Hot, hot, hot!!!

Tuesday 12th June 2018

Dave posting,

Blinking eck, Cathy is up at 6am, it’s really cool and almost acceptable for us Brits! After Mrs E has drank her obligatory second cup of tea and plotting our route we quietly, ever so quietly left the free fortress car park and our friends, Jeanne & Tai, until next guys bye for now!

Osijek in Croatia is our destination; an hour later and we are at another border crossing at Backa Palanka, Serbia, although this time it was very straightforward with no waiting or problems. On the other side of the bridge we turned right and headed to the Hotel Danav near Ilok for a break. This part of north-east Croatia is surrounded by Serbia on three sides. We are so close to the border that our phones don’t recognise we are in a different country, which is a shame as our mobile contracts allow data useage in Croatia.

We rest here for a while, it’s very hot today. I suggest a coffee in the shade, hopefully there might be a breeze off the river and maybe we could take advantage of the hotels free wi-fi, well why not? loaded up with all our electronic devices we find a table and chairs with a view of the river and a power point! I did ask before plugging ourselves in! Two coffees and two glasses of water arrive and we read, write and research. The hours slip by and we become peckish, let’s have lunch here, it’s a pleasant spot, not busy and we can justify the cost as we intend to free camp here tonight.

P1060674

Free car park at the side of the Danube, Ilok, Croatia

P1060672

Looking at the border bridge and Serbia

P1060675

Coffee break i n the shade but it’s still 29c

We decide to move on and not stay here, nothing wrong with the location, we just wanted to get to Osijek, we set off at 3pm, maybe it was a mistake not to stay here, we are driving in to the sun and the heat intensifies as we travelled, Cathy was melting, we can’t believe it’s 37 in the van, the air con can’t cope, the air outside is hotter than inside, so there’s no point opening any windows. We pull over for fuel and a chilled drink from the garage, Cathy is not feeling well and we needed to stop. We can’t contain our excitement at spotting a LIDL, another reason to stop, shop and cool down! we love Lidl!

hot

In the cab, how hot is it ??? unbelievable!!!

The forecast is 95-99% humidity, we are eager to get to Osijek, get out of our very hot van, set up camp & cool down at another free spot by the river. The car park is huge, it’s almost deserted, no signs about payment or restrictions, park where you want kind of thing, there’s plenty of grassy areas, it’s part tarmac, part cobbles, level and thankfully there’s lots of shade from the large number of trees.

P1060677

Osijek parking

Now it’s 10pm and it is still hot at 28 at this time of night! it is such a still evening. We are tired, a little frazzled and we can’t be bothered to eat, so we lie down on the bed and try to relax in the heat. The nearby fairground is pumping out music in to the still night. We are restless, suddenly at midnight the wind appears from nowhere blowing cool air through the trees, we lie there with the windows fully open enjoying the coolness, it feels so much better now! A storm quickly follows and as the temperature drops we fall asleep.

Bye

Dave

 

One more swim

Sunday 20th May 2018

Cathy posting,

We will leave Prapratno Camping near Ston today but not before we take a swim on that lovely sandy beach, we made coffee and took it in some takeaway cups and with our chairs down to the beach, the water here is shallow, no stones at all just lovely soft sand and what a pleasure it was and also surprisingly warmer than other beaches have been. The rugged mountain range bearing down on the aqua bay, we left Ston without really seeing any of the history or walking the walls, we paid €14, £12.50 per night, good value we though, we said goodbye to Friedl and Charles and we hope to see them in Vienna in the future or on the road, you never know? Dave puts the coordinates in to Sat Naff for our journey to Dubrovnik, we’ve chosen Camping Kate which is 10kms at Mlini further on a bit from Dubrovnik but with a bus into the city, it’s a steady journey and the views are superb, and we didn’t think they could get any better.
The coast and the impressive grey, green rocky mountains continue to surprise us, it’s so high and steep the houses below seemingly clinging on like limpets, cars parked at such angles you wonder how they don’t roll, we crossed a modern tall bridge just before entering Dubrovnik. Continue reading

Jewels in the Park

Saturday 28th April

Cathy posting,

We are parked at Auto-Camp Korana inside the Plitvice Lakes National Park and we are 5kms from the main park entrance and today that’s where we are heading, we were up early again! 7.30 am and made our picnic lunch for later. We got the free coach at 9am from the site to the park entrances choosing to get off at park entrance No.2.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is made up of 16 terraced lakes, the highest lake is 693 metres above sea level they are all  linked by beautiful cascading waterfalls, the vegetation is lush and so many shades of green, there are Beech, Fir and Pine trees and the walkways consist of mainly wooden boardwalks with little gaps that you can see the water running below your feet, these take you from one lake to the other and from one heavenly site to the next.

