Friday 20th April 2018
We were awoken early this morning by the council grass and verges maintenance team, that’s what happens when you wild camp, they happily strimmed around us, it was really hot, but we opened the windows, kept the fly screens down and watched them work! We are so behind with blog writing! Cathy writes two Venice blogs and I go for a little walk along the beach, taking photos. We try to decide how far to drive today, it’s about 3.30pm when we leave our free spot. We did some research and decided on Krk island, another blogger (our tour) has been here and we remembered the site they stayed on at Camp Slamni, Klimno, it’s a small site by Croatian standards and you can’t wild camp in Croatia although we may have a go if we spot something. It was a steep climb after Trieste, Italy up to the Slovenia border, we had already topped up with diesel at €1.39 per litre after leaving Venice and as we passed in Slovenia it was €1.10 per litre! We missed out there!
Once in to Slovenia we stopped for a vignette, one week for €15.00, maybe I didn’t need to buy it because a few kms later we are at the border crossing for Croatia. Pulled up slowly to the booth on the border control point, wound the window down, passports in my hand and we just got waved straight through without any checks.
A few kms later & we have to enter a toll booth at the start of the motorway, there is no vignette system for Croatia and I got in the wrong lane, the barrier doesn’t go up and it’s unmanned. I get out, the coach driver behind me toots in annoyance, I wave “back up your coach” to him, he ignores me, does he want to go through or not? Now, I have to walk across multiple traffic lanes to find an employee, the cars, lorries and vans are going through continuously and the employee couldn’t help me! Eventually a lady comes over, gestures for my credit card, goes in the booth swipes it in machine muttering in Croatian maybe (stupid ingleesh!) hands back my card and a receipt, and waves “go on” as the barrier opens.
Off we go again, the roads here are superb pieces of engineering with high level sections of roads hanging on the side of steep hills and mountains under pinned by huge columns of grey concrete. The road is now sloping down in to Croatia and views are spectacular, breath taking and amazing of the Adriatic and its expanse, the late afternoon sun catching the water was beautiful. I had to really concentrate on the road & driving whilst trying to have quick looks when it felt safe.
We pull up at the next opportunity to get a proper look, the scale of the beauty and immense scenery couldn’t be captured with a camera, still it’s a view we will never forget.
Oh dear, another toll booth, handed my receipt over from the earlier grumpy lady, “no, no just a credit card” I’ve no idea how much it should be, she swipes it card and receipt returned, off we go again towards the bridge the connects Krk to the mainland.
The sat nav sends us off down a narrow twisty single-track tarmac’d lane, hopefully towards the Campsite we want! It’s not wide enough for passing traffic but still drivers want to overtake blindly carelessly and cutting us up, we continue.
A very warm welcome awaits us at the Camping Slamni, we can pitch anywhere, Cathy asks about the best views and prices, ACSI discount card (this is a discount card for camping sites in Europe, purchased in UK). Position No.1 is suggested but it’s a premium spot and therefore costs more and no ACSI discount, we will have it anyway no problem. The site opened today we discover, there’s only two other motorhomes here, not all the facilities are open like the pool bar & swimming pool, but we are okay with that, what’s included is electric & free wifi. The showers are huge and toilet blocks are spotlessly clean, every where is really well kept, maintained and looked after.
We park on No.1 and we can’t quite believe it, what a view, so quiet, the sun is setting and there’s hardly any breeze.
We go back to reception and sort out passports etc and we meet the owner Rajko who’s a Liverpool Football fan, happy days! Well that’s it then, footy here on the tv on Tuesday night, we have a laugh, he offers us the no.1 spot at a discounted price because no one else is here yet, we are their first customers etc, it’s just getting better!
You can see the scheduled work in preparation for a new season, this site has everything including Glamping! We go for a drink and a meal at the site restaurant, we have no idea what the bill will be, we just signed a chit and they put it on the tab, maybe the machines aren’t working yet, please pay later!
We don’t know how the Kuna currency/money/euro exchange works here yet.
Back at the van now looking and watching the sunset, such a great spot, windows & doors open, not many flies or midges, really enjoying the evening.
Cathy gives a large chilled bottle of beer from our fridge to a young French couple putting their two man tent up at 9.30pm in darkness, she just walks over and gives it to them and waved goodbye. I love her style and generosity! I watched them taking big gulps through the window.