Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hiking on the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia

Journal Excerpt: June 25, 1976 - Istrian Peninsula, Yugoslavia

     How beautiful it is here - to at last find another Paradise. The past couple of days have been so hectic for us. Hitching over so many miles - our feet sore; bodies fatigued - yet still we go on. Korcula was pleasant. I suppose I enjoyed most the room we had and our Vel Luka dinners. Oh, and such good spinach! Hvar was beautiful yet so over run with rich German tourists as is a lot of the coast. Our pocket books began to empty quickly so to compensate we decided to camp out on a beach (Milna) and succeeded in furthering our 'all over' tans yet ended up diminishing our blood supply instead - we got eaten alive by mosquitoes! That day we must have awakened at 5am, hiked quickly up the hill from Milna, got on a boat to Split by 7:30, and saw the Old Town market full of every conceivable fruit, vegetable, cheese. After that, we put together a most delicious lunch of 'beer and sandwiches', inquired at a few tourist offices, mailed a couple postcards, walked up many stairs to the zoo and botanical gardens, then started our way back at about 4 o'clock out of town - the WRONG WAY. A military base?
     Luckily, before the rains came we got a ride from a pleasant Yugoslavian (or German?) man who took us to Sibenik where we got another ride to the Youth Hostel (strangest one I've stayed in yet but ah- sleep was heaven.) Once again, we walked out of the town, stopping only occasionally - how nice of those people in the small market to offer us their homemade lemonade. What a refreshing taste! 3 rides and we were all the way to Rijeka! Last night we were so tired; walking along at dusk - caught a bus then kept walking; finally a girl led us to a Zimmer sign - beautiful, old house but the lady wanted 150 dinars for two - no we couldn't pay it. Sorry - but what were to do stuck out in the dark? Pay 44 dinars to camp? No way.
      So, we went out and sat on the stone wall in front of the house; exhausted, no where to go and decided to pay 150 dinars. It was and is worth it. Hot shower, quiet, lovely gardens surround it. Rocks jutting into the cool, blue water. For rest, peace, tranquility we will stay. And, our dear lady decided to lower the price to 100 dinars for 2. What an old conniver she is! Roll, butter and apricot jam. Nice. Strong coffee with hot milk. White linen tablecloth, trees looming above us, birds singing their sweetest songs, the sound of children's voices, water splashing and the sun forever bathing us all.