Sunday 20th May 2018
Yesterday, I signed off just as the rain and hail began pelting down on me, under the awning where I was exiled, as Wendy was ensconced in the van watching the royal wedding. The rain didn’t let up until late in the evening when, to fight the cabin fever, we strolled down to the bar for a change of scene. By now it was cold, I was wearing three layers, including long trousers and a down jacket, and I was still freezing. Wendy wanted to try the famous Bled Cream Cake and it was only love that kept me with her, shivering and making banal chit chat, while she munched her way through her flaky pastry, vanilla and cream confection, it was really an oversized custard slice.
This morning it was still cold and soggy. Camping Bled is a marvellous place, but there are still some parts of it that get decidedly boggy when there has been a drop of rain. I returned from walking Alf with a new plan. The subterranean delights of Pivka Jama would have to wait until we returned to Slovenia, as its weather forecast was not promising – more rain and low temperatures. Instead we were going to the coast, to Croatia. The forecast for Njivice was 26° so we were off to the seaside.
Slovenia is a beautiful country, full of thickly wooded hills as far as the eye can see as we drove from north to south. It makes you realise how little woodland the crowded UK has left. Satnav was taking us down what appeared to be a quiet, minor back road when we came up with a jolt at the back of a queue of traffic – we were at the border. Croatia is not yet part of the Shengen Area, that part of the EU where you can cross from one country to another with out passport checks. The UK and Ireland have permanent opt-outs from the agreement, but Croatia (as well as Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria) will have to join in the fullness of time. We showed our passports first to Slovenian passport control and then drove on twenty metres to show them again at Croatian customs and passport control and then we were on the motorway.
The comparison with Slovenia was quite stark, despite being in the same contiguous countryside of thickly wooded hills, we had left a twisty, patched up minor road and fifty metres later we were on a broad, newly laid motorway. We ‘hurtled’ as only a Hymer can down the motorway, through a tunnel and WOW! We could see the sea and what a sea! This side of the tunnel the scenery changed dramatically, gone was the lush, verdant green countryside, now we were looking down steep red rocky slopes with scrubby trees and bushes on to a bluey green sea twinkling in the bright sunshine. The temperature seemed to have rocketed too; the matrix signs were proclaiming that it was 25°C and who were we to argue? We drove around inlet after inlet until we crossed the bridge to the island of Krk and ten kilometres later we pulled into the little Eden that is Kamp Njivice.
As I sit in the shade of our awning, there are emerald green lizards the size of fountain pens, scuttling around my feet, and in and out of the crevices in the roughly built stonewalls that delineate each pitch from the next and it is too hot for the birds to be bothered to sing anymore.
Slovenia was very pretty and well worth spending some more time there on a later expedition, but right now we need some sun, sea and sand. Wendy is at the beach, topping up the tan she gained in Australia and later this evening we are going to stroll down to the beach bar and on into the village to find a table to dine at while we watch the sun set across the bay. Already we have a dilemma! Shall we stay for two nights or will it be three?
Strange things you see on campsites (An occasional series on the odd and quirky things we bump into)
How about this for an adventure bus? This pulled on to the campsite at Bled on Saturday evening and all the passengers piled out and into the showers. This might have something to do with the Rotel website explaining that you may have to put up with not having a shower for two or three days and there are at least twenty people in the group!