Kite Festival Opuzen, Croatia

International endeavours of KAP Jasa – kite team Slovenia are on again! Snježana and Žare of the Croatian Kite Association invited us to a fantastic little kite festival in a fantastic place at the mouth of river Neretva near the town of Opuzen, Croatia.

The town is simply amazing, the people are incredible, and their efforts to put Opuzen on a world map by organizing the famous Zen Opuzen Art Festival are beyond anything one can imagine. A summer of music, paintings of murals, exhibitions, theatre plays, cooking competitions, and the World Championships in the most bizarre (and hilarious) sport – Čikarijada. “Čikara” is a small coffee cup that the competitors try to throw as far into the Neretva river as they can. We tried our best and while we were far from reaching the finals, we managed to set a Slovenian record with 37,27 m (the world record is over 76 m, and this year’s champion Josip threw his čikara 62 m).

Murals of Opuzen – and the moment the Slovenian record in čikara throw was achieved

Part of the Zen Opuzen festival was a kite festival Festival vitra a.k.a. Zajaši zmaja on the beach by the Neretva Kiteboarding, one of the prime spot for kite surfing on the Adriatic – so we knew outright that the wind would not be a problem (unlike it was at our IKF Slovenia in Murska Sobota in May).

It was four glorious days in late August, hours of intense kite flying on the sandy beach, making a great aerial show that left everyone staring into the sky and leaving with a sore neck.

Check out the video!

Bear in mind there were just five of us, three from the Croatian Kite Association, and two from KAP Jasa – kite team. Luckily we had Viktor (who is kinda ours, but is officially a member of th CKA – Zmajoljupci), as the 12 year old kite master took care of lifting kites, preparing anchors, putting up line laundry, checking lines, saving unruly kites (the maestral wind was naughty at times), and doing kite aerial photography (more about that in later posts).

The people, the parties, the culture, and the fantastic landscape of the delta of Neretva river – green, fertile, full of tangerine and pomegranate trees – great food, good beer … it was unforgettable. One of the best kite events we had ever taken part in.

Many thanks to Giovanni and Ana and Motel Delta, to Josip (his Guuc fruit juices are something else!), to Ivica and Stanko, to all the people of Opuzen who made us feel at home the first minute we arrived.

And when you call a place a home, you know you will come back. Opuzen, see you next year!

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