Smurfy Tjedan Devet: Central Dalmatia Croatia
September 2010, by Gini
Central Dalmatia Croatia
After leaving the lovely town of Dubrovnik, we headed up the coast and had a brief stop in Bosnia, so Tom could have his Bosnian sandwich before we crossed back over into Croatia, a brief visit to Bosnia but what a visit! They didn't even seem to look at our British passports so it was a speedy checkpoint.
We stopped in Makarska in time for a sunset swim, just the jandies and me before setting up for the night in another pine forest campsite up the road from the beach. It felt like a ghost campsite, a handful of people around, quite a contrast to the past 2 months. So it was the three of us and a few very acrobatic black squirrels that made our morning coffee that much better. As we drove out of the campsite and asked a few questions about which direction to head for this supposedly easy to find road to the National Park we spotted a really good Pekana (bakery) and it didn't disappoint. Two Bureks (cheesy pastry - which is so incredibly good but so bad at the same time) later we ate and drove to the entrance of the National Park.
We blindly took the steep Biokovo National Park road up and put Smurfy through his paces on every corner and pushed my nerves to the limit with every passing car. They were all tight squeezes with a shear drop below. At this point Smurfy's oil can orange light would flash us every time we turned left but Tom had checked the oil so we started wondering perhaps it is the break fluid? Was that something we were suppose to top up? Hmmmm breaks would definitely be needed on the return journey down.
With no information about any walks we stopped and had a chat with the local N.P ranger, who proceeded to glare at our bare legs, jandal wearing feet with thin singlets on top and probably thought two candidates for search & rescue later that day! After getting information out of the slightly scary man and a few scary stories about snakes and weather we escaped with a promise to text him when we got to where we were heading. To be fair we had just come from the beach and changed into our hiking gear once we made it to the car park!
We opted for a light stroll to the top of peak Vosac for a view, which was stunning to say the least. Couldn't see Italy but we really did feel on top of the world. After venturing up the great mountain and back down with the brakes working we spotted a car ferry sign with words Brac, so we headed down to the tiny port, rocked up the car ferry lane and bought two tickets and a Smurf ticket for Brac Island, which was leaving in 40mins. With a few mins to burn we got an ice cream from across the road and settled in Smurf using their WiFi while we waited to board. It was a fantastic feeling just buying tickets and within an hour we were heading for Brac Island and the most beautiful and photographed beach in Croatia called Zlatni Rat. The strangest thing was we weren't even going to pop to any islands! What the hell!
After a look around Bol on the island we followed a flyer which a scooter man gave us to our campsite for the night, Kamp Mario, which was just tiny & perfect. We splurged with dinner out and enjoyed two whole fish accompanied with potato & spinach with an octopus salad for starters at a cute idyllic restaurant on its own with the water lapping at our feet.
The next day we spent at Zlatni Rat beach between the nude and dressed parts. Why is it that the only people who like to strip down to nothing are always the over weight and old people of this world? It was very comical when we saw an old guy on a lilo floating out to sea with his white bum in the air, priceless. After enjoying the sights of the beach, the water and yummy sammies washed down with a few beers we packed up, bottle washed up and made our way to Supetar and joined the queue behind a split screen VW which we had spotted in Dubrovnik days before. If only.
We skipped a few hours driving by catching the ferry up to Split. Having already been there before we drove on to Sibenik which was along the coast and quite close to Krka National Park which was our next point of call. It was a late drive off the ferry but we arrived just before the reception closed for the night at Camp Solaris, a resort of some sorts. It was the first campsite we had come across which priced according to satellite TV, internet & electricity. After spotting a tourist train running through the camp grounds and missing out on hiring a scooter we packed a yummy lunch and left our table and chairs with our basil plant to stand guard over our spot while we took Smurf for his first day trip and headed to the National Park for a spot of fun in the sun again.
We parked Smurf on the outskirts of Skradin, paid our entrance and walked the 5km into the park, where we found a nice spot among large rooted trees and enjoyed the Skradinski Buk falls and swimming hole with everyone else. What was so nice about this place was the fact it was still used. The bottom tier of the falls was open to all to enjoy with a lovely backdrop of the falls. We enjoyed dried figs, brought from one of the many stall ladies with our red wine and home made sammies. We caught the boat back and suddenly felt like we were back in the tourist world again.
Before we hit the road bound for our rendezvous with Cath and Si (Flatties from London) and Poo their VW van we took in one last dip in the sea as we thought it would be our last and then jumped in the pool along side the sea which turned out to be sea salty too. With a few squidgy ball throws later Tom left me to drive Smurf out of the campsite before checkout time of 1 o'clock. After enjoying the pool all to myself for longer than I should, I had to ran to catch Tom has he drove out of the campsite and through the barrier with me chasing behind!