Swim Camp in Slovenia – Day 3

Day three of camp was the busiest of all.  We had a lot of driving, and swimming, and hiking to hidden water-holes, all wrapped up with a ride home in the van on a train.

The day started with an hour plus drive to some sort of watering hole near the border of Slovenia and Italy.  I didn’t bother with the 20 minute walk to the site because my hiking poles got locked in the supplies van and my cane was just not enough balance for the trip.  The other driver offered to get the keys to the van so I could get my poles, but I did not see the point—I would have had to start ahead of everyone to make it to the site.

Here is what I missed

foreground is a long grass, with little wooden docks leading to a small body of transparent green water with pine trees in the background. In the far background there is a tall rocky mountain
The nifty little lagoon off the roadside I missed because my poles were locked in a van and I did not feel like making someone go get the keys for me.  A lovely pic for sure, but not terribly sore I missed it.

We all packed back into the van to continue our journey into Italy to Lago del Predil.  This thing was described as being a glacial lake.  The temperature registered at 17C.  I figured I would be fine without a wetsuit- I am from Upstate New York, glacial waters don’t scare me!  I also figured that there would be warm pockets mixed with the cold.  I was wrong.  There were just colder pockets mixed with the cold!  I did not lose feeling in toes and feet, but thankfully I did in my shoulders, which were very sore from the day before.  Also thankfully just like the day before we had beautiful surroundings to admire during the swim.  There is something special about going a bit farther into landscape and getting to see more than what others who have not ventured farther can see.  We turned around to view these three little mountain caps that we never would have seen from shore.  None of us had cameras so we only have mental pictures of it, but it is one I will not soon forget.

lake with a rocky beach, our swim crew waist deep in the water treed rocky mountains surrounding the lake.
Lago del Predil- See that teal green blob all the way on the left? That’s me! Walking in water is really hard for me to do so after I am about 6 inches deep I chuck my hiking poles and crawl in the rest of the way.

Everyone who wore wetsuits was cold, so we only stayed in the lake for about 45 minutes.  When I got out the tea was hot and ready for sipping.  Temperature-wise I was doing surprisingly well.  I had not lost feeling in anything and could still walk at my normal level.  Then the wind blew.  I immediately got the shivers and threw my tea all over including on Tasmin our guide!  Another  guide Neil took my tea from my hand. They pulled my swimskin off of me and walked me to a bench where I could change into dry clothes.

Once dressed in every layer I had, we packed back into the van to drive to lunch.  I had a pumpkin soup and this neat Slovenian pasta dish that had a cream and truffle sauce.  I shared with my fellow table mates much to their delight!

After a leisurely and filling lunch we crammed back into the van again to drive to a waterfall.  This was another activity I skipped because I was tired and knew that I could not make it there in their designated 20 minute out and back.  As I had been so cold in the lake in the morning, I decided I would put on my wetsuit for the river swim in the afternoon.  At 20 minutes I started to put it on.  I figured I would need 20 minutes to get it all hitched up correctly.  I was right, unfortunately instead of taking a 40 minute tour of the waterfall the group swam around and I was stuck waiting in my wetsuit  in the heat for 30 minutes after I managed to get it on me.  I was a little annoyed because I definitely could have made it to the falls in the time they ended up spending.

I was more annoyed when we got to the lake and were told we would only have 40 minutes to swim in it because we had to be at the train station early to get our van in place.  I was also bummed because the flow of the water was slow so instead of getting to do a point to point on the river and seeing more scenery, we could only do a 20 minute our and back.  Once again really cool images, no camera ☹ Maybe one day I will get a waterproof camera.  I was annoyed again after getting in the water with my wetsuit because as hard as I worked to get it on and up high enough on me, it still felt like it was choking me and restricting my movement.  I ended up taking it halfway off and swimming with the slower group behind me because I could not keep up with my orange caps.

Once we wrapped up our river swim we got back in the van to drive to the train station.  We were super pressed for time to get there, but when we arrived we had an hour to hang out.  We just had to get our spot in line so we would have a place on the train.  We hung out and had drinks until it was time to go.  One of the drivers had me get in the van before he got it on the train because he said there was no way I could be able to maneuver the small walkway to the van once it was on the train.  He was right!  But then I was stuck in the van when everyone else was hanging out!  One of the guys hopped in with me to hang out and others ended up crowding around where our van was on the train too.

I have never been on a car train before so this was an experience!  There were a couple stations in the middle of nowhere that had a pretty big crowd of people at them, a lot of people waving at us.  Our Slovenian guide teased that we were their Saturday night entertainment.  We went through a bunch of tunnels in mountains and the longest was 8K!  We had a competition to see who could hold their breath the longest. And by we I mean me and Tasmin.  I won!  Over a minute, and I only stopped because my fingers started to go numb- I totally could have lasted longer.

By the time we were back at the hotel I was desperate for the bathroom!  I knew I would not make it to the room so I threw as much change as I could into the turn-style at the hotel to get to their basement bathroom.  Apparently it was not enough and thankfully a girl behind me topped me up.  I let her then dash down the stairs ahead of me because how could I be so rude as to both make her pay for me to pee and then have to wait behind for her to do her business as well?  Unfortunately there was only stall- so I hopped into the men’s room like it was college and I was a drunk girl at the bar.

With my emptied bladder I headed upstairs to get changed into real clothes so we could meet the crew out for dinner near our hotel.  The restaurant, Foksner, had some of the most delicious burgers I have ever eaten.  I need one right now.  After our meal, we walked back to the hotel for much needed sleep before Day 4 and our 4K swim the length of Lake Bohinj!

Author: Oh yes she cane!

My name is Kerry and I love swimming, hiking, working out in general, travelling, shopping, baking, and reading. Some of those loves are a bit tricky to perform thanks for my rare nerve disease- hereditary spastic paraparesis. No worries though as I have a super handy cane, hiking poles, and amazing friends that help me along the way! I hope to share with you a bit about my life, inspire you to live yours to fullest, and hopefully, if needed, motivate you to get whatever assistance will help you to do so!

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