I was up bright and early again this morning, thinking I would catch the sunrise without too much effort involved. I had a bit of a shock to find the weather had changed and was now presenting low grey cloud with a brisk wind and a very choppy sea. I managed to catch the sun peeping out from behind the cloud for a couple of snaps and continued to mooch about this charming historic town, surrounded by the sea on three sides.
I have the place practically to myself – just a couple of street cleaners up and about. The town is really compact, most of it tucked inside the city walls. And there are a number of rather impressive boats moored up on the quayside. It’s a shame that the day is so grey, and that I haven’t really seen this pretty little town at its best.
I find a supermarket and buy some fruit and tomatoes, and a bread roll for breakfast. I eye up the selection of pomegranates and just can’t resist buying one even though I have no tools to help me liberate the seeds – a resourceful granny should be able to overcome such problem. I pop back to my room to attack the pomegranate with just my bare hands (with some rather strong thumb nails) and leave the bathroom basin looking as though a massacre has taken place in the vicinity (it goes without saying that, like any professional murderer, I leave no trace of my crime). I take a shower and organise my bag in time for checkout and leave it in the hallway for collection later.
I wander out once again to discover some new nooks and crannies. Luckily I also discovered the bus station and enquired about times for the bus to my next stop at the other end of this island – Vela Luka. I also discovered that the church tower was open for a hair-raising climb up an ever narrowing spiral stairway of steep and uneven steps, topped off by a ladder to the viewing platform. The views were magnificent, even on a dull day, and I spent a long while breathing in the atmosphere and putting off the inevitable climb back down, which for me is always so much worse that going up.
My bus leaves at 12:15 and traverses the entire length of Korcula island from east to west a distance of 46 km. We climb up and over the central mountains(? – no idea of the height), and spend a good while with our heads in the heavy clouds. When we are at a lower elevation I can see down into valleys completely full of vineyards. There are some olive trees, but the vines seem to be the main crop. The island is very rich and green with hillsides covered in fir trees, unlike the mountains that form the backdrop to Dubrovnik which are very scrubby. The properties in the countryside are very solid square buildings made of blocks of stone which remind me of some parts of Portugal that I have walked through.
Vela Luka lacks the great charm of Korčula Old Town. There are some old buildings here, but not as many as in Korčula and it is more sprawling, around a very deep bay. I find my accommodation – Mili Apartment – this time I have an entire apartment to myself that can sleep five, with good working kitchen and nice living room – all for the sum of 150 kuna (£17.50).
I’m feeling quite tired today. My calves have seized up from all those steps over the last few days and I think all the travelling has caught up with me. Although I snoozed for a few minutes on the bus, I decide to take a brief nap at the apartment before wandering around the town.
I go back to the ferry port to check out procedure for tomorrow, and then take a look for the only restaurant recommended on the ‘Happy Cow’ app that lists vegan and vegetarian restaurants and those others that can offer something suitable. It is a long way around the bay and I have more or less decided not to eat there as it will be a long walk back to the apartment in the dark. I continue anyway just for the exercise and it doesn’t look very appealing to me. I have seen a decent sized supermarket on the way and decide to buy some wholesome food and make use of the kitchen at my digs. I end up spending 10 kuna (just over £1) on a packet of spring vegetable soup and a variety of veggies to bulk it up, and stop off at a bar on the return journey that is exactly in line with th setting sun. It is good to be away from the tourist groups and the prices that they inspire. The wine here costs 18 kuna for a large glass, rather than 40-50 kuna in Dubrovnik. The only blight is that guys sitting on both sides of me are chain smoking and the breeze is sending their fumes directly to me. But hey, I have a fabulous sunset and I am drinking very acceptable local wine in their town – it could be worse!
I make my soup back at the apartment which turns out to be really delicious, and I’m done for the night. I don’t even have the energy to complete this blog post. I’m moving on again tomorrow, but not before a little adventure to the Vela Spila cave.