Touring the island of Lopud

Trip Start May 18, 2007
Trip End Jul 18, 2007

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hi all!

Today we had the usual Villa Kolocep breakfast buffet and headed out for the dock to board our local Nova shuttle boat for a new island of adventure, Lopud. (It is really amazing to us after a nice big dinner that every morning we are starving for breaky. We tell ourselves that it is all the relaxation that is burning all the extra calories...makes sense to us! )

The boat ride was about 25 minutes and once we arrived we immediately said to each other "we like our island better!". Lopud is a lovely island, larger than Kolocep (our island) and known for its olive trees and orange orchards and part of the Elafiti islands (Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan). A total of 24 churches were scattered over the island and Franciscan and Dominican monks have build monasteries and today has about 220 inhabitants.

Upon arrival we saw 2 souvenir stores and a couple of small restaurants and once past that we found it....yes, you guessed it, the GOAT PATH!!

Ryan led the way, excited to take Laurie up yet another set of steep steps with absolutely no idea where we were headed. Laurie is quite accustomed to this after all these years, but remains totally thrilled that Ryan can lead her to such fabulous places, yet all are always UP!

We wandered UP a very lonely steep weathered staircase and up and up we went. We began to see some ruins and that is when Ryan lit up - he loves these ruins and is like a kid in a candy store when he sees old rock formations. The ruins were old churches and monasteries and we enjoyed the harbor views from way on top of the village.

Ryan found the goat path leading us back down to the village where we stopped for a quick bite to eat before heading back to Kolocep. Lopud is touted to be the prettiest of the Elafiti Islands but we completely disagree and recommend Lopud for a day trip of wandering and a light lunch.

We stopped to buy Laurie a snorkel and mask as we were headed to snorkel for the rest of the afternoon. Our boat ride back was short and we were back out the door within a few minutes to hit Gornje Celo for snorkeling. We had spotted a nice clear area earlier in the week and were set to find some fishies!

The 2 mile walk to Gornje Celo from Donje Celo is beautiful and we greatly enjoyed the stroll to our snorkeling hole. Once there we placed our towels on a rocky "chaise lounge" lathered on our SPF 12 suntan lotion and took the plunge. This was the first snorkeling experience for Laurie so Ryan showed her the tricks of the trade and off we went, Ryan making sure every few minutes that Laurie was okay and not having any issues. All was great fun and we swam side by side for about 2 hours, soaking in the Adriatic, yet quite dissappointed in the lack of colorful fish, or just plain fish, for that matter. We had a blast swimming around in the 85 degree water, no complaints there, but just no fishies except for a few small schools which were not a bit phased when Ryan dove right for them.

We rested for a VERY short few minutes on our rock slab and Ryan turned to me and said "I think I got some sea urchin spikes in my foot". Upon getting INTO the water, Ryan cautioned Laurie about the sea urchins on the rocks and to be careful and Laurie was oh so mindful and takes instructions well! However, when we were getting out of the water a small roller wave came and pushed Ryan off balance and right onto a naughty sea urchin, poking him with spines into the heel of his foot! Laurie"s watch guard got snagged!

Now it gets fun! Laurie looked down and saw lots of tiny black spots in the heel but only one was sticking out waiting to be yanked on. Laurie worked a bit and got the bugger out but saw that Ryan had more than she could deal with on the edge of the water and most were already under the skin and the heel was beginning to hurt a bit! Groovy!

We walked back the 2 miles to our hotel and Ryan was a trooper and honestly would not tell Laurie how much pain he was in but she knew it smarted! Once back in our room, Laurie immediately turned into "Nurse Laurie", rapidly looking up information on sea urchins in Croatia and found that a vinegar bath will dissolve the spines and alleviate the pain. Nurse Laurie marched down to the dining room and got a bowl and bottle of vinegar and prepared a soak for Ryan not letting Ryan do much of anything but rest. Before the soak Laurie donned  her head lamp and trusty Swiss tweezers (with attached magnifying glass), which she never had a reason to use until now, and tried to pull the little spines out of the heel. There were 21 lodged in his heel and after a while of poking around Laurie was unable to get any dislodged - just too far under the skin and did not want poor Ryan to have a raw heel. We do so much walking every day that a raw sore heel would not be a good idea.... bring on the vinegar bath! (Poppa - all the good stuff in the medical kit that you prepared for me had paid off! I even had a bottle of peroxide to use with sterile cotton balls! )

Ryan was a good patient for Nurse Laurie and he soaked his heel in vinegar for an hour and then took a good long snooze. The internet also said that sea urchins produce a "venom" which we think was yet another "mickey" thrown at him (similar to the train rides) because after Laurie probed and picked, he just konked out! Ryan felt a little better before dinner, sore foot, but on the mend.

Laurie decided to investigate things further and checked the rest of his foot and the other foot. She found that he had slightly brushed up against another nasty urchin on his way out and had several more spines on the top of his foot, which Laurie could not begin to dig out so we left those alone, hoping the vinegar would dissolve the spines.

We called it an early night as we wanted the patient to get some rest.

Tomorrow we think we will hit the third Elafiti Island of Sipan as long as the patient is up to it!

Today's walk: 8.8 miles
Total for the journey (235.5 miles, 44 days)

Ryan and Laurie
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