Our arrival in Croatia has slowed us right down; it is perfect motorhome country -with fantastic beaches, glowing cities and towns, plus the natural parks that just ooze charm and beauty.
So what have we been up to? Trogir, another UNESCO world heritage site, fitted part of our challenge set for us by Elddis for the journey home. It is as picture postcard as a town can get. While at the same time being fully functional, a change from the ruins that so many are.
We were also grateful for the fact we use the apps on the phone for finding places. It is off season and very early and we are just on the cusp of some sites opening for the year. The ACSI app said there was no campsites open in Trogir and yet there was a review of one just the day before.
Camping Rožac was very good indeed and opened on the 24th March, not the 1st April! The moral of the story? If in doubt give the site a call, they might just open for you. We spent a pleasant two nights with great walks and beaches. The town is tiny with lots of little back streets to explore, cute shops and good food to be had. Enchanting would be a great word to describe it!
We may have slowed down a little, but we are on a journey home and the date is set, so we must keep moving. Our next stop was to see Krka National Park, We arrived at Marina Campsite, which in winter opens a small part for people to visit the park,
Catch them scale them and eat them, that’s the way of life here!
We were met by the aforementioned Marina, who told us NiKi could stay where she liked, and then gave us a big jug of her home produced red wine to help us settle in. The wine certainly did that, rocket fuel, no, in fact it was a lot better than that!
At last, we were able to get the bikes off the back of NiKi, Italy not being that bike friendly, and headed for Skradin the nearest town, and sort of a gateway to the park. We took a look around and had a drink while watching a fisherman scale his catch on his boat in front of us while the sun set, idyllic. We have been blessed with constant sunshine so far in Croatia, again filling us with joy and with every turn nearly greeted with an 'ooh!' ... you get the picture!
The next day it was back on the bikes to town, where we bought a small picnic from a bakery and headed for the park. David had decided, as he had not flown his drone for over six months, to take it with him to get that awesome overhead shot of the falls. We set off and after an uneventful 10km ride arrived at the wonderful falls. The trails wend their way through the forest giving you the most beautiful views of the falls. However, not many places to fly the drone...
Eventually David was happy to try to take to the air again. He set up the drone and prepared for take-off. Up it went, and then it moved backwards all by itself heading straight for German couple. Doing what all amateurs do, David panicked, and sent the poor drone crashing into the trees. With the impending total loss of his beloved kit he ran and caught it mid-air, as it was about to take a topsy-turvy trip into the falls. Two rotors broken, two Germans beating a hasty retreat, one very embarrassed David and a bemused and amused Karen and lastly two park officials who smiled and said perhaps he should read the manual before trying again.
The sea organ in Zadar, has to be listened to, to be believed.
Packing the drone up we walked on and had a wonderful time watching the wildlife and the falls, butterflies that were like yellow daffodils flying around. All in all, who needs the big (drone) picture, when you have the great memories?! The next day we bade farewell to Marina and headed on to Zadar, or in fact the nearest town with an open site, which was Nin. This little town turned out to be lovely and the bikes were soon off and we were cycling around. The next day we headed for Zadar on the bikes, it is a lovely 15km run and all Karen was doing complaining there was a creaking noise from her bike as she peddled. (Her bike which we got second hand in Malaga after she had her original stolen there) has needed more parts installed than a Reliant Robin.
In Split a lovely man gave me many beers while he made 4 new spokes for the thing. But we made it to town safely and wandered around lapping up the relaxed welcome that Croatia seems to have down pat. We sat on the sea organ that plays by the waves lapping against the pier sending eerily beautiful random notes into the air.
We treated ourselves to a great meal in the town choosing the number 11 restaurant on Trip Advisor for no other reason than it was number 11 and going outside the top 10 might be fun. Having been, we have reviewed it and we thought it was better then it’s present rating! Trip Advisor is handy but you do have to look down the list a bit to some gems that await.
Zadar is more than a sea organ and good food it is a lively town with lots to see and do, again it is accessible and fun worth a day or two of anyone’s life! We then set off home along the coast back to NiKi and Karen was still moaning about the noise from her pedal. When lo and behold the crank came off the bike. David keeps a small tool kit on his bike and was able to cobble together a temporary fix that had to be fixed four more times on the 8kms left home.
An aerial view of Nin taken with the fully repaired drone.
The next morning he was back on his bike back to Zadar to the ‘Nolan’ bike shop where the lovely staff were very helpful, and for the princely sum of £9 gave him all the parts to do a permanent fix. ‘Ruby’ as Karen’s bike is called will have nearly all new parts by the time we get home in June!
We then set off on our planned cycle for the day, along the coast to the island of Vir. On the way out David spotted an outdoor spit roast being set up and decided that this was where we were going to eat. We cycled about 25kms out to Vir and back taking in amazing views as we went. We arrived back, asked about the spit roast pork, and were told we would have to wait at least an hour more. Wait we did and for a paltry 40kn or £5 this is what appeared on his plate - happy days! Karen stuck to fish and it was lovely too.
Spit roast pig - you have to try this!
On the plate - all for a fiver!
We headed back home to NiKi very happy with our day out and the next day we set off to the Island of Pag, famous for its cheese and more beaches. We have not visited the cheese factory yet but the beach at our €15 a night campsite is stunning. With this view from the pew we are not going anywhere too fast!
For those of you who would like to wild camp in Croatia, there are many places where you may get away with it, but remember there is a 3000kn fine if you are caught, about £350. So even if campsites are not normally for you, an ACSI card will get you on a site, off-season, for less than €20 a night and food and drink is very reasonable indeed. Maybe a change of attitude works here.
Our Route This Week (Google sometimes does this slightly wrong we went up the coast road not the motorway):