Montenegro: Highlights + Lowlights
Although we were not originally planning on visiting Montenegro, we are all very glad that we did (for the most part). We sailed into the Bay of Tivat with no planned itinerary for the two weeks we would be staying in this country. Below are a few of the highlights and one unfortunate lowlight of our trip.
We stayed in the Porto Montenegro marina for the first 4 days. Helios was docked up against the main promenade, so people were always walking really close to our boat. There were many instances where tourists would take pictures in front of our boat while we were eating lunch or hanging out on board. There were many nice restaurants on the promenade as well a gelato shop that we visited every day.
The Blue Cave
The blue cave is a popular tourist destination that we wanted to check out, but we had heard how crowded it could get. Every afternoon, we could see at least 50 little motor boats holding 1-10 tourists zip out of the bay and around the corner to the blue cave. We decided that going in the early morning on our own dinghy would be much more private. The night before, we anchored at an anchorage close by and then set out in our dighny early the next morning. It took us a surprisingly long time to find the entrance as it was a much smaller opening than we thought. We were the only ones inside the cave, and I decided to jump in for a swim despite the hundreds of bats flying overhead.
In my opinion, this anchorage had the most beautiful view out of all of the anchorages we've been to. We were surrounded on all sides by mountains and witnessed some beautiful sunsets. Kotor old town was also very close by, although it got very crowded during the day due to the cruise ship port near by.
Although the view from Kotor Bay anchorage was picturesque, the water in the bay was not. We were anchored in some pretty stagnant water that was greenish in color. However, it was so hot and humid during the day that Dad and I had to jump in for a few swims to cool off (Mom was smart and steered clear of the water). A few days later, I started getting really bad stomach cramps and couldn't keep anything down for more than a few hours. Soon after, my dad also had bad stomach cramps and lost his appetite. Luckily for Dad, his symptoms only lasted 3 days. Unfortunately for me, my symptoms have lasted 12 days and counting. So far, I've visited a clinic in Montenegro and in Greece and have gotten an ultrasound, blood test, stool test, and an IV drip that led to a (very rudimentary) EKG due to chest pain from the IV. We suspected Giardia, but doctors said it was unlikely (test results have not come back yet) and that it was most likely a virus like rotavirus or gastroenteritis. Luckily I am still able to go about my day like normal, aside from some discomfort.