The further adventures of Stan -13
Upon arriving at Dubrovnik airport in Cilipi, we were met at the bus station by Pavo, the owner of the apartment we had booked. Several others from the flight were also going to our same destination, and the little bus was soon full.
Pavo drove out of the airport and onto a motorway which wound along the coast going north. The scenery was unbelievably beautiful, with the bright blue Adriatic filled with ships of all sorts, and the weather was perfect. Before long we arrived in Mlini and Pavo turned right and up a mountain side. We could see the beach below before we made our ascent, and the 200 steps we would have to climb several times each day looked daunting.
We checked in, and handed in our passports, which worried Stan, but I assured him that this was the usual procedure, and that we would get them back in a short time. We were given Apartment 21 which was on the third floor of the complex.
It was large enough, but the kitchenette was just a tiny area off one of the bedrooms – and also the bathroom could only be accessed from the first bedroom. The walls were painted in a bright yellow, and there were cheerful pictures on the walls, depicting local scenes. The air conditioning
was on, and Stan found that the wifi worked, and he could use his tablet without any problems. We opened the door onto the terrace and went out and sat their for a little while drinking in the view and feeling so pleased at our good luck to be there.
“I expect you will want to go to bed earlier than me,” said Stan, “so why don't you take the separate room, and then I won't distrub you if I want to watch TV later at night.”
“Okay,” I agreed, “but it means I have to go into your room to get to the bathroom and kitchen, and I do like to have coffee first thing when I wake up.”
“No problem. I'm a sound sleeper,” was his reply.
It was by now 4.30, and I didn't know if the shops would close earlier now the main tourist season was over.
“Let's get into more comfortable clothes, and go down and get some groceries and see the beach. And maybe we can eat out tonight. We'll ask at the desk for the best place to go where we don't have to dress up.”
So minutes later, we left, armed with the information that the best restaurant, was the Flamingo although if we only wanted a snack we could get it at the Hogar, which was somewhat farther away. The grocery was called Konzum and it was just over half a mile away. But the woman at the desk, who turned out to be Pavo's mother, said that if we bought our groceries first, and then left them with our name on, Pavo would go down and collect them and bring them to the apartments, so we wouldnt have to carry them back up the hill. We agreed to do just that, and set off on our adventure.
The descent was steep, but the paving stones were flat and wide and there was a railing for me to cling to if I felt uneasy. When we got to the bottom, there were signs directing us to the supermarket, along the coast road.
It turned out that Konzum was the generic name for a chain of stores – like Spar or Coop. Ours was quite well stocked, and we went down the aisles quickly filling a cart. We started out trying to learn the name of the product – like bread was Kruh rustika, and cost 6.2 k; apples were Jabuka zlota and cost 4,89/kilo but we soon got tired of that, and just shoved the old familiars into the trolley – cheese, eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, milk, cereal, coffee, tea, soft drinks, and gin and tonic plus a few of the more exotic offerings – fresh figs, pommegranate and sljivovica grappa. There were three large bags worth in the end, which I paid for with my credit card, and we told the check out lady that it would be picked up by Pavo from the Torkvik apartments. She nodded her understanding and approval of this plan, and my name, Reynard, was put on the outside of each bag
– as well as Pavo's. I hoped he would come for them this evening, as I knew that I for one would want a big gin as a reward after we climbed up all those steps.
After our shopping, we went to the local restaurant, the Flamingo and being tired and not
very imaginative, we just ordered a pizza (they called it pica) and some red wine to end our first day. The trek up the hill was every bit as daunting as I thought it would be, and I felt five pounds lighter after the experience. It only took 15 minutes. Stan would have made it much quicker if he had been on his own.
We found that not only had Pavo picked up our bags, but they were put into our kitchen. I quickly
unpacked them, and put the various things in the fridge. And my G and T was much appreciated, as was my very comfortable bed.
The next day we decided to just stay in the local area. Stan wanted to see if he could find
the nudist beach at Beterina – and also wanted to check out the possibility of having a diving experience. I preferred sitting quietly on the beautiful sandy beach at Srebeno. In the Bay of Zupa and reading my book. We took snacks with us when we went down, and anything else that we might need, as the thought of doing the trip more than once a day was overwhelming.
We thought it best to get all our planning for the week over and done with. Finding the bus stop we read that the bus came by every 30 minutes each day, on the hour and half hour, and planned our first trip into Dubrovnik, to meet up with Sven which would be on Friday. We were meeting him at 11, so we planned to get the bus by 10. The trip on Monday with Sven to see the Roman remains at Cavtat would also be from the same bus stop.
It was only a short walk to the ferry terminal, and we booked our trip on Saturday to go to see the Elaphite Islands. Sven was planning his trip to Montenegro on Tuesday – the last day of our holiday, and we were considering whether we would join with him on that. His other trip was going to Diocletian Palace in Split which he intended doing on Saturday.
Stan found out that his chance to do a dive with the Aquaruis boat company was limited as we
were nearing the end of the season, so when he found there was space on the boat today, he went for it. Their add said, “whether you SCUBA, snorkel, or even just swim, you will have an amazing time.” Lunch would be cooked on the boat and Stan later said it was delicious!
As a beginner, Stan was limmited to a dive which he thought was a little tame and lasted 30 minutes at up to 6 meter depth in clear water. He said they were a bit more daring on the second one. He had to help haul the gear to and from the boat. The he boat owner, who had only a smattering of English, although he also seemed to also speak German, for the benefit of the other divers. While enroute they could smell lunch being prepared by the man's wife. They charged Stan 75 Euros for the two dives with hire of full equipment.
When it came to lunch time, I walked to the little taverna called Hogar and had a beer called Karlovacko, a spicy sausage called Kobasica and some flat bread called le pinje. I had a chat with the locals and found that the mountain behind the village was called Malasnica, that the
temperature was currently 20° but that it had been down to 9° the night before.
I then walked around the village. The place was filled with small water falls, which obviously had been used for the mills in the past, but today it was mainly inhabited by innumeable ducks.