We were finally on our way to Split, the scenery along this stretch of coast is spectacular. Lush terraced hill sides end abruptly as sheer cliff faces that drop dramatically into the crystal clear aquamarine waters of the Adriatic
We arrived in Split in the late afternoon and, as Croatia does not permit free camping, we had to find a designated campsite. We found a nice place right on the foreshore in Stobrec a few km’s from Split.
The next morning we rode into Split. Pete told me it was only about 8.5km, which was fine... he failed to mention we had to go up and over a massive headland!! OMG it was a tough ride, but admittedly worth it.
We took an evening stroll along waterfront and checked out the campsite, the camp site was huge! We walked past a very impressive expedition vehicle, major van envy. While we were admiring it, we noticed that although it had Ukraine number plates, there was an Aussie sticker on it! The lady heard us speaking... and said OMG are you Aussies? They hadn’t yet come across many Aussie campers.
Thanks Liz and Wayne of “WorldRoamers” (“AusWorldRoamers”) for your time and advice. After taking too much of their time, we left to go back to our “cozy” home for dinner. I stopped enroute at the wellness centre in the campsite for a much needed jacuzzi to sooth the sore knees after the ride ;-) (sometimes paid campsites pay off).
Woke early, planned for a run but decided to do that the next morning and go take photos instead. Definitely worth getting up for. The sunrise was lovely, peaceful and hardly anyone around.
The towie was struggling to find a service centre willing to assist, eventually he found a place and dropped us and the van off. Unfortunately these people weren't that helpful, they just wanted to get us going rather than solve the problem. They assumed it was the new rear camera as it was the last thing we had done. We had them talk to the guys who installed it but couldn’t agree on the problem or a solution. We were now in Dalmatia and they were blaming the “Istrians” who installed it. The Istrian’s were saying ‘lazy Dalmatians’ cant be bothered looking for the real problem!!
The service centre proceeded to disconnect the camera but would need to keep the car overnight to charge and test. We found a cheap apartment 500m away so we booked that. It wasn’t that close to Split town centre, but unfortunately, or fortunately, Pete wasn’t that well so he had no desire to go into town, a much needed afternoon and evening on the couch was called for.
The next morning we collected the van. It appeared that the battery was perfectly ok. We could hit the road again minus a rear camera (maybe it was that after all??), and now a blown tail light, bugger, but not a problem Pete could fix that next stop.
We stayed a little outside Dubrovnik the first night, near the airport, as we had a early morning booking to get the camera fixed and now the tail light. As it turned out they checked out the battery 100% ok, but didn’t check the camera or the tail light!! When Pete asked why, they shrugged, looked at their watch, and said no time! Thanks for that waste time. Sick of wasting time, we headed back to Dubrovnik to continue our adventure.
We found a small campsite in the grounds of a family home. Good location, over the road from a shopping centre, 10 minutes walk to the beach and 5 minutes walk to the bus stop.
The sight of Dubrovnik from the coast road is pretty spectacular, teasing you and building anticipation. The old town sits on a headland jutting into the Adriatic Sea and encircled with massive 16th century stone walls. Pretty impressive.
The new town itself doesn’t have as much to offer, but of course we sort out the local market and managed to pick up some lovely marinated white anchovies at a very cheap price. We also were in need of a coffee one morning so we popped into the University, as according to its sign out the front ‘made the best coffee in town’... admittedly it was pretty good, and our reasoning was it was a university so surely it had to be cheaper than the main tourist area - we were right.
Dubrovnik is also a very popular destination for cruise ships. Fortunately for us, only 1 ship was in during our stay so it wasn’t too crowded. In summer the place is heaving with tourists off the ships, making it hot and unpleasant to walk around. We were certainly very fortunate. In fact when we heard there was another ship or 2 due in the following day, we decided to book a boat trip to the islands in the Elafiti archipelago as that was probably the last thing these tourists would do
Overall, the day was a great day a nice day out on the boat which included a grilled local fish lunch, which was very simple but delicious and included a bottle of white wine - not a bad day out.
Another filming fact... did you know that Star Wars VIII was also filmed in Dubrovnik?