Croatia – 47mosquitos, rain and more rain

I have already reviewed my first week in Croatia, and although it has not gone to plan as far as the climbing/weather is concerned, we have still made the best of the time we have had here. The same has to be said of our second week we have been hampered by bad weather and have struggled to have long worthwhile days down the crags.

After a couple of days of rain, we finally set out to go climbing again at the crag of Moscenicka Draga, this was a slight risk as it had been raining for so long that the crag could have been soaking. We drove up a very thin road, which eventually passed a 3.5 ton sign, we ignored this and carried on up the steep and thin hill a little worried of what this might mean in the future, although it came to nothing and all was well, we eventually parked at the top.
The walk in was really nice and overlooked the bay below. When we finally reach the crag I could see seeping water creeping through cracks in the rock face, not a great sign, although after a short recce it was clear to see that there were lines to climb in between the wet sections. I climbed badly, struggled up a 5b, I men really struggled, and then struggled up a 6a next door, although on the red point I aced it, so much so I nearly forgot to clip in the rope I was so focussed on linking all the moves. The rest of the day proceeded with a couple more 6a climbs, although again, I did not feel overly good and was eventually glad to end the day with the walk down to the van.

We parked that night right on the coast, next to a small bay, it was a perfect location. That night we went for a walk and found there was a pathway that followed the coastline, with intermittent man made beaches and platforms in which to gain entry to the sea. It was very picturesque, so much so that the next morning I went for a run down the same route, although went a lot further down the path, unfortunately again the weather was bad, but that’s not a problem when running.

We spent the rest if the afternoon and night in a service station on the way to the island of Krk, where we planned to climb at a crag that had been recommended by the climbing shop manager. The next day after a couple of errands we arrived on the island and parked at the crag. Again the walk in was pretty special, however again, the crag was seeping water, although we did ind a section that was clear-ish and had a much better day, climbing slabs onsight up to 6b, a vast improvement on the previous days climbing. The next day we went to a crag down the road and again pushed the grades this time climbing up to 6c and although not cleanly, this is a step in the right direction. We had another night of rain and the following day we experienced all four seasons as we drove south trying to seek a little bit of nice weather.

That night I was pestered by mosquitoes all night, I’ve never known a night like it! Before I went to bed I saw one mosquito , and killed him with my squatter, I did a perimeter check and found no others in the vicinity. I went to bed and within a minute or two another one had buzzed into my face, I got up, lights on, and again went hunting. I got this one and then did another search, I did not want to be awoken again, all clear and I went to bed. A minute later the familiar buzzing reoccurred, and again I got up. This happened time and again, at times I got 10 seconds sleep, at others 10 minutes, by the time I had killed ten, I thought surely that’s it, a round number, but no, this was just the beginning. The hours went by and I continued this up and down, killing and sweeping, I started to search where they had come from, under the bed? A hole in the door? The roof lights? I did not know, however before I know it, I was counting kills in the twenties, thirties, forties … I was really fatigued, and starting to loose my temper with each awakening and killing spree. Sometimes I got two at one time but never more. I reckon I was woke up forty or so times, I went to bed at 22.30, and the last time I checked the time was around 03.30. In the end I killed 47 and was bitten about eight times. With Mosquito corpses scattered all over the van, a shit night was had by all.
The next day the weather persisted in being shit and so we continued in gale force wind and rain to Split. We’ve been here for a couple of days now, and in all truth I could imagine this place being a nice place to visit, we have walked around the harbour, old town, shopping centre and watched a film at the local cinema. Unfortunately I’m writing this in the van, which is swaying side to side as each gust of wind hits us, I can hear the howl of the wind hailing through the masts that are scattered throughout the harbour, as well as the rain pattering on the roof lights. Hopefully we get a break in the weather for some climbing, if not I’m sure it won’t be long till we tuck tail and head back north and try our luck in the Alps for some winter adventure sports. Although this in itself will be a test of the van and it’s insulating properties, not sure if I’m looking forward to that though??


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