On the ferry to Stari Grad I finally finished my bloody book and packed my laptop away. When we pulled into the harbor, b/f & I decided to walk into town rather than catching the bus, which was heaving with backpackers. En route, some young men opened their packs in the grass on the side of the track and changed their clothes.
‘What are they doing?’ I asked b/f.
‘I don’t know.’
‘What language are they speaking?’
‘Perhaps they just got off the plane and they’re too hot.’
I had booked the AirBnB in Stari Grad somewhat in error, not realising how far away Hvar, the main town, was. As it turned out, it was a blessing, as Stari Grad was far and away my favourite place on the trip. We located the house in which we were staying, and were greeted by our host’s Mum, who was looking out for us as we walked up. She took us to the house and showed us the air conditioning. I logged into the wifi & sent off my book to my agent.
B/f and I wandered into town, which was calm and quiet, with clean, paved streets. We had a drink to celebrate my newfound liberation from my literary albatross, then went back to the house for a siesta. That evening we ventured out again through the cobbled streets and I snapped a shot of a family in the square, the little girl dancing with abandon.
We found ourselves outside an interesting looking restaurant, and decided to venture in. Well, it was just gorgeous, with mismatched furniture, a visitation from a cat, good wine and that excellent Pag cheese. Although b/f is immune to romance, I was charmed and very happy.
The next day we wanted to explore, so b/f and I hired bicycles from a fellow with a stand near our accommodation. We went east first, and the path soon disappeared. I wrestled with my giant bike, until a strapping Mediterranean man, walking behind us with his girlfriend, lifted it up for me over the rocks. B/f walked on, oblivious; one of his habits. Eventually we could go no further and decided to swim in a cove. Except it was, we discovered, a nudist cove.
‘I think we’re overdressed,’ b/f mused. ‘Shall we put on our birthday suits?’
‘No! Well, you can, but I’m not going to.’
We watched a German woman fastidiously apply sunscreen to every inch of her skin, and those of her two boys. I snorkelled, but there was nothing to see except the algae. It made me sad; the ecosystems must have been disrupted by all the boats shunting into the harbour. The top half of a pineapple had lodged itself among the rocks and I figured the rubbish wasn’t helping either.
We then set off east to visit the UNESCO paddocks, which had been farmed for some 2000 years. Weirdly, this info wasn’t in the Lonely Planet; I’d found it by poking around online. B/f was anxious about making sure I didn’t get hit by a car that I couldn’t hear and I was a bit stressed too, so we pulled off down a track and discovered old structures made of stones, set among cypress trees, with some cool plants in flower. After cycling for a bit longer, we headed into Vbroska, which was such a pretty place I wish we could have stayed there. We made our way along the bay until we reached a resort, and yours truly started getting pretty shirty on account of the heat. I wanted to swim, but b/f wanted to push on through the resort. I spat the dummy and we turned back and parked our bikes, then stepped over the rocks into the water, which was gorgeous
Harmony restored, we climbed back on the bikes and b/f found a way through the paddocks that was much quieter. I was still hot, but distracted by the amazing vegetation around me.
That evening there was a full moon and b/f and I ate olives and cheese and drank red wine on the verandah of our AirBnB, which was screened by a grape vine. I was marvellously happy.