Post 45: Split, Croatia
We left Trieste early and by lunchtime had arrived in Croatia at the port town of Rijeka. For the first time on Poor Circulation our passports were used for their intended purpose, .... entry and egress from Slovenia. We didn't stop there but it's now becoming clear that 'Borders' exist only for humans, .... nature remains constant with one country flowing seamlessly into the next and thankfully in this case, .. with the continuation of the same amazing scenery.
In Rijeka I ask at the local tourist office about 'Internet Availability' and receive strange frowns from the young girl, ..... 'this is Croatia Sir, free WiFi everywhere', as if that should be the case everywhere, ...... and of course so it should. Italy had been a shock in the way that it guards the internet like a concerned parent would, ... but Alan and I are adults (at least some of the time). Thankfully, universal internet coverage means that I need never again in my life cross the thresholds of another McDonalds to steal free WiFi (and sugar sachets), ... even typing their name hurts more than a drop of gravel-rash, ... so I'll move on.
From the port of Riejka we ride south down the Dalmation coast, .... and this so far is the most spectacular ride yet. (Possibly with the exception of Pass de Giovo). The A8 hugs the coastline all of the way down to Dubrovnik in the south, .. the road surface is good, the mountains to the east spectacular, the drop to the clear blue Adriatic to the west sometimes worrying but always beautiful, ..... in total, .... an amazing experience that we never want to end. The road is never more than a few meters from the waters edge all of the way down and the small villages that I see begin to suggest that eventually making this area my home would not be beyond the realms of possibility. Spoiled for choice once again, we pitch up beside the sea (within 1 meter of the shore) for a restful beer assisted nights sleep.
The following morning we head down to Split along the same amazing road to an amazing City with hidden treasures around every corner, .. but only if you know where to look. At Sirena Camping Ground just south of Split we meet Milan and his daughter Maria, .... and are provided with more amazing hospitality. Milan arranges a meeting with Ivana Dujmovic from the Croatian newspaper 'Slobodna Dalmacija'. We head back to Split and await the arrival of Ivana as arranged by the new 'Rivera', a new 'cafe society' only inches from the Adriatic Sea, .... Italian style with Croatian value, fantastic. Out of the shadows and across the square towards us walks possibly the most beautiful woman Alan has ever seen. (I of course was mostly concerned with spreading the good word of Poor Circulation to notice how stunning Ivana was ;-). We talked for about two hours about our trip, about Croatia and we even discussed Dante's Divine Comedy, .. wow, .. what a girl. We pose for photographs and sadly say goodbye to our host as Alan presents her with a Poor Circulation pin badge, .... made her day I'm sure.
That evening Milan and Maria; owner and daughter respectively of the Sirena Camping Ground invite us to their special annual 'Fish party' where we're treated like Kings and end up slightly intoxicated, .... for a change. It's an interesting night mixing with both locals and Dutch/German travelers, .... singing and dancing to unknown tunes played by a small quartet of larger than life local musicians. As the evening draws to a close and the wine has worked it's magic, interesting happenings of an adult nature are narrowly avoided as I manage to sneak away to my tent, ... alone. One day I'll write it all down, ..... but until then, ... well, ... you simply had to be there.