UNFORGETTABLE OFF ROAD BUGGY ADVENTURE AROUND THE REGION OF SINJ
First and foremost I have to write that I am not an active person in terms of sports, nor am I somewhat eager for adrenaline. I like to be on the move, to experience something new, but you know… easy walks, pleasant rides and if possible, away from the crowds. Also, I don’t see myself, nor would I declare myself as an adventurer, maybe a little bit as a researcher because I am by nature curious and love to discover new places and their interesting stories. To the top of it all, I’m one of those who has a driver’s license but doesn’t drive. ONa a first impression, you would think that I am not at all the type of person someone would associate with riding a buggy in the ‘wilderness’. But I did it, I did ride it and it was phenomenal!
Sinj is a town in the Inland Dalmatia, (in Croatian Dalmatinska Zagora) I have visited several times and I am always happy to return. Each visit opens a new door behind which lies something new to discover. It is located in the Dalmatian hinterland, Cetina region, only thirty kilometres from the Adriatic Sea. It is surrounded by the mighty, impressive mountains of Dinara, Kamešnica and Svilaja, the fertile valley of Sinjsko polje and the stunningly beautiful river Cetina. Greenfields, hilly paths and Sinj villages are the perfect place to explore for all those who are curious like me, but also those who, unlike me, still like to feel a dose of adrenaline.
None of this would have been possible, nor would the experience have been complete if my driver and guide had not been Nikola, a local who knows the surroundings of Sinj like the back of his hand. Nikola is one of those types of people you feel safe with, so I even got into the role of an adventurer, pretending that driving on the side, dusty, muddy roads is something I usually do when actually he did it all 🙂
I’ve never been on an off-road tour before and I have to admit that getting out of the comfort zone paid off.
My buggy adventure started in front of the Alkar Hotel in Sinj. Apart from accommodation, Hotel Alkar also offers active excursions in the vicinity of Sinj so that their visitors have something to do, learn and see during their stay and visit to the city. Upon arrival, I wondered a bit around the hotel lobby and restaurant and drank coffee and chatted with Mr Bartender. I really like those relaxed conversations with the locals, they are always amusing and interesting to me. Not only because of the information I learn from them, which is not available on the Internet but also because of the emphasis, speech, thinking and general outlook on life…
Once the buggy was ready, Nikola ‘picked me up’ from the bar and the adventure began. I sat in the buggy and buttoned up everything he told me to buckle up for my safety, belt and helmet. It was a weird feeling to sit so low, close to the road because I am used to the height of cars and buses. It was even stranger to me as we drove around surrounded by cars on the roads towards the exit of the city and roads that cars could not pass. At one point we just veered off the road onto one such road and then the magic began.
It was a little bit bumpy as Nikola drove up the rocky, hilly paths that would have seemed like a green tunnel of bushes and trees had it not been for the blue sky above us. The feeling of being on the wild backroad so close to nature was exciting.
Sinjsko polje/ the Field of Sinj
We first stopped at a place with a beautiful view of Sinjsko polje. I’m always interested and a little intrigued by how small houses look from a great distance. Sinjsko polje is a karst field of the Cetina valley and is one of the largest in Dalmatia. The size and shape were determined by tectonic forces between the mountains Svilaja and Dinara. Around the field, there are Gala, Otok, Ovrlja, Udovičić, Ruda, Vrabač, Grab, Podi, Jabuka and Vedrine, the town of Trilj and Košute, Turjaci, Brnaze, Sinj and Glavice, as well as rivers and streams, ie tributaries of the river Cetina which passes through the field. After I took a couple of photos, we headed down towards Cetina.
I live in a town located at the mouth of the river Cetina and believe me, this beautiful emerald green river looks different in every part of its course. We stood in several places next to her, so beautiful and simply created for meditation with open eyes. In between standing we ‘raced’ through the puddles of the flooded valley as mud flew in all directions and I squealed like a small child, it was craaaazy! Along the way, we also met a shepherd with sheep, which particularly thrilled me because it gave that special touch to the authenticity of the area I was meeting for the first time. Apart from nature, Nikola also took me through the nearby villages, so the landscapes were really diverse. From karst rocks, hills, green fields and valleys, trees to emerald green rivers. I felt so good, completely alive and happy, all the way to the last cell of my body.
The Kosinac Source
While driving through the villages, we stopped at a picturesque and beautifully landscaped place near the Kosinac spring in the village of Gala. This spring is of great importance for the local population because it supplies the wider area of Sinj with drinking water since 1912. The village of Gala is located between the left bank of the upper course of the river Cetina, on the eastern edge of Sinjsko polje and the slopes of the mountain Kamešnica, 8.5 km northeast of Sinj.
Throughout the ride, Nikola was explaining and talking about the places we were passing by and I was really happy that I decided to embark on this buggy ride. I felt gratitude and delight for the beauties of the Sinj region that I could experience first hand.
Each ending paves the way for a new beginning
The tour ended, where it started, in front of the Alkar Hotel where we sat on the hotel terrace. We didn’t talk much, but not because we didn’t have anything to talk about. It was more like that feeling when you watch a movie that really touched you, so after leaving the cinema you are impressed and you don’t need to talk for a while. That’s the way we drank juices in silence, enjoyed the spring rays of the sun, the singing of birds from a nearby park absorbing a good vibe.
And this time I left Sinj full of heart again, happy that, unlike previous visits, this time I had the opportunity to explore and experience its surroundings in a way that I have never been before. New experiences give us the opportunity to learn and get to know something new, to expand and grow as persons, to be happy, fulfilled, satisfied … But, like everything in life, it is up to us whether we will embrace and apply the opportunities and stay open to new possibilities and some new beginnings.
Anyway, today was truly a perfect day!