Trip Start Jul 23, 2007
Trip End Aug 23, 2007

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Monday, August 13, 2007

I stood outside for the hour long catamaran to Korcula, under the now bright blue sky. We seemed to have left the rains behind in Mljet. Josh had warned us that Korcula was also very busy, so we might have trouble finding accommodation. I had no idea the Dalmatian coast would be so busy at this time of year. So we rushed straight the to Travel Agency he recommended, and took the first place they offered- a twin room over a pizzeria for 400KN. Since we were splitting it, it was affordable- another benefit to travelling with someone else! The downside was that there was constant conversation. Of course, it's a double edged sword- it's nice to have someone to talk to, but sometimes you just want to be on your own, sit in a cafe, and soak up the atmosphere in quiet! Star has done a lot of travelling before, and seems to have had a very interesting life, so has lots of stories. Most of the time, I really enjoyed hearing them, but it can be a little draining listening and paying attention to someone for extended periods of time, especially if you compare it to the alternative of travelling alone! Either way, we were together, and would be until she left on Wednesday, so I had to accept the card's I'd been dealt. She's very friendly, which is fantastic, but does have a habit of talking loudly in her American accent to anyone and everyone she sees. Again, it's not that it was a bad thing, just different to travelling alone.

The smells that wafted up from the kitchen below our room were incredible, making us very hungry so we bought some lunch from the supermarket (she reminded me I didn't need to eat out every lunch and dinner to save costs). There is a local market in the main square there, just outside the old town, but I'd steer clear if you want any money left- I bought one nectarine, and she charged me 10KN- 1 pound! I think it's probably the most expensive nectarine I've ever had. It rained in the afternoon, but we both had umbrella's, so it scared away most of the tourists and left us free to explore without too many people. Korcula is another pretty town, very similar to Kotor in Montenegro. The old town, I have discovered, is like most of the other old towns that exist up and down the coastline, but the harbour is small and quiet, and the way of life is quite relaxed. In the afternoon, our attention was drawn to a huge group of people walking along, drumming, holding up signs and wearing matching T-shirts. I thought it might be a demonstration, but Star, of course, asked one of them what it was all about. The regional waterpolo teams were rallying for their teams as there was a big match tonight at the edge of town, and were trying to raise support.

After dinner, therefore, we walked down there to watch. We got there at 10pm, and they still had the final to play. Flares were being set off, the crowds (in a grandstand) were going wild, and the pool itself was in a walled off area of the sea- it must have been so cold! But the teams were very good- I'm not sure who won in the end, as it was quite hard to follow, but it was fun to watch at least.

The next morning, I woke up with the light, as there were no curtains on our windows, so I thought I would get up and take the opportunity to explore on my own. I wandered around the Old Town, following my nose, and relishing the chance to make spontaneous decisions and not feel like I was dragging someone around. We packed up and got the Travel Agency as soon as it opened to find a room for the night. Since we were there so early, we got a really cheap twin room over the agency itself, so another perfect location, with a balcony overlooking the Old Town for 260KN. This time I had set the limit at 140KN (each), so yet again, my target had been met.

There wasn't much else to see in Korcula Town itself, so we decided to hire some bikes and cycle to Racisce, along the coast, and see a bit more of the island. The route went along the bright blue coastline, at the foot of the densely green hills contrasting between the blue of the sky and the sea. There were gentle hills most of the way, but Star is a bit of a fitness fanatic, teaching spinning despite being twice my age, so sped ahead up the hills, and then kindly waiting for me at the top. When we finally reached Racisce, a small holiday village with a harbour, a few cafes and ice cream shops, we sat on the pebble beach and ate our picnic. Mine consisted of some dalmation ham (like parma ham) I'd brought that morning in the supermarket, not realising each slice cost me about 50p... I made sure I enjoyed it! I had some problems with the gears on the way back, as in the wouldn't change, so while I could climb the hills OK, I had to go very slowly on the flat bits. Better that than the other way round I guess! When I got back, Star had already explained about my gears, so I only paid for 2 hours not the 3 we used them for. Result!

As a reward, I got a big icecream, and Star went into a coffee shop. While we were in there, she noticed their espresso cups and thought they were "so cute!" She asked where she could buy them (like asking Costa Coffee where to buy their cups really). The waiter looked a bit baffled, but when she went on about them, he just gave her 2! If you don't ask, you don't get, I guess! She even later took back one of the saucers to change it because it had a chip in it :)

Star wanted to find a beach, and I wanted to sit in the sun for a while (it had cooled down sufficiently to do so now) so we went off. I felt obliged to put my swimsuit on, and wished I could just do what I wanted and not have to accommodate someone else. We ended up going for dinner even though I wasn't hungry in the least (I had to eat, as she had already commented about how she was watching what I ate and I wasn't eating enough). I watched the sun disappear bit by bit, agitated, as she slowly sipped her wine and finally made my excuses, left my share of the bill, getting to the harbour just in time to watch the sun disappear over the horizon. There were live musicians that evening, and I went up to try and listen to them, but saw Star sitting there. After I sat down briefly, and she launched into a story about her father, I just felt too stressed by the whole situation so went to bed.

From then on, it was a lot better though. I decided not to let someone else affect how I spent my time, so tried to be as selfish as possible! We got the 6am ferry back to Split, and I told Star that I wasn't handling travelling with someone else too well, so I'd be going off on my own to explore Split, and she didn't mind in the slightest. She's very easy going about stuff like that, which is good. I was in a bit of a bad mood on the ferry still though, and tried to sleep as long as possible. Was woken up by 2 Kath and Kim sound-a-likes, chatting about inane things in their drawling Australian accents behind me, and couldn't stand another minute so escaped outside. After an hour of letting the wind blow away my worries, we arrived in Split, a lot more relaxed!
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