After morning feeding time for the bears we headed south and hoped to visit some caves and a possible overnight spot. The website made the distance sound doable, so we trogged off to them in the middle of very picturesque landscape. Sadly, the tour guide said the next few tours were prebooked with coachloads of primary school kids – and pretty much told us we didn’t want to join them! He then added there were 400 “steps” which the website didn’t mention and we’d not have been able to do – so decided to run before the kids arrived.
So more driving to the coastal town of Zadar. This part of Croatia does seem to have lots of nothing space between the things to see, and sadly most of the things to see are extremely busy mostly with what appears to be mini cruise ships and thousands of package type holiday people. So the locations are geared for their tastes which seems to be tourist-tat shops and cafes to wait the next step of their tour! Priced accordingly and knowing they won’t be back…
Anyway, Zadar was nice enough for a bike ride and explore round – worth a visit but not mind blowing. The “campsite” location was poor and poor value for money really, pretty much someones back garden But needs must.
Moving on, we headed towards Trogir and had a really good campsite on the coast. Roadworks meant cycling to the town was not possible but there was a taxi boat service, so we used that to get into the town and enjoying the coastal vistas. Marred only by some mother who assumed her “special” child wanted to be enjoyed by all on board. Sadly she didn’t understand the comments like “I hope it can swim”. Trogir was architecturally lovely but with the large marina parade the tour boats filled the place – so after a scoot around it was have a beer and wait the return boat! Would be 10x better without the tourist boats!
Then on to Split which is our most southernly destination on this trip We wont be able to get around Dubrovnik so not worth going. There didn’t appear to be any great campsites nearby so, being a Sunday, decided we’d park in town instead. One of our parking locations was full, but what that didn’t say was beyond there it was *tight* – and ultimately had to reverse up narrow 1-way streets the wrong way and turn on a pin head (due to parked cars where they shouldn’t). Was a bit stressy but came out unscathed.
Split is interesting but so so busy again! We’d really hate to see it in peak season, but it was about bearable and managed to get around most areas. The old ruins and buildings were impressive and we’re glad we went to explore – but deffo only a day visit.
One place on our agenda all trip was Plitvice national park, so we left split in 30’ head and headed to Plitvice. Just as we got there the weather was drizzle, thick cloud, and 9’. Brrrr. Sadly most of the park needs hiking, and we had hoped to be able to scoot or ride bits, but that was firmly prohibited, and the surrounding roads were much busier than expected, so not a great start. Gets wose as the campsite we went to, ACSI and in low season was full – and vans were streaming in. Seemed like a German invasion. They sent us on to another campsite where you commit on entry – and the campsite is just a large carpark – urgh. Mugged there really! But the amount of vans appearing – and indeed on the roads has increased markedly – maybe its German half term or something. But in places it was continuous. The next day the weather was still naff so no real chance of a ride, and it’d not be what we want – so we’d put this down to the end of a pretty mediocre week really – the first real thing we’ve had to skip due to Mels issues.
Looking at the map and terrain, we sought out a flatter location for some biking, and this suggested we’d be better off up north, so having done most of our to-do list we headed to the Island of Krk – which we’d passed on the way down. The road in is now over a bridge but the traffic was busy making us think it’d be a zoo again, but settling into a quiet small campsite in Malinska we were pleasantly surprised. No cruise boats and a gently busy seafront with relaxed atmosphere and just a really pretty place. The sort of thing we’ve been hoping for for a while. The prom is quiet and flat and perfect for a run, and there appears to be lots of cycle routes.
So the fourth week was ended with a bike ride. Well. A storm the night before kindly washed the solar panels but the mountain bike route we set up, beautiful as it was, was mainly smooth and now wet rocks up hill. Took almost an hour to do 5 miles and I was knackered and Mels battery was dying! So we had to cut short to ensure we could get back – lovely – but hard going – and earned a nice meal at the Marina.