The team from IZI Rent [left to right]: Maryan, Alanka, Antoni and Izi
Prior to leaving Adelaide for our shoot on the Ponant cruise from Venice to Athens, in between madly booking flights, accommodation and rental cars, I had a few minutes to do a little research on some of the locations we'd be visiting during the cruise. On this particular cruise we weren't required to shoot on the planned excursions so the time at each destination was our own so I headed to Google and started searching Hvar.
On the popular website TripAdvisor, at #47 of 90 things to do in Hvar Island, was an abandoned village called Malo Grablje, more about which you can read and see in my places blog, Malo Grablje. From what I read it really interested me and looked like a great place to shoot some 360˚ panoramas.
After making landfall at the beautiful harbour of Hvar Town, we took off in search of a Tour organiser to see if we could arrange to rent a car or engage a guide to take us to the the village.
The first company we went to said it was impossible to arrange a tour at short notice and that it wasn't possible to rent a car as the location was quite difficult to reach and rental companies would not allow their cars to go off road. In the same building was another small agency manned by two young women. We told them where we wanted to go and they said it may be possible and handed us a brochure, from a company called IZI rent, which featured a crazy looking dune buggy on it's cover with a graphic saying, "have to try it!". In fact there were two options the dune buggy or the quad bike. I thought the dune buggy looked more functional for both of us and the gear we were carrying. A quick phone call confirmed that we could rent the buggy and that a representative from the company would meet us shortly to take us to the office.
It wasn't long before a young man turned up, we later found out his name was Antoni, and we started a rather long and winding walk up through the streets of Hvar twisting and turning not quite sure what was going on. After about 15 minutes climbing the hilly part of the city we came across a small yellow doored office on a side street with a dune buggy and quad bike in front of it.
Antoni introduced us to Alanka and she started the process of getting the rental sorted out. She told us that she rarely allows their rentals to go off road, unless part of a group tour, and that the primary reason she was willing to rent to us was because the girls in the agency has told her that we'd be okay because we were "old". Hmm not quite sure how to take that.
We assured Alanka that we would be very careful on the road up to Malo Graglje and that we respect her wishes to maintain a low speed while off road.
Needless to say we had a great time and visited several spots around the island before returning the buggy that afternoon. Before heading back to the ship we spent time with them talking about what we were doing and the plans that they had to provide more services to visitors to the island. We finished up sharing a glass of Chivas before wending our way back down the hill to the harbour.
I can't recommend them more highly. For more information visit their Facebook page.