P1040420

P1040434

water so clear you can see the trees buried in the water

P1040447

Jewel like colours

We arrived on the free site run bus alighting at entrance No.2 as advised by Lonely Planet, on arrival we bought our tickets to the park and caught the bendy shuttle bus which took us to the top of the upper lakes from here you can choose a trail to walk down or hike further up, we chose to walk down on trail H,  8.9 kms in total, this route took us back down to the shore of Kozjak the parks largest lake at 4km length and from here we caught the electric boat down to the lower lakes, this boat ride was so serene and quiet no noise at all! We really enjoyed it, there was a nice picnic area and loos there, so we stopped for our picnic. After a little rest we realised it was getting really busy as most visitors arrive at entrance 1 and do the lower lakes first, we were glad we did it our way, we set off picking trail H up again to the largest waterfall in the park called Veliki Slap which is 78m high, firstly we viewed it from the top as we watched it literally falling from our feet! We then climbed up the pathways crossing a boardwalk over for some more views from the other side, we then continued upwards on trail H seeing more and more unbelievable sights and some of these areas had massive drops and no barriers, just signs warning you of the danger, this however was only for a short distance, we arrived back at bus stop No 2 but we are too early for the free bus back to the site so the Hotel orders us a taxi €15, it had taken us approx. 4.5 hours in total.P1040481P1040495P1040505

The Upper lakes lie in a Dolomite valley, the lower lakes are shallower and mostly they are fed by the black and white rivers Crna and Bijela but are also fed by undergrounds springs and we saw several holes where water disappears this is created by porous limestone and it reappears elsewhere and all of it empties into the Korana river, this river runs alongside the campsite Autocamp Korana which we are staying on.

P1040530

P1040500.JPG

P1040531

Veliki Slap looking down from the mid way section

P1040541

The stunning beauty of the lakes has come about because the natural processes and deposits of calcium and travertine means that the landscape is forever changing and has continued undisturbed since the last ice age! The colours of the water are turquoise but sometimes appear Jade green like a jewel, depending on the mineral content and the changing light.

P1040547P1040549P1040550

The National Park boundaries were set in 1951 and until the civil war started on 31st March 1991 when rebel Serbs took control of the parks headquarters it was a major tourist attraction, the Croatian army re-took it in 1995 restoring the facilities. In 1997 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.

We are glad we came in spring as the waterfalls were spectacular and gushing and the number of people was not too bad, in Summer we can imagine it would be less enjoyable due to the sheer volume of people, we also recommend coming as early in the morning as you can.

We’ve had a fantastic day and I believe the photos and camera lens cannot do justice to what the human lens saw, this has been a truly unforgettable experience.

Cathy

Krk Town – Krk Island

Krk Island

25th & 26th April 2018

Dave posting,

We are going to Camping Krk on the Island of Krk about 20 kms south from here, it’s only a short distance but we fancy a change of scenery, we see the usual yellow, blue and red advertising board for LIDL, it looks brand new, it’s 1km from the site, and we need supplies, 570 kn later we have stashed the goodies away and arrive at Camping Krk.

What a site this is, everything and everywhere is of such Continue reading

Paradise by the harbour lights

Klimno, Soline Bay, Krk,

Saturday 21st April 2018

Cathy posting,

Here we are at Camp Slamni, we think we are paying €17 for this superior pitch with sea views of the bay, but it could be less if we get the discount promised to us (with our ASCI card, link here) on arrival. We’re not sure if was €17 and then discount or €17 with discount, we don’t really mind as it’s a superb site, Continue reading

Arrivederci Italy!

Thursday 19th April 2018

Dave posting,

Very warm again here this morning at Al Bateo Agricampeggio, Punta Sabbioni, we are wondering where to go next as we are leaving this site today as we head towards Croatia, we are not in a rush at all and we are feeling very relaxed without a schedule or timetable, it’s a wonderful way to live at the moment. Once again, we don’t want to travel too far, short little hops suits us fine!

Cathy is on Google maps and spots a marina where she thinks we could wild camp a little south of Monfalcone, from the views it seems to have plenty of parking and it’s near a beach, we decide to head there and take a look, if it’s not suitable then we will move on and find an alternative.

Once again, we decide to use the toll road, and another guess at how much it will cost? The trip is about 145 kms and 110 kms is on the toll. No problems this time, we used the toll booth lane that was manned, €6.80 paid (not on a pre-paid credit card this time – thanks Joanne!) and we are through!

Marina Julia is our destination and when we arrive it looks suitable, no signs forbidding motorhomes, although there was one forbidding caravans, there is a large grassy, sandy parking area, no markings, park where you want kind of place. There’s a small shopping precinct nearby and it’s peaceful.

P1040182

Marina Julia, this will do nicely!

We park in a shady spot near some trees and we go for a stroll, and we are surprised by the view, a naturally beautiful coastline, the sea gentle lapping up to the tide line, lots of driftwood and no litter or plastics. Most of the cafes and beach bars are closed, we think that we can see Croatia across this part of the Adriatic.

We see a café beach bar nearby and we walk over for a drink, 2 bottles of Moretti and we are just staring at the views and beauty in front of us, the freedom to make choices and change things dependent on how we feel is fantastic. The café has music on quietly in the background and Abba comes on, it can’t get any better for me right at this moment! Cathy pulls a face; all the family know I like Abba!  Cathy doesn’t especially when I start singing along!

Our stroll takes us northerly towards a very large camping village and further on out of site a dockyard, where we can see the top of a huge cruise liner above the tree line, we tried to go and take a look at it, but the path ended.

Returning to Pogo we move away from the shady little bay in the trees, the bugs and mozzies are about, and it looks like some people have been using this little hidden space as a loo from all the dried-up tissues we can see, it annoys us as we leave no trace behind wherever we stay not even dish-washing water.

P1040198

Across the Adriatic towards Croatia

We tried to do a blog last night, but we have run out of data, we have used 12GB in 26 days! We need to reign ourselves back in with the data consumption, Cathy has closed some Facebook motor-home groups that she was following in the UK and will return to once we’re back home, we’ve altered some settings on our iPhone’s and iPad’s, we’ve accidentally left the MIFI on a couple of nights with the iPad refreshing pages in the background, we’ve learned our lesson at a cost.

We are getting closer to Croatia and it’s a place where Cathy and I have always wanted to go!

Dave