1573-1574: Tara Tourism

1573:  Sargen 8 Railway

Friday 26th June

Camping Zip in the Tara National Park is just great, so we stayed 3 days.  Water and EHU on the pitch, super clean facilities and great views.  Oh, and the company weren’t bad!  CO2 were delighted to see K and D, the dog parents … it is being written into our wills.  When a storm came over, Corrie was found to be seeking comfort with K and D!  

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Construction of the Sargan 8 railway started during WW1 and it connected Serbia (partly Bosnia and Herzegovina now) with Austro Hungary.  Italian and Russia POWs had a tough time digging into the rock and snake infested land.  Work resumed under Yugoslavia in 1921.  The ascent of 300m is dealt with by the figure of 8 (hence the name) and the track actually crosses itself!  It connected Belgrade with Sarajevo and closed in 1974.  The section here was repaired and is now a major Serbian tourist attraction.

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Glimpses of the track snaking around.

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They could do with removing some of the trees for photos!  But they did stop a few times on the descent for photo opportunities.

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We didn’t fancy lunch at the Mokra Gora station … the lady serving coffee had been a little surly, but a hot trek into the small village revealed no other choice.  A quick glass at a bar and back to the station for a late lunch.  This was pork rolled around ham and cheese … am finding Serbian food too meaty and not enough sauce.

1574:  Lake and Gorge

 Saturday 27th June

David offered to drive, so we piled into Buster.  Destination Lake Zaovine up in the Tara National Park.  D and K had previously cycled a good chunk of it until their batteries (bike and own!) were close to exhaustion!  So driving all the way it was.  

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Woods on the drive up and then opening up to the valley with the reservoir.  After so much rain the murky waters were released from the dam.

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Karen wedging the fridge door after it threw a tantrum on a bend!

IMG 5913We tried the only restaurant for lunch, but no dogs!  Hurumpf!   We backtracked to a small village cafe and had buns!  The only choice was filled baps.  A local dish!  Some lovely English speaking ladies helped us with the menu and suggested the fillings … egg and cheese or ham egg and cheese.  Surprisingly delicious … and given how busy it was, obviously known for its baps!

A few KM away was the Drina gorge … K and D had been told about it.  Some steep sides off the road … and then a fab view point.

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Just had to climb that for the view!

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Look!  No hands!

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Drina Gorge.

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We were parting ways tomorrow so a ceremonial handing over of the bread knife wed lent K&D all those months ago!

There was a Russian called Michail on the campsite.  In conversation with David, it transpired that he’d spent time with Danny and Lisa on a site in Belgrade.  His home is Montenegro, where his wife and 2 children are.  And he couldn’t get home. Danny and Lisa had spent a few days in Kosovo and had just come back to Serbia.  Crossing at the same border point is OK, but the guard wanted ‘paper’.  Danny translated this as a bribe, but played dumb.  But you have my papers in your hand!  You have our passports!  They did a long drive but arrived that evening at Camping Zip.  A BBQ and far too much to drink … again.

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Sundance Camping Reunion, just missing Anetta and Geo.

Route Decisions!

Due to the spike in Covid cases, Croatia had just closed its borders with Serbia … except for transit or a 14 day rental / quarantine.  Transit is 24 hours with resting at motorway services and then only 12 hours to cross Slovenia.  Probably quarantine in Italy.  So what to do?

D and K elected to transit back through Bulgaria and enter Greece.  We’d heard of people that had done it.  We reluctantly decided against Greece:  W

e have to be back in the UK for mid August, ferries are not yet running and prices have shot up.  If we have to quarantine somewhere, let it be in a rental in Croatia.  I found the cheapest I could find … very basic and only £279 for 2 weeks.  If is truly awful we can still live in Jez and just use the shower, wifi and fridge.  if quarantine is lifted, we can leave early … at that price we weren’t going to worry about it.  But first we would go to Belgrade as we’d booked a camper repair / hire / camper stop to re-affix the wheel trim.

 

 

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