I think that the 100kn I paid for my snorkel and mask in Split last week might just be the best (equivalent to) £10 I have ever spent? It has literally given me hours and hours of fun since I bought it last Thursday.
The first time I used it was the next day, when I had travelled from Split to the little piece of heaven on earth that is the island of Vis. I waited until around 4pm when the sun has at least eased off a little since its afternoon peak and I went for a little bike ride in the general direction of a fort at the top a hill (hard work at the best of times, even worse while it's 30 degrees plus out).
Half way up the hill I spotted this beautiful little (seemingly) deserted bay. It looked incredible. Bright blue and calm waters. Surely the ideal destination for a spot of snorkelling? But how to get to it? I decided to cycle the remainder of the way up to the fort as I had been told to expect beautiful views up there and I wasn't disappointed as I looked out over the beautiful Adriatic (spotting the tiny island of Otocic Host which you will definitely here more about on here very soon). While I was there I had a little walk around, took some pictures, drank plenty of water and then decided to make my way back down, in the hope that I would find my way to that lovely little bay.
I headed back down the road to where I had seen the road fork. Assuming that this would be my best chance of finding a route to the bay, when I spotted a little track passing from the road into the bushes. After about 2 seconds thought, I was off down the rocky dirt track on my borrowed mountain bike, off in search of the turquoise waters I had seen from a far. Travelling very slowly haha full respect to off-road/mountain bikers. It takes guts to go down those kind of tracks with speed! I was also aware that there might at some point be people walking the other way.
A hundred meters or so down the hill I ditched the bike - in knowledge of the fact that the further I rode the bike down the track, the further I would have to drag it back up again - and continued the rest of the way by foot. And just a couple of minutes after dumping the bike, there it was in all its glory. A secluded little bay just for me. I was there for around two hours, in all that time I probably saw a maximum of 10 people and for the majority of the time I was completely alone. It was amazing.
When I got there I couldn't wait to get my snorkel on. The last time I went snorkelling before Croatia must have been around 3 years ago in Greece? That time I saw an octopus - at least it's eyes peering out of it little home in the sea bed - it was amazing, one of the best things I've ever seen. This time I didn't see anything that amazing but I did see a lot of fish. So close to me that I could almost reach out and touch them. They weren't particularly colourful and most of them were quite small but there were lots of different varieties with some being around a foot long (or at least about the size of my foot). I couldn't take my eyes off them. I must have swam - maybe that should be floated starring at the bottom of the sea - for at least an hour before I got out.
It was amazing. I loved (almost) every second of it. I'm so glad I bought my snorkel. Even if it rubs in between my eyes a little and keeps fogging up (I'm pretty sure I'm breathing out of my mouth correctly. Although it is really quite hard not to breath out of your nose haha). And even if it shows me just how terrible for the planet us human being are - more than fish, more than anything else in that beautiful little bay I was shocked and saddened to see on the sea bed, plastic bottles, thousands upon thousands of plastic bottles! - because that snorkel and mask brought me as close to the creatures of the sea as was comfortable for the both of us. And as ugly and distressing as the mass of plastic bottles were. Being surrounded by hundreds of little fish, so close to me that I could also touch them. And having a chance to peek into their life in that little bay like that, well that was truly beautiful!