Day Eighteen

Trip Start Jul 12, 2010
Trip End Aug 03, 2010

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Camping Anhony Boy

Flag of Croatia  , Korcula,
Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days really do not come better than this. As we woke up, the sun was dappled on the water and it is almost as if a thousand and one stars are shining below the surface of the sea. We have a leisurely morning, as Vicky's second windsurfing lesson is not until midday. However, unfortunately the cafe has run out of chocolate doughnuts, which is something of a catastrophe as far as certain boyfriends are concerned. Vicky cycles up to the shop in search of said doughnuts and is relieved to find that there are six doughnuts left. The woman who is first in the queue takes about an hour to buy a pastry; for some reason she is refusing to pay with the 100 Kuna note she is clutching and is attempting to pay on card, despite the fact that the shop assistant keeps informing her that it is too small a denomination for a card transaction. Eventually she reluctantly gives up the note to the relief of everyone behind her in the queue. The American in front of Vicky then proceeds to buy up all of the remaining doughnuts; Vicky attempts to persuade him that he doesn't need all six, but he refuses to believe her. Danny therefore has to make do with an apple strudel pastry which is apparently a rather poor substitute, but better than nothing.

Have a cup of coffee, whilst Danny contemplates the fact that the ants on our camps-site are the largest he has ever seen and wonders whether, given their size, they might make a nutritious meal. Vicky reassures him that we are not yet so much over budget that we need to resort to consuming the ant-life of Croatia, although it might in fact make excellent revenge for the numerous bites Daniel has received over the course of the holiday.

Vicky has an amazing second lesson on the water and only manages to fall in once, when she is taken out by a Polish tourist. After the first lesson, we hire a board and Danny takes her out onto the water. To both of our intense surprise, given her total lack of co-ordination, she takes to the sport immediately and is soon out in the middle sea with Danny and learns  to tack, gybe and steer, albeit in a rather ungainly fashion and with rather less style and panache than she would like. Of course this is due to Danny's excellent instruction, rather than any natural ability on Vicky's part. Danny has Vicky doing some balance exercises which see her landing head-first in the water; this was apparently is primary intent, given that she has not yet had a dunking. However, we eventually have to come off the water as we are heading into Korcula for the evening.

We catch the water-taxi at 7.00pm and play an intense game of how many tourists can squeeze into the tiniest boat on the water? Our driver who can barely fit through the door of the boat speaks no English and proceeds to steer the boat with one hand with a complete disregard for any possible windsurfers or swimmers that might be on the water, as he talks in very fast Croatian to his friend.

*Newsflash* Danny is abandoning camp due to the discovery of a squashed dead scorpion on our milk carton.

We dock in Korcula just as the sun begins to set. It reminds us a good deal of Dubrovnik, with white flagstones and tourists milling busily around rather like the ants in our cam-site.It is something of a shock after our few days spent in the peace and calm of Viganj and we suddenly feel as if we are back on the tourist trail. First order of the day is cocktail and we climb up a rather hairy-looking ladder to the top of a turret. We find a gem of a place, where we have cocktails as we watch the sun slowly bronzing the harbour.

As we enter the market-place there is something of a buzz and we can hear the strains of chanting coming from the church. It turns out that we have arrived on a festival day and we watch as a process unfolds, with men and children dressed in traditional white costumes carry lanterns and crosses across the square. Google duly informs us that we have arrived on the Day of the Town of Korcula, and today is feast-day, in honour of the town's protector, St Theodore. The  town is built on a herring-bone pattern, presumably to allow the air to circulate, yet still providing its inhabitants with protection against the coastal winds. As a consequence, there are numerous back alley-ways, which Vicky leads Daniel down in an attempt to find a vacant table at a place which does not serve pizza or pasta. This initially seems an impossible task, but we eventually dart down a back-street and find a little restaurant off the beaten-track, where we quickly grab a table. We have won again and the food is excellent; perfectly cooked steak and fresh prawns. The wine is dirt-cheap and accordingly we make the most of the litre that is delivered to our table.

As we head back in search of the water-taxi, we realise that perhaps the amount of wine we have consumed might in fact hinder our ability to a) find the boat and b) manage to climb aboard. We have arrived twenty minutes early, but spend a considerable amount of time meandering through the harbour trying to spot our boat-driver. Danny suddenly spies the Boxer that travelled across to the island with us and we dart through the crowds, following the dog and its owner, which to our relief leads us to where the boat is anchored. The engine literally starts as we jump aboard and we do not have to hitch any lifts with passing prostitutes today.

We stop off at a local bar, whose live band is belting out the likes of Queen and Barry White. Some dude with a video camera videos us for a little while and we are not entirely sure if this is a good or a bad thing. If you YouTube 'drunken English tourists in Viganj' you might well find us. We decide that as the wind is meant to pick up in the morning and both of us are keen to get back out into the water, we will prolong our stay in Viganj another day. That is, if Vicky manages to persuade Daniel that the likelihood of his being eaten by a scorpion whilst he is sleeping is slim to none.

A poem for Daniel

The scorpion's name is Stingaling,. A most repulsive ugly thing,
and I would never recommend
that you treat him as a friend.
When you see his tail move, run away!
He wants to make a sudden jump
And sing you hard upon your rump."

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