Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Saturday, August 18, 2007

  9th - 12th August 2007.

"Your land is very far!" said the heavily accented Croatian Border Official as he examined our passports. Luckily this was the extent of our interrogation. Croatia was the third country we had been in today, and it wasn't even lunchtime yet. We woke up in Italy, went shopping in Slovenia and found a new home in Croatia. So far our overland border crossings, and there aren't that many in Europe any more, have been fairly painless, today being no exception, but trying to get back out of Croatia seems to be slightly more difficult judging by the queue of cars lined up for at least five km's on the Croatian side.

After crossing into Croatia we drove south along the Croatian Riviera to a town called Rovinj. On the way we had a scare, as the car just two cars in front of us had a number of rocks the size of footballs fall from the roadside cutting landing on their front right corner of their car. While they were unlucky in one regard they were lucky in another, because if they were two metres further down the road the front passenger would have had them land in her lap. Not long after that we came across a motorbike lying on its side in the middle of the road next to the car that had evidently hit it.

We'd never heard of Rovinj before but thousands of others evidently had. In fact we had stumbled onto one of Croatia's main tourist sites. We found a campground about 5 km's south of the town. It was another massive place with shops, restaurants and a disco/nightclub....great! We were camped far enough away from the main "entertainment" area thankfully for it to be not that obtrusive. It didn't stop the Italians camped next to us from talking right outside our tent until 3 am. Just as they were going to bed a group of 7 women arrived from Hungary. Neither the Italians nor the Hungarian Women's Wrestling Team had heard of a thing called volume control. Talking at the top of their voices seemingly at each other rather than to each other. Maybe we'll have a better nights sleep tomorrow night....

"What's that Squirrelly thing?" asked Mandy. "I think it's a squirrel Mandy" I replied. We'd never seen a squirrel so we took a photo. There pretty funny little critters and very busy. They never stop, up trees, down trees, collecting nuts, burying nuts, moving nuts. Nuts! They have more than just squirrels in Rovinj, they also have some radical thunderstorms. The picture above tells the story best. We took refuge in the car as the lightning was intense and the hail was the size of marbles.

Rovinj is a town built on a small peninsula with several smaller islands around it. You can see that the people who built Venice had a hand in building Rovinj. No canals here but the style of buildings and narrow alleys are similar. The water around the town is crystal clear and there are some great spots for a swim. A very beautiful town, one of our favourites on this trip. It handles the summer crowds well too, not seeming that crowded even when there was clearly a lot of people here. We had lunch at restaurant that had three roasting pigs out the front. Finally we found a way to alleviate our unhealthy pizza obsession. Mmmmmm Suckling Piiiiiiggg... Aaaaarrrgghh.

We had some new neighbours move in behind us later that day. I noticed that he was struggling to blow a 6 inch thick double air bed by his lungs only, so I offered him the use of our power pump. He was so thankful he repaid the debt by giving us one of the most impressive displays of snoring later that night that we have ever heard. Every ten minutes he'd come up with a new set of sounds with a range of an orchestra. Not just breathing in, but out as well, earth shattering blasts erupting every half hour as he reset himself. Thankfully we did meet some nice neighbours. We were camped next to a Dutch couple with 3 children including one 8 month old and yet they were the quietest neighbours we had. They also spoke great English which made conversation easy.

Our stay in Rovinj has also coincided with the first illness of our trip. Mandy has come down with a cold. Sore throat, sneezing, coughing and an unhealthy amount of snot. Hopefully it won't last too long. Coming up next.... Mandy gets better (Hopefully) and we venture further down the Croatian coastline to a different form of accommodation. More soon...
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