First stop today was the Bear Refuge
in Kuterevo! We had a short tour from one of their volunteers who showed us the three young bears there Marko Kralj (7 years), Mlada Gora and Mlad Dol (both 9 years) & also a new comer, a 7 month old cub who had just arrived from a zoo - literally, he was still in his crate when we arrived! Very cute, but sadly we are not allowed to share his photos. She had to go an help with the cub but pointed us towards further enclosures where the big bears are! We only say two of them - one of them very close! - but apparently there are five bears in there. We also heard a bit about the ethos of the place, very much a back to nature place for volunteers. One of the bears was cooling down in his pond so I was able to report back to Mark that wet bears don't smell all that much!
We then headed up into the Northern Velebit National Park
along a couple of very dusty gravel roads to the parking near Zavižan mountain hut & hiked up to the summit of Zavižan from which had lovely views
both along the mountain range and of the coast. The sign said it would tak 50min but it took us less than half that time! Given we'd taken longer than most other hiking signs suggested we were impressed! On the way down we detoured around the Velebit Botanical Garden
which was lovely & told me what some of the plants I'd been seeing were.I wish we had more time to go hiking here, it's very beautiful.
As I drove up Chavaunne then drove us down the other side of the mountains to the E65 coast road which we followed south to Jablanac from which we walked along to the coast to Zavratnica bay
where we had a quick swin in the sea to cool down. I then took over driving & followed the road between the mountains & the sea all the way to Zadar. We worked out pringle-style crisps make good car snacks provided you don't have to get them out of the tube yourself whilst driving!
We arrived at our apartment around 7pm & had to climb four fights of stairs to it - 16 stairs in each flight (yes I counted them!). After dropping off out cases we
didnt even stop to shower, we just headed straight out to find supper. we walked over the bridge into the old town & found a nice place on the seawards side where we accidentally had a perfect view of the sun setting into the sea! (Sadly cameras were left in the flat)
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