Friday 28th April 18
Today we got paid! Not earned income but the rent from our house has come through, it felt strange receiving it but great too! as this is mostly what is allowing us to have this great experience. We are up early about 7am and after some muesli and tea we head down to the beach area, they have very nice stone terraces with loungers and hedges backing on to the camp, we find a lounger and get the laptop and notebooks out, we need to do some blogging before we leave and do some research with the free camp wifi as we are heading to Plitvice Lakes National Park, once we are finished we head back to Pogo walking past the pool, it was too tempting, I had to have one last dip, it was too nice to resist in the early morning sun, I might not get another chance!
Dave says he’ll go and sort Pogo out, take off his platform shoes (levelling ramps) and go and pay at reception. I get back he is not there, reception was so busy so I do a bit more route planning and site choosing.
The journey towards Plitvice follows the coast and the views are superb, we climb steadily and the views down to the coast get better and better with each mile, lush green gardens and terracotta roof tops contrast with the bright turquoise water of the Adriatic, the view of Krk island and it’s connecting bridge can be seen in the distance behind us.
Further on we start to head inland towards the Plitvice Lakes National Park and the feel is more Alpine, meadows with yellow and white flowers reminding us of our Austrian travels. All along the road there are stalls selling honey or olive oil , just a little sign and usually someone sat in the shade under an umbrella. Croatia is not always included in the list of Olive oil making countries and yet this Country has been making Olive oil for Centuries in fact the oldest vines on the Island of Pag is said to be 1,600 years old! one of 80,000 olive trees on the Island and in the International exhibitions Istrian Olive oils of Croatia are often awarded as being one of the best oil regions in the World, I’m glad that i bought some now.
When we start to approach the boundary for the National Park we see signs warning warning of bears, ooher! We arrive at our selected site Kamp Turistic, aptly named, we never book but just turn up but this time it’s closed for maintenance, oh well, we head back up the road for 1 km to Camping Bear, Dave pops out and takes a look around the site, he didn’t fancy it, no room to get the table and chairs so we drive over to another just 1 km, there are sites everywhere, this one is called Auto Camp Korana, it’s €27 per night run by the national park, a free coach ride in to both entrances to Plitvice lakes at 9am and return at 5pm, if you stay for 2 nights here, (the next day we realise they wouldn’t know if we got the bus or not as there is no formal procedure, just hop on and off) it takes a while to choose a camping spot, it’s not got any designated parking spaces, the park is huge but some of it is closed off at the moment, people are pitched here, there and everywhere, on the roadside, in the car park, there’s a designated groups only area for campers, campers are also parked between trees and on grassy areas some quite sloping at first our impression was it’s a bit hectic but later I decide that I like the laissez-faire feel, it’s very European with anything goes attitude, everyone respects their neighbour even if they’ve parked in front, behind or at right angles, all people want to do is sit outside and make coffees and plan their days, we are all here for the same reason, we like to roam, I expect nearly everyone will be on the 9 a.m bus!
There a great shop on site so off I go to buy tomorrows picnic items for the lakes visit, Dave prepares a tasty salad of cold meats, cheeses, tomatoes and of course Olives!
We set our alarms for 7.a.m to get up early and make a packed picnic lunch, we can’t wait to see Plitvice Lakes and Waterfalls.