Friday 28 September 2018

Focus on the goat...

So even as the temperature dropped, our spirits rose. With our food supplies stashed in my trusty backpack, we scuttled back to the apartment which was gloriously warm and welcoming. After a simple supper of tuna tomato pasta with a bottle of red, we braved the delicious višnja in the bar down the road. We sat there and cackled until we froze. We moved inside and carried on we discussed a special burek and beer diet plan with the waiter.

Seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. As did the goat pekar on the menu.

As we tottered up the stairs home, the northern wind was whistling through the trees, and howling round the rocks - I love that autumn really showed summer the door, and tried to boot it through. Still, as I currently write, summer is triumphant in its determination to hang around. The upside of bura is the clarity of air... everyone should see the stars and full moon at 4am.

We woke to a chilly morning; nothing as screamingly awful as the UK in September but it was brisk. Our hosts had mentioned a bread man van at 9am so I braved the golden morning light to await his arrival. It appeared that he had been and gone so I begged the obliging people at Mali Raj for some bread. We enjoyed a continental breakfast of bread, cheesy triangles, mortadella, tomatoes, and discussed what we were going to do.

The wind continued to blow happily. We had no plans.

The girly one put on her walking boots (with nothing more than a toothpick and a banana for support - so she said) and I put on my filthy old trainers and we headed off around the lake. If you go and read the blogs of the other contrary one you will see that we are once again on a bit of a healthy eating and exercise kick - hence the afore mentioned burek conversation. Mljet is renowned for its nature walks and was partly why I had chosen this place for a break.


So much for a brisk stroll; the first 100m took 30 mins. We expended energy only on ooos and ahhhs as the astonishing scenery took our breaths away, and in return we took photos. We enjoyed every inch of the large lake as we stayed on the path closest to the water. We giggled as we followed the central and circle line symbols - this was obviously just like being on the London underground.

OK, it was nothing like. It was actual paradise. Hidden beaches, vertiginous green, fluttering butterflies, and total silence as we commenced our circuit.

We headed to the hamlet of Soline for a responsible coffee (me) and a cheeky pivo (her). The road down there was so quiet that a basket ball court had been set up, should you choose to shoot some rings. Or whatever you do with the goal thingy. Anyway it was a fabulous use of flat tarmacked space. Soline is an ancient spot at the mouth of the lake, where salt has been produced for many years. We returned to the beautifully engineered Veliki Most, which vibrated tunefully in the wind. We crossed and continued around the lake. Shockingly we had only done a few kilometres...

By the time we had walked around the big lake, our feet were ready for one thing. A dip in the lake! We had found a handy little pontoon from which to swim just around the corner. It was - as promised - a few degrees warmer than the sea which was very pleasant. This didn't prevent any extremities being frozen; the air temperature was still pretty chilly. Brrrr! Needed a quick shower and a hot cuppa to thaw out. At this point of the day we had walked a long way so any normal people would have decided to have a nice nap.

We went for a stroll over to Polače for milk.

The booted one complained about the mountain* we had to climb. I admired the plunging ravines and the glorious gothic qualities of the cemetery on the way up. We descended into the village and the light was just catching the buildings on the far side. The Roman villa loomed over the extremely choppy sea; bura was still in full force. Sadly its effect on Pelješac was a devastating fire, a reminder to us all about the fragility of this landscape.

No ride home here...
After checking the shop's closing times, we hit the Calypso bar for a beer. We had to fortify ourselves for the ferociously steep and dark walk back over the mountain** via the Stari Put. We decided to pay up, confuse the waiter and pop into the shop to pick up milk and dirty sausage and beanz. And wine and cheesy snacks. No Babine Kuće evening is complete without heading out to the bar for a nightcap so off we went again. We also ordered our baby goat (kozlin) pekar for the following evening and tried not to think about anyone's pet.

*small hill
**the dramatic one was determined that it was a mountain

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