"more cheese"

Trip Start May 19, 2010
Trip End Aug 03, 2010

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Saturday, May 29, 2010

Next stop on our tour took us away from the usual Western tourist destinations. A couple of hours south of Split, nestled at the foot of one of the most impressive coastlines we've ever encountered is Podgora. The tiny township is planted around a cute little harbour and framed by a steep stark mountain range jutting up immediately behind. Tourism still plays a large role in Podgora, but a different type altogether. We found ourselves surrounded by unfamiliar accents and dubious hairstyles. Regardless a most charming town with a stunning setting.

The purpose for the visit was to catch up with relatives of Randall. This proved a little more difficult than anticipated. While the vast majority of residents speak a staggering aray of languages, this does not always aply to the elder generation. On arrival we attempted to communicate with Randall's 86 year old cousin Pave and his wife, neither of whom spoke more than the tiniest smattering of English. We succedded somewhat through perseverance and wild gesticulation, with family members who arrived later filling in the gaps in communication. We were told of the pet turtles populating the front yard, pets Pave, and how their numbers continue to thin due to light fingered tourists. We were shown aged photos of long past relatives, and told stories of war, including Pave's harrowing experience in a notorious Nazi concentration camp while his wife fled into exile in Egypt.

The waters of the Adriatic were stunningly clear and calm. When we first arrived the swell on the beach lacked the power to even muster the smallest of waves. Sadly the result of this is that what we would normaly consider a beach had a closer resembalnce to a quarry. This seems to have resulted in a minor industry along the coast of selling beach chairs to those mindful of the thickness of their hides. We managed a short period on this rocky domain, taking in a bracing dip in the Adriatic. That was more than enough for our stay. Of far greater enjoyment was our treck up the side of the mountain to the site of old Podgora town. The town moved to its current location in the 1960's after an earthquake damaged many of towns homes and buildings. With the rising tourist trade at the coast the locals saw little need to rebuild up so high. While there was a noticeable increase in the number of inhabited homes from Randall's last vist over four years earlier, the majority stand derilict.

For us it was a relief to be away from tourists and people in general for the first time since our journies began. We were guided by the vauge recollections of Randall trying to pick out through the twisting mounntainside streets the location of an old family home. Through a whole heap of awesome we found it, more inhabited and cared for than the previous visit.

Perhaps our only other story worth mentioning stems from a rather benign activity, trying to get our washing done. Seems a local family has the monopoly over the cleaning business in town, with the hotels charging exhorbanent fees to get items cleaned - such as $4 NZ for a pair of jeans. We assumed it was just the hoteliers trying to make a killing on an essential service, so decided to cut out the middle men as it were. We made our way up to the heart of laundry services in Podgora, expecting to strike a reasonable deal, only to be told that our meager load would cost $75 - $100 NZ to get cleaned. Our attempts at bargaining were meet only with looks of apathy. Thankfully we had the family option to fall back on, and we got a lovely home cooked meal at the same time with only a couple of slabs of chocolate as our thanks. 

After three days we took the ferry over to our next destination, the renasiance town of Hvar on the island by the same name. A most seanic of trips enlivened by the friendly banter of a Norwegian couple we meet on the ride.
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Christina Riddoch on

Please keep posting! I can live vicariously! :-)

Corrie on

What an awesome experience. Thanks for posting your beautiful pictures. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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