Winter Dilemma

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Winter plans? It has gotten pretty cold in the last week, and for several days all transportation to and from the island was stopped due to the “Bura” ( north-east mountain winds). On one particularly windy day a large tree in the center fell on the super market and all food shopping was suspended for three days. The winds have gotten up to 240 km/hr!

 

Hanging out in a windstorm in the center of town. This is what it is like on a busy day here

Hanging out in a windstorm in the center of town. This is what it is like on a busy day here

 

I have become good friends with my hosts (Nino and Ljbinka). They call me “Bojidar”, blessed boy, because I share the same December birthdate as the prophet. No longer in America, I now introduce myself as “Bojidar”, and have become quite popular in the rarely frequented Zen yoga classes. Since the end of the Serb-Croat war Croatia has become extremely Catholic and in many small cities it is considered taboo to practice yoga. Here on Krk there are only a few people willing to go against the church and most of the classes are empty.

Ljubinka, Nino and Marko my Croatian family

Ljubinka, Nino and Marko. My Croatian family

I am really enjoying staying in Omisalj. The town is small and people leave their bikes and their personal property unlocked and out in the open. When it rains people frantically run around gathering their laundry off the lines and stuffing all their possessions in their tiny apartments. . I see the same people walk the streets everyday, and I am always greeted with the same genuine smile.

View from the highest point of the Omisalj

View from the highest point of on Omisalj

My hosts have a second home, used for rentals and retreats, about 20 km south of Omisalj. They often make trips to the house and I am always invited to lend a hand in preparing things for winter. The house is completely off the grid, and was built from the rocks of an ancient cow barn. The impressive structure incorporates  two rain catch basins, 4 solar panels, compostable toilets, an organic garden and a cow powered grain mill! For extended relaxation there is even a solar-powered Jacuzzi. Nino built the house himself mixing several tons of concrete and building each wall out of hundreds native rocks.

Stone retreat house with two water catch basins

Stone retreat house with two rain catch basins, solar panels and a compostable toilet

Meditation loft inside

Meditation loft and dining room

Fireplace stove and oven

Fireplace stove and oven

An ancient grain mill

An ancient grain mill

I have been invited to stay the winter here in Omisalj and I am considering accepting the offer. The island, although windy and cold is extremely beautiful. With several neighboring islands easily accessible by ferry, and many ancient ruins of Roman temples, I think I can keep myself occupied till early January.

Regardless of how cold it gets the beaches are still beautiful, this is one of my favorite hangouts on clear days

Regardless of how cold it gets the beaches are still beautiful, this is one of my favorite hangouts on clear days

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI am planning a winter de-tour adventure, and will explain in further details once I secure transport. Hint: “The Holy lands”. I am plan to be gone for the entire month of February, and with the next few weeks off I can start thinking about visas and the trip across Central Asia. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are deserts and will be extremely hot in the summer months, while Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be covered in snow until June or July. The visa situation is also be rather problematic in that several countries only issue them when applied in one’s home country. Meaning that when I enter Turkey I will have to send my passport to Washington DC, and hope that I can get all my visas by the time I exit and enter Georgia.

Silhouette of Omisalj

Silhouette of Omisalj

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!

2 thoughts on “Winter Dilemma

  1. Hi Jules, I’m listening to your mother, sister, and brother (and uncle) laugh uncontrollably outside on a very wintry New England night after a festive post-thanksgiving feast with lots of my family. You can guess what they’re laughing about–I’m sure I don’t know. But you are very missed. We love reading about your adventures! Happy thanksgiving– love Molly

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