25 May 2011

Travel Blog - Part 7


Well we have spent almost three weeks at this site and will soon be moving on.  A lot of time has been spent relaxing and enjoying the lovely view we have from our pitch.  Public transport on the peninsular is almost non-existent but we did establish that there was a bus going to Dubrovnik, leaving Orebic at 7.20a.m. – we hadn’t seen any bus-stops and wondered if we would have to walk into the town to get on it, but we were assured that if we waved our arms at the driver he would stop.  We tried it and it worked – except that it wasn’t the Dubrovnik bus and we weren’t sure where it was going, but the driver said that the Dubrovnik bus would be along in about 10 minutes.  It was, and we got on it.

The journey took about 2¼ hours and there were some magnificent views, stark grey mountains, little fishing villages way down on the coast, miles of vines and what seemed to be an enormous number of wineries as this peninsular is a very important region for wine.

Dubrovnik is well worth a visit and inside the old town there is a main street lined with a variety of little shops and made up of very shiny stone and with many steep, narrow streets leading off it.  It’s possible to pay to walk around the city walls, but as we had done that on a previous visit we just wandered around the town and down to the harbour where there were many boats ready to take people out on sight-seeing trips.  We didn’t really have time to include that in our itinerary as we didn’t have a choice of times to get the bus back again.  Initial enquiries about the buses gave us 2.15 as the return time, but to make sure we checked at the bus terminal as we arrived.  Yes, 14.15 was on  the printed timetable but we asked in the ticket office to make sure and were told 4.15.  Decided to confirm with the driver who was still there and he wrote the time down for us – 1500.  Utterly confused we did get ourselves back to the bus terminal in good time and saw a bus with a board on the front stating it left at 2.15 and arrived in Orebic at 5 o’clock.  We soon realized where the extra ½ hour on the journey occurred – we stopped quite a number of times along the way for the driver to deliver packages to someone waiting for him to come along!

To allow us to see a little bit more of the area we hired a car and drove to a lovely little hamlet, Loviste, at the tip of the peninsular.  In one place along the route the main road was closed and we were diverted along the road by the sea – literally!  Not a very wide road and only enough room to pass another vehicle if one pulled in to a gateway – the other side of the road didn’t have any verges, curbs or bollards and a slight error of judgment would mean a drop into the water!

Leaving that road we went up over the mountain with the most beautiful views of some of the many islands along the Dalmation coast.  The sea in the Adriatic is very clear and in all the places we have been to you can see down to the bottom, the water ranges in colour from aquamarine and turquoise to mid-night blue – never seems to show the full range in photographs!  Having gone to the tip of the peninsular we had to come back the same way as most places have one way in and the same way back out.

Made our way towards Dubrovnik and down to a very deserted little hamlet on the coast across the water from the Croatian mainland, though a little further down that coast the road runs through Bosnia for about 10 kms and you need to make sure your insurance covers you for that country.

On our way back we made a stop at one of the many wineries where you can taste and purchase local wine ranging in price from 25 Kunas (about £3.20 a bottle) to 100 Kunas (£13) and then on to Trpanj where the ferry comes in, before making our way back up and over the mountain back to the campsite.

There doesn’t seem to be very much in the way of wild life here, but we saw 3 snakes in gulley near the town and on another day there was one in the gutter by the footpath.  On the more cheerful side we did catch a glimpse of a pair of golden orioles – a beautiful flash of bright yellow as they flew in and out of the trees along the road and the wild flowers everywhere are a lovely sight.




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