14. Apr, 2016

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TUESDAY 12-5-14

We didn't sleep too well last night as it was a bit noisy, never mind we had cheap and convenient digs for the night.

During our extremely bumpy journeys of late we were troubled by the habitation door in to the living area shaking open, well it would have done so had it not been for the second security lock we had put on all doors and lockers. Once the door had popped open it would continually rattle against the inside edge of the second lock. To overcome this I cut a two-inch piece off the end of a silicone saucepan handle guard. I bought them for our set of three stacking saucepans which have steel handles. As it turns out The Chef has asbestos hands and doesn't use them, still I have now found a use for one of them. If anybody has a saucepan with a very short steel handle I now have a handle cover that will fit it perfectly. Having cut the length off, we push it in between the door and lock for a rattle-free driving experience. Well today I decided that as the roads were so much better now we should leave the modification off.

We left town during the rush hour, and we were reminded of the risks of using a Satnav with out-of-date mapping, you tend not to trust them. Soon after leaving the bus station we were being told to turn right at the next junction, a crossroads. We dismissed it as a wrong instruction, we knew which way we'd come in to town and would leave by the same route, so we decided to ignore it. As we were almost on the junction and I was about to shout about the sheer stupidity of the idiot coming towards us on the wrong side of the road I instead shouted 'SHIT' and swung the vehicle in to the right turn. We had been about to enter a two-lane ONE WAY street,  which of course, when we came in to town, was going the right way. The Satnav had been perfectly correct in its instruction, so I wagged my finger at it and told it I'd let it off this time.

About ten miles out of town the habitation door popped again. It really must be sorted professionally before we make another trip. Back towards the coast we went, stopping off at a supermarket for some fresh provisions.

For some strange reason at no point in this journey have we been able to buy large firm potatoes for jacket potatoes, those available are far too small, and all have a soft feel to them. We have to settle for what we can get, but it's seldom what we want.

Civilisation has returned to the shopping experience since leaving Montenegro. There are lots of familiar brands with shelves and butchery departments etc laid out in a familiar way. You have some confidence that even if you don't quite understand the label, you're not going to be unknowingly buying badger pie, or wild boars willy or something. We have the means onboard to mince our own meat and make both beef burgers and sausages, just so long as we can find a reliable source of meat. So far we've not needed to do any of that as we still have a supply onboard in our freezer, supplemented by locally bought chicken and ham.

The fruit and vegetables at the first supermarket weren’t up to much and so we decided to stop at the LIDL we'd spotted on the way here. On arrival, The Chef goes in to find those items whilst I stay with the vehicle. Since I was parked right over a drain I decided I'd dump my grey water. I was a little bit out on judging the camber in the road and some of the water ran out towards the centre of the road. I soon quickly relocated somewhere else on the car park with the deed done whilst trying to look innocent.

Back through all the border controls again, the usual stern faces, the usual questions about motorbikes, aliens, alcohol and used washing machines.

On reaching the Dalmatian Coastal road we headed north enjoying the views. The frustration was that we were doing it in the wrong direction. A bit like Highway One, along the Big Sur in California, you have to be travelling from north to south to get the best views of the Pacific Ocean; otherwise you’ve got the other carriageway between you and the cliff edge.

During the journey today we passed on our left hand side, a long concrete wall about five feet high, behind which was a row of houses. At the end of the wall was a great view down to the sea. Imagine my surprise then, when the driver of a small black car coming the other way looked right to admire the view and turned his steering wheel slightly to the right at the same time. BANG!! His front right side heavily clipped the beginning of the wall and he spent the next 100 yards scraping along the wall with lots of sparks and bits dropping off the car everywhere. When I checked his progress in my mirror I saw a front wheel compete with lower wishbone suspension arm dance in to the road. I was happy that it would be a non-injury accident and kept going, there were a few motorists following him that pulled up, and as we left the scene behind I was wondering what kind of story he was going to give his other half to explain his rather careless accident.

Late afternoon having consulted the map we did an odd thing - we did a 'U' turn. Our progress up the coast had been too fast and so we would go south a bit to find a campground, then decide if we'll backtrack a bit further for the better views. We found a campsite after a few miles of looking for signage. Camping Galeb in Omis (GPS: N43.440381º E16.679664º) . We've managed to bag a pitch near the beach, not because we're clever, but because everybody else was clever enough to bag the ones further back under the trees for shade. Apart from one miserable looking Dutch couple on the end of the row under the trees all the others appear to be German. More worryingly, we have been joined by a German motorhome which has parked right next to us. I shall sleep with one eye open tonight just in case they attempt a pincer movement.

The touring vehicle area is in the middle of the campground with long-term families etc parked at each end. These areas are always a bit rough, looking more like refugee camps. I don't know why campsites make such facilities available to long-termers, they always let the side down.  

Stir fry was the order of the day for our evening meal, though I'm beginning to think that when cooking on an electric hob when we're hooked up doesn't get the wok quite hot enough, we need it really hot to be effective. Time will tell. The Chef decided that since the Greek rosé wine was very sweet she'd try offsetting that by pouring it over some fresh strawberries which she had found a little tart, and having it as a dessert. But no - it still tasted awful, and ruined some strawberries at the same time, but I liked her thinking.

This evening we have watched a couple more episodes of 'Doc Martin' on the telly.