5th June 2018
This morning we have decided to leave Zlatibor, head north-west to Mokra Gora to ride on the Sargan Eight railway, waving goodbye to Kiwi’s Peter and Margaret, we set course for the 30 ish Kms drive, arriving at the ticket office we met Rogier from Amsterdam, tickets bought we sat in a bar area to wait for the next train, the heat was stifling and the humidity high, Rogier was having a Serbian salad much like a Greek salad but with peppers and French fries to go with it, a cheap meal he says and he should know as he’s on a 5 year trip! Mostly in his land cruiser, he’s going to Australia and will travel on land as far as he can and then get a boat to Australia, wow some journey! He has a blog seekingtheedge.com
The train ride was ok, nice enough but the figure of eight track by which it is known cannot really be seen from the various stopping points, the reason for the figure of eight track is in order to cover the gradients as trains cannot go up steep inclines therefore this track was built in a way that would enable the train to reach the top of the mountain, making bends and going around the mountain in a slow ascension to the peak, the photo on the web is obviously taken from a height maybe a drone? The train also goes through many long tunnels and it is packed full, it’s a narrow-gauge track of 760 mm and it has been fully restored in 2010, it was part of the former East Bosnian railway a narrow gauge main line from Sarajevo to Belgrade, the web pics I saw were of a steam train but this engine was diesel and smelly, I hate the smell it makes me ill so maybe my review is biased.
I think if you are a train buff you would enjoy it but we wouldn’t do it again.
Off we go to our chosen camp site at Kremna, Camping Viljamovka, it is a mini camping site, these are normally on private property like orchards or farmland and we are met at this pear orchard by a lovely old man, after taking us to our pitch and making sure we are satisfied, he invites us into his ‘’Reception’’ which he says in a French accent, it is open air but undercover with sofas, photo frames of family and a big old stainless steel fermenting barrel, we are invited to sit and look through his visitors book, photos from people from all over the world with anecdotes about their stay and coins or notes from their home countries stuck into the pages, next we are shown his Gold Cup from 2009, his Pear Brandy or Rakija being the best that year, then he pours us a shot each of the award-winning liquor and it’s strong at 40% but very smooth and proudly displayed next to him is a bottle all boxed up ready to be bought! He refills Daves’ glass and offers me another, I decline as we’ve not eaten but he’s not taking no for an answer, he loves it as I take another swig and cough my head off! €10 later and we are in possession of the Rakija and we head back to Pogo but not before saying hello to Jeanne who was sat over in the tourist lounge next to reception. Jeanne is from South Africa and has flown from Capetown into the Netherlands where she picked up a Hymer circa 1987 which she bought online, she is working and making use of the excellent Wi-Fi whilst her son Tai is playing computer games in their van and together they are on an epic journey.
Back at Pogo we sit and listen to the incoming storm, Serbia is storm central it would seem, we hear a horn beeping and the old fella is outside indicating for us to go to him, he gives Dave 2 candles and a box of matches, bless him!
We made good use of this sites Wi-Fi and Jeanne and her son Tai are doing the same, she is a web programmer and has just got a load of work through and Tai is being home schooled via computer and he’s got Maths to catch up on. Last night we ordered a Siberian breakfast Komplet Lepinja and It arrived bang on time at 9.30, this is a large bread bun with the top sliced off, some sort of pre coat is applied, (traditionally beef or pork juices with the fat removed) then a layer of Kaymak, (cream cheese) then egg and baked in the oven with the lid back on, it was delicious and it came served with a pot of natural yoghurt.
Jeanne bought her van which they call Miles Mcflattery in The Netherlands and was assured everything was working by the agent who arranged the purchase, unfortunately this was not to be the case and she is having trouble with various things, the shower tray is cracked, the gas fire is not working, the hot water isn’t heating and most importantly for her the fridge isn’t working on gas, this is her priority as she wants to free camp to save costs. She also says there is fresh water pouring into the toilet cassette storage area? Dave feels sorry for her as he knows what it’s like when things go wrong as we’ve had enough experience ourselves, he volunteers to take a look to see if there is anything he can do, he’s busy all day and manages to get the hot water on, fixes a leak in the sink elbow and fixes the gush of water which he finds is the pipe within the flush for the loo, it’s a drip now and not a gush so it needs looking at still, shower tray is gaffered up criss cross style!
Dave and Tai need a break so off they go to the ATM which is 11 Kms away as we have no cash to pay when we leave, Jeanne works on one table and I blog away on another, the outdoor lounge is great, lots of room, a very strong Wi-Fi signal and lots of plugs for computers etc, it really is a great little place, there is room for 4-5 Motorhomes and lots of room for tents between the pear trees too.
We are having major issues with downloading our photos which Dave has taken from his camera and put onto the external hard drive, via the laptop and then uploaded into WordPress, we need Wi-Fi to do it and that’s one issue but the worst is that it’s taking FOREVER and I mean hours!, we cannot keep up with the blog. Jeanne is a whizz at this stuff and kindly helps Dave showing him some shortcuts in particular the resizing of the digital photos and this has enabled us to upload much faster, using Faststone Photo Resizer they’ve been able to help each other out, this is what life on the road is all about and we love it.
Dave goes back off to finish up at Miles Mcflattery and I make the 4 of us our regular tea of triple tomato risotto, Tai brought his game of cards call Uno, we drank some of the Rakija and it was such a lovely evening, Tai is a great lad, he’s very smart, gregarious and has a wicked sense of humour, he entertained us all night, Tai wanted to play for money and we obliged him, our kids had always loved playing for money and we were not too surprised when he thrashed us at UNO and took the money pot!