912 – Wednesday 29th November 2017: And into Montenegro
Heavy rain (drizzle from Brizzle, or Spain?) – K did laundry – or laundwet? Rigged up clothesline in the closed but covered restaurant patio. Some van cleaning – and I went to have shower….. well, the water temperature hovered between tepid and coooold! A real ‘boarding school’ shower….. (K: I elected to use the one on board, having had J heroically test them!) But lovely campsite owners, known by all the locals, including the bar where we took wine – to ward off the cold and damp…. and use the wifi.
913 – Thursday 30th November: And Further Down Montenegro
Some laundry had blown off in the overnight high winds … J collected it’s sodden mass. Some had dried overnight in the van. We had planed to stop at Kotor on our way south towards Albania … but lashing rain and road flooding conditions prevented this. ‘Interesting’ wet and slow drive on empty roads. Nothing for it but to head into Albania sooner, but needed to do some planning as we thought we’d be longer in Montenegro. So to a campsite our Finnish friend told us of South of Budva. Still peeing down, put a damp load of laundry on … no driers so all hanging in Jez – 3 days of Chinese Laundry in the van :(. Walk along beach front … rat .. googled rat infections on dogs … and forum replies on rabies blood test … yes Oscar should have had it … vet knew our destinations and we (K: that would be me, but J is too kind to point the finger!) hadn’t properly checked !!! All to do with three tiers of rabies … rabies free, controlled and high … Montenegro and Albania are high. We don’t fancy being stopped at Albania / Greece border …. so we will head back North into Croatia and investigate boats to Italy then Greece. “The best laid plans of mice and men clang aft a-clay” – or something similar….
Are we on a boat? Little did we realise … not yet!
Islands in Kotor Bay almost submerged. Water level definitely high as we spotted a beach volley ball pitch of very short people (are we allowed to call them midgets?) … poles only a couple of feet high.
Windscreen wipers could hardly cope with the torrent.
914 – Friday 1st December: Then Back Up To Croatia
We traversed back through the mountains to Bosnia and Herzegovina – some stressed and successful border crossings – ’nothing to declare,Sir…’ (not even the 10 bottles of vino and 6 months supply of e-juice) – a big shop in BiH at mega low prices – and into Croatia (again) – back to the sanctuary of Camping Stobrec – one of the best sites ever! Only 9 hours travel….. What a day – phew… Oscar had to be ‘invisible’ at the border crossings, just in case!
Better weather coming North and better views around the Kotor Bay.
In BiH, ancient Necropolis … we used their carpark for a driver change.
915 – Saturday 2nd December: Sitting Still in Croatia
Well – how to start a quiet day? – ‘embracing the moment’ in bed….then one of the site managers knocked on the door – and the moment was suddenly ‘disembraced’…..not quite ‘in flagrante disrobio’ but close…. We compared costs about routes to Greece and decided to drive to Ancona in Italia and ferry to Greece. Booked Minoan Ferries, with a members discount as advised by Viamare booking agent saved us £62 (excellent service, if anyone is planning to book – lovely people on the phone) + pet friendly cabin….. 18 hour sailing. Our new friend Outi from Finland, who has a house in Estonia and overwinters often in Monetnegro, has never had a border issue with her dogs….but we prefer to be risk averse.
More handy laundry and a good breeze on our clothes line… for once not inside!
As often happens – a line of poetry comes to mind – very apposite in our circumstances!
“And a good south wind sprung up behind
the albatross did follow
and every day for food or play
came to the Mariner’s hollow”
‘Ryme of the Ancient Mariner’ – we are the not so ancient mariners and we need a good south wind…..
916 – Sunday 1st December: North to Italy
A big driving day – 8-ish hours with spectacular scenery – and heigh ho – we’re back in our bellissimo Italia, again!!! Is there a nicer place to be? Circumnavigated Trieste (James Joyce residence during the war, I recall) – avoiding the infamous road ramp that nearly nobbled us a month ago…. we paid up for the Slovenian vignette (ERU15 for 20 mins) and stuck to motorways.
Lovely free aire to overnight – we jump started a French van – twice! The 2 lads and 1 lady looked about 12 years old….maybe we are the ancient mariners? Oscar says – ‘feck off, youze – I’m not a mariner!’ I think he missed something there… sunshine beams on us – the righteous? But -4C overnight!
Heading North to Italy – the cloud filling in between the mountain peaks.
Views looking out to the Dalmatian islands.
917- Monday 4th December: And a Little Further South
Drove most of day to Fano …passing some places we’d stayed at on our Italy just over 2 years ago. The aire had tatty permanent caravans ….we wonder at the stories behind these single men. K walked into town and along beaches with Oscar – I made sure the bed was still horizontal – it’s on my checklist…..Still sunny, yummy.
918- Tuesday 5th December: Fano and Onto Ancona
Walk and breakfast in Fano – lively old town. Had to have a pukka Italian coffee … no where else comes close. Combed the beach front looking for a chandlery to sell us a replacement electric cable to Euro 2 pin (having left ours Dubrovnik and we’ll need one for the ferry for Electric Hookup)… three places on drive south … everything but in one and two no longer existed despite web presence … we’ll use the UK socket adaptor and a three to two pin … a bit Heath Robinson, but all under cover on the ferry so no wet risk .. If the cable does get wet, we’re in serious trouble! Onto Auchan supermarket outside Ancona (15 mins from the ferry port) with free dedicated spaces for motorhomes … K did a big shop including Oscarfodder. And we had another Italian coffee … needs must.
Another lonely man and dog in a decrepit caravan on the parking. We settled for the evening, we thought…. About 8-ish, a ‘domestic’ stared outside – 4 men from the decrepit caravan – a bit of ‘handbags’ but too loud. So, discretion being the better part of valour, we moved all of 200 metres – to avoid the unseemly racket.
Looking forward to the mariners’ trip to the cradle of civilisation…..
Fano had a lovely busting shopping area … but buildings had kept their original facia. Christmas Panetone anyone? All the decorations are up in the shops … wondering when we should put our up? Just before my birthday?
Walk along the harbour wall to the ‘David’ … funny how the statue’s bits had been rubbed shiny … but no effect on their size!
The river had two areas controlled water flow with warnings about sudden surges.