Friday 28 September 2018

Running away...

I'm a bit rubbish, I've still not written about my amazing recovery road trip, but hey, I'm contrary so I like doing things out of order. Besides, I'm here now.

I'm on Šipan, specifically I'm in Suđurađ, sitting outside Teo's place, in my favourite spot, looking at the house I still want to live in. But I won't write about here, I'm first going to go scurrying back to Monday... And a ferry ride to Mljet.

It was an early start. Off course I didn't complain at all about this. Much. But early starts aren't without compensations and as the sun gently rose over Split I warmed to the idea. Actually, maybe I was a bit too warm. Wait a minute, this was decidedly clammy. Oh.

At least the tired looking one had made tea.

Packing and repacking was a frenzied affair. Not particularly helped by remembering that I wanted something or other out of the bag after I'd zipped it up again. And repeat.

Fortunately, I'd neglected to bring any suitable clothes for warm weather owing to the fact that I'm a complete airhead. Fortunately the philanthropic one came to my rescue in the form of a wrap round skirt, perfect for going over a swimsuit, and a pair of shorts so ripped that they almost qualified as a skirt.

I'd fix that later.

I had at least remembered by swimsuit owing to the fact that I'd actually put that on my list. Indeed it was the only piece of clothing on my list. You'd think I was better at this travelling thing by now.

Air. Head.

After a mildly sweaty scamper tickets were bought and we boarded the catamaran with loads of time to spare. The upside of us both being slightly anxious about missing things is there is never any argument about arriving early to anything. I was impressed, the boat was lovely and roomy, the seats comfy. And of course there was the promise of coffee and pastries once we set sail. Or whatever it is that catamarans without sails do.

I could have happily dozed, instead we nattered, continued catching up and, rather inevitably, the excited one kept scampering up on to deck.

And look out of windows. Some things just don't change.

It was a fab journey, a few hours, several stops and an awareness that the sea was becoming decidedly bouncy. It turned out that Bura was chasing us down the Adriatic. It had already hit Split with a passion and the balminess of the day before was replaced with torrential rain. I thought happily of the various tourists who had arrived with nothing but clothing for warm weather when I was definitely ready for changeable... I'm such a bitch.

Whilst the sea was choppy it transpired that it was still warm as we made land in Mljet. Bugger. Oh well, I like sweating, I really do. We had plenty of time so a reviving beer was in order before we trekked over to Babine Kuće.

Much appreciated.

The correct way to dress.
Unlike the wasps. Pesky little buggers, they were determined to get in your drink at any cost. Why they didn't just get their own I don't know. It did mean that the relaxed drink had the side benefit of a callisthenics workout.

Swat wasp, lift drink, swat wasp, lift drink, swat wasp, lift drink.

Time to move on. We picked up some milk in the Studenac before heading in to the forest and the path to the village. It wasn't far. She said. There is a path. She said.

What she didn't say is that the path rises to a height of around 40m having started at sea level. It was rocky, gravelly and it's fair to say I wasn't really dressed for the conditions. And my wheely bag? Well it was distinctly unhappy.

The plus side!
Have you ever seen Death in Paradise? Fix the image in your head of the inappropriately dressed Inspector struggling along the beach with a wheely bag and you'll be there. That was me.

Hello, I'm English.


On the plus side...

Maybe she would be forgiven. Eventually.

We reached the guard post where we were informed that even if we were staying in the national park for a week, we would still need tickets to get in. That might not have been mentioned in the AirBnB notes. It did though provide an opportunity for me to cool a little as the local lingo speaking one acquired the necessary permits.

And check we were on the right path to Babine Kuće.

It's an funny little place. But oh my it's lovely. Sitting by the *Veliko Jezero it has a restaurant/bar, Mali Raj - you'll hear much more about this later - and, err, it's by the lake.

But the view... Horrible. I wouldn't recommend this place at all.

Unless of course you like big lakes, craggy hills and endless shades of green in the surrounding forests. As national parks go this is a pretty one.

We walked through the village and found where we would be staying. Almost the last house. And up steps. Many steps. Many, many steps. Did I mention there were steps?

And cake.

Oh, *interested face*. The lady of the house had prepared us tea and cake to welcome us, all was forgiven. And so very civilised.

It was becoming apparent that bura had caught up with us, so we did what any sensible ladies of a certain age should do when faced with an oncoming storm, we walked back to Pomena in search of something to eat.

It was fab.

When I say fab, it was windy, very windy. The temperature was dropping rapidly and by the time we reached Pomena the sea was in full unhappy mode. Big waves, lots of spray, strong winds.

But no rain.

Any sensible person would have headed for cover. We walked along the front to witness the full impact. It was impressive! Now this is going to be a first... Video!

Why have I never thought of posting video before?

Happy Monty
Anyhoo. The day was drawing on and we had a rare moment of being sensible, instead of eating in Pomena we'd head back to base after picking up a few more supplies in Studenac. I really wasn't keen on us walking back after dark, after a few drinks. Through a forest. In a storm. Really not wise.

So, wine, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, something for breakfast and nibbles acquired it was home for tea.

The food was lovely. The chef one contrived a pasta, the wine was lovely, the starter nibbles nibbley. As we ate it became obvious that bura was abating so we thought we'd have one last walk before an early night.

Which would have been that if it hadn't been for me deciding we should visit the bar for a nightcap. Which turned in to another. And then another, though this one was on the house so I don't think it counts. It was clear the staff there were lovely and as we were by now the only customers it was quiet and you could hear nothing but quiet conversation. And cackling. Obvs.

Finally, it was time for bed. A long day of walking and exploration was planned and we really needed a good night sleep!

But more of that later.

*big lake, got to love Croatian naming conventions

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