Adventure guiding is the best thing we do and the greatest paradox of our life. No activity can leave you to feel so tired yet so happy. Since we do a lot of computer work we always look forward to L&VE season of adventure tours. What’s so good about it? Well, we’re always outside, in constant motion, paddling, cycling, driving around, meeting new people…we live. A day in a life of adventure guide is full of…well, adventure. But other than that there are lots of new faces, lots of occasions to make someone smile and feel good… And that’s the best part of this job.
So how a summer day in our lives looks like?
Our first tour starts at 9 AM and we usually get up around 7 AM. Just to prepare everything for the upcoming tour. Sometimes we prepare a few things night earlier so we have 30 minutes of extra snooze time. Toilet, teeth & breakfast. Three most important personal things of each morning. We then pack up our adventure van with all the things we need. Sometimes it’s kayaking equipment and sometimes it’s an alpine one, depending on a tour we have. Usually, we have a kayaking tour on Baćina lakes first thing in the morning. People prefer water over a hot rock and who can blame them for that.
We need to get to Baćina lakes 1 hour earlier to prepare everything for our guests. This is where the fun begins. Because we use inflatable kayaks we need to manually inflate every single one of them. Of course, we can use an electric pump but where’s the fun in that? So we manually inflate up to 10 kayaks. After some time of practice, we can pump a kayak in just a few minutes. When the inflating is done we have a few minutes to catch our breath, arrange other equipment and refreshment for our guests. First of them usually arrive 15 – 20 minutes before the official tour start. We greet them all and prepare a welcome drink while we wait for the others. This is where we have an informal chat with our guests. When everybody has arrived and everything is prepared for the adventure we have one more thing to go and that is safety talk. It consists of explaining paddling techniques, what can we expect on the water and so on. After that our paddles hit the water and the real fun begins.
If the group is large it’s always 2 of us accompanying it. In the case of a smaller group, one of us is following the group around the lakes and prepare a picnic point with hammocks and other equipment for chilling. The tour usually lasts for 4 hours and we end it somewhere around 1 PM. That’s the time our guests hit the road and leave us with all the equipment that has to be taken care of. First, we leave our kayaks to dry a bit, usually for 15 minutes before we start to deflate and pack them. The reason we deflate them is simple – transport. It’s much easier to transport 10 kayaks in bags than to put them on a van.
We come home around 2 PM, right in time for lunch. Next tour starts at 5 PM and that leaves us just 1 hour to have lunch and prepare everything for the next tour. We usually split at this moment and one of us is making lunch while other is editing photos from a previous tour. Since we are in the photography business as well we decided to take a camera on all of our tours and make some photo memories for our guests that we send them after the tour. It’s a nice personal touch our guests adore.
During the summer our next tour is usually sunset kayaking which starts on a remote beach 30 minutes away from our base. It takes a bit longer to prepare for this tour since we have to transfer all the kayaks and other equipment from parking to the beach. The procedure is the same as for the previous tour. Inflating, preparing, greeting guests. This tour is always accompanied only by one guide since one has to wait at the end point and transfer the guests back to their cars. We end this tour at 8 PM and after packing all the equipment we come back home around 10 PM. In a case, we don’t have our next tour which is night kayaking. In a case we have that tour then we come home after midnight, wasted, slimmer, stronger and still happy.
At this point we put on some nice music, transfer, choose and edit photos from a sunset tour and send them to our guests. If we are not too tired we prepare equipment for tomorrow’s tour. But usually, we are exhausted so we have a bit of rest and soon enough we hug a pillow and transfer ourselves to dreamworld. Tomorrow we start all over again. Even though this kind of life might seem monotonous to some degree, it’s quite the opposite. Sometimes there are slight variations in the schedule caused by some other tours being booked so instead to prepare kayaks we prepare cycles but the routine and the time it takes to prepare everything stays the same.
Yes, this kind of life can be tiresome at moments but it’s definitely worth it. Why? Because of the people. So far we didn’t have any unsatisfied guest. At least we believe so :). It’s nice to see people enjoying your homeland and very nature you live in. We really and honestly want to make every single one of our guests experience wonders of our home in the best way possible.
Sometimes things can get a bit more complicated. For example, it might happen that we have 2 tours at the same time. If that’s the case we then split and everybody is guiding another tour.
Even though we try to keep our summers pass by only in adventure guiding we still have some other work to do as well. As already mentioned we are in photography business as well. That counts for most of our off-season time income. Since there are a lot of events happening during the summer in Croatia, especially on the coast where we live, we sometimes photograph these events. That sometimes results in only free moments we have to be spent in working. But it doesn’t matter. The thing is we like what we do so it’s a lot easier to enjoy in work.
Enjoy your adventures!