2nd Jul 2012
Days 106 & 107
Boy, this heat is stifling. The unseasonal heat wave has been making news on TV here! Temperature only got down to 29 degrees last night. And we had to be up bright and early (well, early anyway) because we had to be at the reception desk for 9am to arrange the tour. Turns out the English-speaking guide was not available, so we got his dad instead. He spoke no English at all, but a bit of French. However, a young Italian couple also came on the tour with their daughter, and the husband was apparently very happy to translate as he did speak English!
Set off in the mini-bus with the guide talking nineteen to the dozen in that typically Italian way giving our interpreter little opportunity to give us the gist of what was being said – but he still did very well. This is a really fascinating place – a rugged hill littered with caves that have been used for human habitation continuously from Neolithic times until now. In the last few hundred years, cave-dwellings (and churches – over 150 of them) have been adapted by building onto the front of each cave. It seems though that living conditions got so appalling that in the 1950’s, the whole town (20,000 people) were evacuated to be re-housed elsewhere. Since the 1980’s though, a long process of adaption & restoration has meant much of the old town has become habitable again. Mind you, much of this went straight over Tirril’s head, although he did enjoy the coolness of the cave bits we went into.
So, back in time for lunch (although it was too hot to eat much) and then we set off for Bari. Fortunately we came across a foresty bit with a shady car park and picnic areas. Bit of a surprise, because most of the countryside here is gently undulating arable land. Anyway, it meant we were able to give Tirril a good walk, knowing that there would be limited opportunities for him on the ferry.
Not much sign of Euro 12 fever building as we hit the outskirts of Bari, but we got on board the ferry 2 hours before it was due to sail, so were able to get a good seat in front of the TV in the bar. Shame about the result, but not a bad game for a final and it seemed to me that all the TV spectators in the bar accepted that Spain were streets ahead on the night and deserved their win.
What a blithering idiot! Spent most of the night feeling really hot in the cabin we had, and only realised, at 5 in the morning, that there was a small button on the ceiling which operated an air conditioning unit! But had to get up shortly after anyway because the ferry docked at 7am, and breakfast (included in the ticket price!!) was being served from 6am. Anyway – gave us the opportunity to watch the sun rise, and to see a small dolphin or porpoise trying to give the ferry a race for a short while.
So, after a bit of a wait to get through customs, we headed for the nearest campsite (only a couple of miles away) to get settled in and have a bit of a catch-up kip. However, not having had much internet access recently, I had no idea what the exchange rate for Croatian Kuna was, so I just nodded when I was told the price per night as I just wanted to get ourselves encamped. Lets just say that this is, by far, the most expensive site we’ve been to so far!
Had a ‘slow’ day today, with some dozes and a swim in the sea – even for Tirril. Also got the scooter out to do a bit of exploring ……..but guess what – it wouldn’t start. This is getting beyond a joke now, but we are trying to keep things in perspective. Decided to forget about it for now and went out for a meal at the campsite restaurant which was offering a 3 course meal & drink for around £8. We were a bit sceptical about it, but it turned out to be a really good value meal. That’s restored morale a bit. It’s still stiflingly hot though – where’s a bit of rain when you want it!!!!
Coming into Dubrovnik port
View from ferry port
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