Roški slap / to Šibenik - Balkan Dreams - CycleBlaze

October 8, 2020

Roški slap / to Šibenik

We’re only an easy 12 miles from Sibenik, so we have plenty of time to fit in a visit to the national park before we leave Skradin.  The most frequently visited area, the falls at nearby Skradinski Buk, Are only a few miles away.  We saw them the first time we were here though, so we decide to go further afield and see the next fall up the river, Roški slap.  It’s an eleven mile ride out there, so there’s time to  bike out, take a hike for a few hours, and bike back before we need to move on to Sibenik.

The ride to Roški slap is a short roller coaster, with two moderate climbs.  Not bad, especially since we’ve left our bags behind at our apartment.   We get an early start and reach the falls about 10.

A beautiful morning, and cool enough that we need our jackets for about the first five minutes.
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Looking back down on Skradin.
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We haven’t seen one of these for awhile. I like this - it lets us pretend we’re on a real pass climb without working up much of a sweat.
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We’re lucky to have a perfectly calm day today. It looks like the wind blows a bit here.
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As we near the falls, striking travertine cliffs line the road.
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Most roads lead to Roški slap, as the saying goes.
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Video sound track: Cinnamon Road, by Shawn Colvin

It’s thrilling to round a bend and hear the roar the waterfall far below, its spray visible from above.
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Roški slap is at the upper end of a virtual lake in the Krka River.  It’s not a large fall, but very beautiful.  Most visitors arrive by boat from above Skradinski Buk, The next ferry downriver.  I’m not sure, but I think that the boat ticket is included in the entry fee to the park.  Today though a large percentage of visitors arrive by bicycle, because we’re almost the only people here other than park staff. 

We lock up our bikes beside the ticket booth and head off for a look at the falls.  Surprisingly though, it’s hard to find one.  Maybe there’s a trail that lets you see them up close, but if so we didn’t find it.  The only view we can find is out on the end of a pier.  

I spy!
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Roški slap. Beautiful this morning, with a clear view of the cliffs behind and with a rainbow highlighting the falls.
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Roški slap. Like so many places we’ve been in Croatia, we’re almost alone here today.
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There are a few hiking options out here.  One is a short loop, about a half mile long, along the river just above the falls.  It’s an interesting section, the river threading through a narrow throat between the cliffs on either side and dropping through a series of small cascades.

An easy walk, suitable to all ages and mobilities.
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The river drops through a series of about a dozen small cascades. This section is called ‘the necklace’.
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Looking across the Krka River.
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The loop crosses the river twice - once on the road, and here on this appealing wooden footbridge.
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Between the necklace and Roški slap is a middle section filled with backwaters, pools, and small islands.
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So that was a nice little walk.  Scenic, quiet except for the rush of the river, relaxed.  Next though we took the trail that angles up the face of the cliffs to a viewpoint at the top, 250 feet above.  Not much of a climb, except that the trail is less than a quarter of a mile long.  For most of the way there’s a secure fence anchored into the rock so you can pull yourself up the steep slope, but in other sections it’s just you and the rock and a bit unnerving.  Fortunately it’s a dry day and the footing is secure, but it’s quite slow going.  Arduous, but spectacular.

The beginning of the hike sucks you in a bit - a goor railing, the pitch isn’t too bad. It gets worse as you go.
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Wonderful. Makes me think of Zion.
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Another campanula. Right, teach?
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Bruce LellmanYes, you are right.
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2 weeks ago
Bill ShaneyfeltAmazing how many species there are!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campanula
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2 weeks ago
At the top of the cliffs, taking a well earned lunch break. Rachael is looking toward the road in the distance that we biked in on and will return along.
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The Necklace is even prettier seen from above.
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The Krka River, upstream from Roški slap.
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Visovac Lake, the body of water between Roški slap and the final falls on the river, Skradinski Buk. Skradin must be a few miles around that last bend.
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The perspective is unclear here, but this slope must be somewhere in the 30-40% range.
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Almost down again. Behind Rachael is another woman who reached the upper end of the railing, looked up, and thought better of it.
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The ride back to Skradin is a second ride on the roller coaster - up, down; up, down.  We stop back by our apartment to pick up our bags and then head off to Sibenik, crossing our fifth ridge of the day.  For a fairly short day there’s a fair amount of climbing.

We arrive in Sibenik at 4 and check in to our apartment.  It’s another complex hidden behind a green, warehouse-like door.  We’re up three steep flights of stairs, in a tiny room with barely enough space to crawl in by the side of the bed.  But hey - it has an espresso maker!

I love Sibenik.  It’s really an amazing place that deserves to be better known and visited than it is.  We’ll take a look tomorrow.

The Skradin Bridge.
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Looking down on Skradin from our final climb of the day.
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Rachael at the vanishing point.
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Ride stats today: 35 miles, 3,300’; for the tour: 1,470 miles, 70,900’

Today's ride: 35 miles (56 km)
Total: 1,470 miles (2,366 km)

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