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Camino Pilgrimage 2

Written by Taco

After visiting the old town I decided that that was enough of urban wandering. Time had come to look for more remoteness, untouched nature and faeries… When walking southwards, I discovered that the fairy trees and hobbit burrows were long gone, replaced by hotel mega-structures resembling cruise ships. These buildings took hold of all the view on the sea, my only landmark as the sun had been covered by cloud sheets. I went across tightly mown parks and parkings to finally reach the end of this concrete unwholesomeness. But the concrete insanity was not over yet. The whole bay had been customised to please the highest tourist standards. All the small beaches were upgraded with cement walls and stairs. I held tight while crossing this overly managed nature.
Finally, at the edge of the bay, the human landscape management reduced to signposts, warning about perilous cliffs for people that would be unaware of the laws of gravity. ! !

A gravity that some rock climbers on the other side seemed to have taken in challenge. Still being on the ground, I went to greet them and inquired whether I would encounter more hotels on my way south. Responding positively, I walked on thinking I should try to reach Pula before the evening. The forecast had announced rain in the early morning so a youth hostel would be a nice place to spend the night. After enjoying the sea and the sun for a while, dipping my feet in the ice
cold Adriatic, I backed inland hoping to find access to a street soon. Synchronicity had it that the climbers were on their way back to their car, we came to a crossing in the park at the same moment. Going back to Ljubljana, they could drop me on the main road towards Pula, the city at the tip of the peninsula and capital of the region. Watching some fast cars drive by for a little while, a pianist working as private teacher in Umag picked me up on his way home, my destination for the
night. With a touching hospitality, he insisted in me accepting his 50 kunas (7 euros) as he wasn’t able to host me in his single room apartment he shared with his girlfriend. God would give it back to him some day he assured with a smile . With a bigger heart I arrived in Pula with a setting sun on it’s industrious harbour.
The quiet night at the crazy house hostel got me plenty of rest to get back on the adventure. Passing by some attractions of the city like the impressive roman coliseum and the old town, I continued my search for some quiet remoteness. Finally, the next benevolent soul brought me to the beginning of a small peninsula where I would find some real wilderness according to him. The first part was rather disenchanting because of the abandoned and wasted holiday houses in the
middle of the forest and trash to be found most of the open spaces. Fortunately, continuing the exploration, I found out that the peninsula was much bigger and stretched out into more raw and unspoiled nature. Indeed, after crossing this piece of waste land, I discovered one of the most beautiful seashores I’ve ever seen. Clear blue sea with rough white cliffs and dense deep green Mediterranean vegetation. The more I moved into this beautiful scenery, the more challenging the
walk became. Thin trails on sometimes high cliffs, paths through dense forests of bushes and small trees. I moved slowly but felt I was getting closer to what I was looking for. Progressively I sensed the cliffs becoming higher and steeper. After finding a camping spot in the thick shrubby forest, I climbed down the cliffs to go for a dive. The sea being rather icy, I didn’t stay long inside ! The dive somehow landed me in this place and marked my transition from civilisation to this pure
piece of nature. Also, it seemed to me that being alone increased the connection with it, no social distraction.!

Realising the simple and pure beauty of the sea, the sky and the rocks of the earth. The gratefulness for being able to witness it all and to be part of it, even though still looking for which part that exactly is. !

Every individual plays an essential role in the ‘whole’ story or at least in their own. I once heard the saying: ‘you are the most important person in your life’. To me, in order to really appreciate the meaning of this, I have to deeply understand that love and happiness are not to be found outside of myself. These are inside of me, waiting to be uncovered from the dirt shed by a confused and judgemental mind. !
As Satish Kumar explained, the outer pilgrimage is a merely symbolic expression of the inner one which is more important. The outer world is just an expression of the inner and not the other way around as we’ve been brought up to believe. If there is peace within, there will be peace without. ! !
Anyway, I had found a little piece of paradise with no one to get bothered by. Early March was the right time of the year to look for this quietness here, a month later with 5 degrees more on average would attract some more adventurous and leisure seeking souls. ! The next morning though, a chilling breeze got me have breakfast behind a rock, hiding even from the sun which couldn’t warm me up. Even after an exploration tour through the shrubs, the temperature remained low with a constant wind. I packed my tent and returned towards civilisation.
My ‘Into the wild’ expedition had turned short but I didn’t mind, I wasn’t prepared for much longer anyway and this wasn’t the intention. Back on the road direction Medulin, the name of this town sounded so nice but all I found was a extended holiday apartment resort without a centre. Names are not reliable I found out. Getting out of there as soon as I could, I headed north-east towards Labin. !