Today was an emotionally difficultly day for me. Firstly, we had to drive to Dubrovnik Airport and wave goodbye to Edward. Secondly, it was my eldest son Thomas’ 30th birthday – quite a significant milestone, and it felt strangely sad not to be with him to celebrate. All the more difficult because by the time we return from our trip, he will be off away working in Australia for a year. I must admit to shedding a few tears as I hugged Edward goodbye, but my sadness was quickly overtaken by irritation as he texted to say that he had heard his name being announced over he tannoy at Dubrovnik Airport. Turns out he had left his credit card at the Duty Free shop after buying a giant tube of M & Ms! So typical of my dearest youngest son! Once I had spoken with Thomas, I started feeling a little more optimistic about the day.
Our guide yesterday evening was very concerned about us when he asked us what were our plans for today. Unsure, we said we would take a look at the guidebook later that evening. He could not believe that we were so disorganised. Little did he know. Such was the deficiency in our planning for this trip, that we had failed to realise when we sailed into Dubrovnik from Italy, that Croatia is bisected by a 7km stretch of Bosnia on it’s Adriatic Coast. This is apparently a long standing arrangement, dating from the Ottoman times, when Bosnia was granted a small stretch of access to the sea. Unfortunately for us, this created a problem. Since Bosnia is not a member of the EU, our insurance company will not cover us to drive Oscar in Bosnia. The same applies to Montenegro, which is why we travelled there yesterday with a guide. So, the only way of getting across this stretch of Bosnia into catch a car ferry from the Peljesac Peninsular across to Ploce, which sits on the mainland above this odd piece of Bosnian coast.
So as I type, we are sitting in the queue for the car ferry. We have also just received notification from a campsite just outside of Ploce that they’re open – so all is good.
The drive along the peninsular this morning was sublime. The sun was shining, and the colour of the sea was a deep turquoise blue – almost too azure to look real. The water is so clear here, that you can see all the pebbles on the bottom of the sea from high up on the cliff roads. We stopped for coffee at Ston once more, the fortified walled town we had stopped at on our way to Orebic, then headed north eastwards towards the ferry. En route, we stopped at a winery, and Howard purchased some of the famous Plajec red wine. I managed to misread the ferry timetable (it is Sunday), so having a couple of hours to spare, we parked up overlooking Trpanj Bay and had a picnic in the van, looking out over the sea – just beautiful. As we sat there, a school of dolphins swam into the bay, much to our delight.
Our ferry has just arrived, so hopefully within a few hours, we will be a little further north on our journey up through Croatia. So far, we are loving this country. It has a spectacular coastline, it is clean, and the people are very friendly. We have eventually mastered ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’, and Howard, who is usually at least one language behind where we are travelling, has at last stopped talking Italian!