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Islands of the North Atlantic Trip report

Korčula road trip and ferry to Split

Picked up the hire car near the ferry terminal, where we planned to drop it off, but where there wasn’t a good place to stop, apparently. So the hire man whisked me away to the roof-top carpark of the local supermarket where we discovered that the fire (or something) seemed to have knocked out the 2G (GPRS) data connection that his credit-card processing gizmo used. Hmm. Nearly didn’t get the car: paid the rental in cash and left him my passport as security. Luckily for both of us the trip was uneventful, and all worked out. I got my passport back, and him his car.

The car was the biggest I’d been able to hire, but that was significantly smaller than we’d had before. Managed to (just!) get the big suitcases into the boot, and the smaller pieces fitted between the back-seat passengers and under people’s legs. Close, but not too uncomfortable. I wasn’t going to be doing any fancy or off-road driving.

We stopped for morning coffee at a Konoba that had just opened, had coffee (Turkish) but no cakes. Cath ordered a round of proscuito instead, and that was great, and came with a bowl of small puffed-up bread pillows that were delicious. Excellent breakfast alternative.

The lunch stop was a renowned (in the guide books) Konoba in Pupnat, which we had not booked, and it seems were lucky to have arrived early enough to secure their last table. Later on-spec arrivals were turned away. Good food though: reputation deserved.

Well satisfied, we proceeded west along the main road to Vela Luka (“luka” is Croatian for “port”) where we stopped to look around and bought as much petrol as we thought that we would use. Yachts moored in the harbour, or in the marina. Clear water. Sunny blue skies. Very pretty.

We turned off the main road to take the south-coastal route via Blato, Brna, Smokvika. Tried to get to Pupnatska Luka, described by the restaurant in Pupnat as the prettiest on the island, but couldn’t find the road. In retrospect it might have been hidden by the large crowd of bicycle tourists that had congregated at the likely intersection. No matter: it looked as though the best view might have been from the cliffs above, where we had spotted it. Time to head back to Korčula, return the car and wait for the ferry.

While waiting for the ferry, it occurred to us that without any obvious signage or shore presence, it was unclear that we were waiting in the right place, or even on the correct side of the town: there were ferry terminals to both the east and west. I found the little office of the ticket seller, who confirmed that the correct dock changed from day to day, according to the weather, but that that day it would arrive at the western dock, where we were. Whew!

We clearly hadn’t figured out the ferry timetable properly either, because we arrived in Split nearly an hour later than had been printed on our tickets, at ten to nine. Cath and I walked to the apartment. We arrived just as the taxi dropped off mum, dad and the luggage. The apartment owner was very cross at how much the taxi had cost, and how circuitous its route, but it wasn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things.

The trains, and particularly their turbo-diesel locomotives do indeed stop some time between ten and eleven at night, and a silence descends. The apartment is conveniently located to both town and the beach, about three minutes’ walk in either direction, which means that it is on the hill overlooking Split train station. Oh, well. I was woken by the chimes of the first train’s platform anouncement at around seven. Took me a while to figure out what the tones and the voice meant, and where they were coming from…

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