In a word: unpleasant.
I arrived in Supetar without any plans or reservations (my typical M.O.) and hoped to find a place to camp for the night somewhere outside of town. From Split, the island of Brač appeared to be covered in trees, so I figured I'd set up my little tent along the beach far away from people and just spend the night along the wonderful coastline. As long as the campsite is secluded and I followed the standard procedures of leave no trace people hardly care, so I figured this was my chance to put my camping stills to use.
Song of association for my camping adventure:
The night began innocently enough. After touring all of Supetar, I found a stellar spot along the coastline in between two perfectly positioned trees in a relatively secluded plot of land outside of the city. I was rather confident in my choice of campsite, but wanted to make sure I wasn't in a high traffic area, so I sat for an hour or two enjoying the scenery and watching for people. In total, I saw two fishermen and a random man who appeared obviously lost. Perfect! I set up shop, spent the evening reading the last bit of my book, The Count of Monte Cristo, and I happily settled in for bed at 8:00pm so I could be up early to watch the sunrise over the water.
From here things went south real quick.
To be fair, I did get a few good hours of sleep initially; however, I was abruptly woken up by a terrifying crack of thunder in the middle of the night that jumpstarted my heart like a defibrillator. I remember checking the weather report before I arrived in Supetar and it said there was a "0%" chance of rain for the entire week! Where the hell did this lightningbolt come from? This isn't even just rain, (I'm prepared for that) it's a full-fledged thunderstorm! How could Yahoo weather have missed this?
Curse you Yahoo weather! You're dead to me.
I was not even slightly prepared for weather of this severity. My backpack and shoes were not covered and I definitely did not secure the tent properly. It was already raining, but thankfully, I still had a few trash bags from my first camping experience, so I covered everything as best I could and braced for the worst.
*God chuckles to himself*
Flash after flash of lightning illuminated my little hammock giving the appearance it was mid-afternoon. Without fail twenty seconds after each burst of light was a terrifying noise that erupted from the heavens as if the world was collapsing and the rapture was coming. I've never been particularly scared of thunder and lightning in my life, but this time around I was cuddled in my little sleeping bag like a child.
At this point, I was muttering a plethora of colorful expletives while I cursed myself for choosing to camp in such a windstorm. The storm showed no signs of backing off and I was genuinely terrified about of what the rest of the night had in store for me. It was now only 12:30am, so unless this storm dissipated quickly (which I highly doubted), I would have to deal with this unfortunate turn of events in complete darkness for the next 6 hours.
This is going to be a long night.
Just then I heard the wind howl high above me as if a ghost or dementor was coming to claim my soul. It started out as a slight whistle, but slowly the noise became louder and soon I heard the tips of the trees violently swaying right above me. The noise continued to approach my tent and a cold blast of air knocked the tarp covering my tent clear off exposing me to the rain. Looking back, the force of the gust was so strong that it could have easily blown away the tarp even if it was properly secured, but either way it was no longer over my tent and the rain began soaking my sleeping bag.
Frustrated by yet another issue, I began yelling more offensive phrases to myself (now in multiple languages) while attempting to tie down the tarp again - this time to something sturdier than a few feeble tree branches. By the light of my iPhone, and the insanely bright flashes of intermittent lightning (one of which nearly scared the shit out of me - I mean literally), I went to work finding the biggest rocks I could in the rain. I felt like the stereotypical pirate out at sea in a bad storm.
Tie down the sails on the port side! Thar she blows!
I eventually managed to tied everything in place and returned to my tent hoping for the best, but within thirty minutes another gust laid waste to my handiwork once again. The only thing I could think of is how cold I was going to be if I couldn't fix the tarp down correctly. It wasn't even 2:00am yet and for the second time I needed to get back out and re-tie everything in the rain! Hoping to avoid fixing everything in the heavy rain, I waited in my tent for 15 minutes for the weather to calm down and attempted to hold everything together like a man on a sinking ship. The wind was pummeling my little tent and I could feel the rain slowly creeping into my sleeping bag now that the tarp was askew and not covering my hammock properly.
For the second time I went out into the rain and once again, by the light of my iPhone, I went to work trying to tie everything down (this time to the largest stones I could physically pick up). Thankfully the thunder and lightning had subsided, so the only thing I had to contend with was some light rain. Instead of the terrifying lightning, all I heard was the sound of the rain on the tree leaves above me and my phone repeatedly chirping, "Siri not available, please connect to the Internet."
%@#$ you Siri! I’m not in the mood!
I managed to get everything the way I wanted and hopped back into my hammock. I was fairly soaked, but now my tent was a small, sturdy fortress. For the next five hours I sat there, but once everything was in place there was a remarkable calm that came over me - I survived the storm.
The next morning I woke up at 7am and, though it was no longer raining, I could hear a low rumbling off in the distance... another round of storms was approaching. It was now or never since I had no idea how long the next bout of bad weather would last. I quickly hopped out of my tent, packed up my things, and sprinted back into town in an attempt to outrun the ominous sea of dark storm clouds that slowly consumed the small island behind me.
When will it stop? I'm so tired of dealing with the weather!
IT WASN'T EVEN SUPPOSED TO RAIN!
I made my way through the forest and about halfway to town the rain finally caught up with me as I expected. I took shelter in a few of the deserted bars and patios that lined the beach and with the help of my umbrella managed to make it back to the port. Once again I was completely soaked, but at least this time around I was back in civilization at a cafe with plush chairs, an awning to shield the rain, a few space heaters, and an endless supply of cappuccinos. I've never appreciated a coffee more in my life than that morning; the taste, the warmth, and the smell of that first cup was intoxicating. I was so happy to be protected from the elements as I listen to the soothing electronic music emanating from the cafe's speakers in the background.
I made it through the night.
Slowly the sun rose and the storm evaporated revealing the radiant, bright blue sky I'd become accustomed to seeing around Croatia. Supetar felt like an entirely different city within a span of two hours and made me question if the whole thing was just a bad dream. I'll never know why the weather was so terrible last night, but I do know one thing...
I'm paying for a damn hotel room tonight!