The journey back up NorthNovember 21, 2016 in Croatia
We'd come as far south as we could and it was time to travel back up north to more Christmassy climes.
As so many sites were closed, we retraced our steps trying to stay at the ones we'd found on the way down. After a night among the olive trees at the closed Brijesta site we drove along the Pelješac Peninsula, dropping in at a small wine tasting bar where we tried a local Plavac Mali made by the woman standing there pouring it. It was very dry so Will loved it. We bought a litre from the large metal keg and a pre bottled middle range red along with some homemade olive oil. After we'd paid, the woman (who had also made the oil) insisted we shouldn't use it for cooking as it was too tasty! This didn't come across as a sales technique but as someone who cared about and was proud of what they made; with good reason too!
We took the ferry back over from Trpanj to Ploče (it was warm enough to sit outside this time) and again stayed with Robert at the Dalmajica resort. Instead of using the facilities in the large toilet block, he gave us a key to one of the wooden chalets whose facilities were a lot nicer!
Moving on, we reached Camp Kalebić, from where we'd canoed around the islands. Unfortunately it was dark and the gates locked. We spent the night on the dead end road outside where we weren't disturbed. Bright and early the next morning we drove to Sibenik where Vicky had previously spotted some waterproof sheet material at the market. We now needed it to make suitable beds for Poppy to help us deal with her incontinence. Vicky was enjoying trying to communicate a little more in Croatian. She was pleased when she managed to ask for 1.5 meters of the desired material and very relieved when we actually got 1.5 meters! It was morning, so the food market was open and we made the most of it, stocking up on clemantines, cheese, figs, dried camomile flowers and a fresh that Will filleted and marinaded in garlic, oregano and olive oil for tea - yum! The market had a real vibe about it, it was purposeful instead of gimmicky or touristy and the sellers called out as you passed.
Camp Jaz near Starigrad was our next stop and we were relieved to be able to park up in our favourite spot looking out over the bay. When we went to pay, the owner said no payment was necessary! Unfortunately the water was also turned off, so although we managed to empty the toilet, our water tank was in need of a top up!
Travelling on, we left the coast behind. The land became more fertile and more trees deciduous, making it seem as if Autumn had bounded on quickly. Shepherds, many of them women in traditional Croatian headscarves, hearded flocks of between a dozen and 30 sheep along scrubby fields that had no fence separating them from the road. We passed a tractor with a pig in a crate and a cow being led by a rope.
Hopes that our next planned stopover would have water were dashed when we translated the 'closed' sign on the door. The 'Marina' restaurant had been taken over by a Chinese restaurant and although it still advertised a free stopover in the car park if you ate with them, it looked as if they had gone for their own holidays! In an effort to conserve water (at least that was a good excuse) we went to a local bar for a beer but the air was so thick with smoke that Vicky couldn't get out soon enough!Read more