My quick flit back to Yorkshire to visit my parents came and went in a flash and I’m now back in sunny Croatia. I’d had a lovely week being thoroughly spoiled. Days out, meals out and trips to the library! Tim was able to luxuriate in the silence of my absence. I’m sure he needed it. After all, I can get on my own nerves.
Mum packed me off with a box of Yorkshire Tea, a tin of Heinz Spaghetti and a Pork Pie from their village shop for Tim and a magnet (more on that later). What can I say, our needs are small!
As it was the last Jet2 flight to Croatia for the season I was one of only four passengers on the plane back to Split. Us passengers only out numbered the cabin crew by one.
After take-off I moved up and down the plane looking out of different windows revelling in the novelty of it all and had more leg room than I knew what to do with. It was a bit of a treat as normally, because I don’t pay extra to book a particular seat, I am in the aisle with no hope of seeing out of the window and even if I could see anything the wing of the plane is always in the way.
After a few more days in Split it was time to decide on where to go next. We want to see Dubrovnik but a little twenty kilometre stretch of coast between Split and Dubrovnik (the Neum Corridor) belongs to Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is the second shortest coastline in the world. Monaco is the other one.
Back in the late 17th Century, the city-state of Dubrovnik, afraid of a Venetian invasion, gave away this tiny strip of land to the Ottoman Empire, giving itself a buffer against Venice. Following the break up of Yugoslavia in 1991 the newly independent Croatia was effectively chopped in two. This little strip of coastline in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then, cuts off Croatia’s southern most territory from the rest of the country.
But why am I telling you all this? Well, inconveniently, Ollie is not insured to put his wheels in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We are only insured to drive in EU member countries. As much as it would be tempting to ‘wing it’ and scoot through the Neum Corridor we don’t think it is worth risking a huge fine, Ollie being impounded or worse an accident. There probably are ways and means of getting the insurance cover but we’d just prefer to find an alternative route.
Conveniently a ferry will take you from Ploče, 110km down the coast from Split, to Trpanj which sits on the sticky out bit of coastline that is attached to Dubrovnik. All we would then need to do is drive the 130 kilometres to Dubrovnik. Problem solved. We left Split then and drove for three hours along the coastal road to Ploče. And very scenic it was too.
We purchased a ticket at the ferry port and got in the queue.
The crossing took an hour and felt like being on the ferry to the Isle of Wight but at less than half the cost.
We are pitched up now at Orebić, a little coastal village facing Korčula island, and we’ll drive down to Dubrovnic in a day or two.
I spent some time updating the blog, doing some French learning, cooking and generally being lazy whilst Tim trotted off to pursue his new hobby. Magnet fishing. Never heard of it? No, neither had I. Back in Prague we watched as several teenage boys lobbed magnets attached to bits of line into the river. They were having a whale of a time pulling out non-descript bits of metal clamped to the end of their magnets. They had quite a hoard of filthy, oily lumps piled up on the quayside. Who would have thought that such a thing existed? Google it and you will even find forums discussing and sharing information with such titles as ‘show us your magnet’, ‘keep your cat away from magnets’ and ‘best knot for magnet fishing’.
Queue the magnet I brought back courtesy of my Mum. After purchasing fifteen metres of line from a local chandlers in Split, and attaching it to his magnet, Tim was all set. And here he is with his first catch………….a bottle top.
Two hours later and the hoard for the day was four bottle tops and a bit of metal. Not bad! Croatia, it seems, is too clean. What he really needs is a manky bit of canal and I’m sure the spoils are there to be had.
Of course, I will be laughing on the other side of my face if he brings up something of value like a roman coin or some such.