From there starts a 24 km crazy-twisty descent through the forest, crossing tiny villages. Eventually we get to a sign “Vrejo Une.” Une? Una? What’s the difference, I park and walk to the tiny booth.

03. A.falls as we wish 3429_1[w]

That’s where we meet. Sitting on a bench in the shade, the older man takes one look at me and gives me a huge smile. Immediately he taps his hand on the bench next to him. International sign language: I sit by his side. Sitting here, I just feel loved. He speaks not one word of English. I have mastered about ten Croatian words. For five minutes we sit together in perfect bliss.

01. A.Falls_3417[w]

Eventually he decides to let me go see the infamous waterfalls and shows me five fingers, 5 kilometers? He shakes his head no, repeats 5 “something.” The whole 5 somethings, I think about my new friend and the sketch I will make for him. We’ve hardly gone 500 meters that we arrive at what could be interpreted as a waterfall: about 3 feet high and 50 feet wide. Not overwhelming maybe but the setting, with its circus of 300 feet high vertical cliffs dropping into the water, is remarkable. Once I’m done with my two sketches, I hatch a plan: When I get to his booth, I will walk past him to my bike as if nothing was the matter, then casually walk back to him, sit down, and after a while I’ll pull my sketchbook out and show him my sketch. Hopefully he will like it and I will rip it out of my book with gusto and hand it to him with a special note on it. Ahhhh. The excitement is killing me. I can’t wait to see the look on his face. At that moment he will know that whatever he felt I felt it too.

Mike, my loyal photographer, is eager to capture the whole thing on camera.

But just when you think you got this one, you discover that life had another plan ….


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