Let the island hopping begin

From Split there are many options by ferry boat. Surprisingly many of the services don’t allow bikes and I am limited to car ferries. The fast seacat is not an option as its foot passenger / luggage only.
The island south of Hvar is called Korcula, the guide book description and the fact it links quite nicely to Peljesac (another island) and then to Dubrovnik.

Korcula
Sometimes I try to avoid talking about bikes by changing the subject, but while waiting for my ferry in Split I really enjoyed giving advice to a French guy contemplating a long distance tour. To see my trip through someone else’s eyes reminds my how lucky I am to have the opportunity to do this.
The ferry lands on the eastern most side of the island in a town called Vela Luka around 9pm. A hunt for water and a ride out of town to the nearest secluded olive grove made for a convenient nights rest. The quiet southern road winds through terraced olive groves, pine forest, hollyoak scrub, vineyards and fig trees. It was delight to ride through after all the problems with traffic.

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Valley where much of the wine is cultivated

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There is a huge amount of terracing on this island.. a large amount of work has been put in to creating them by the ancient inhabitants

Today was some of the best and worst cycling. The road I took ended up at the bottom of a very large set of steps. Nearly an hour later I was at the top with the bike following a bolder strewn path going up at a crazy gradient, even I had to walk most of it. Near the end to the dirt track I treated myself to breakfast only to be swarmed by 10 or so wasps. These wasps are not like the ones in the UK. Their direction of travel oscillates wildly from left to right very quickly making and attempt to swat them impossible. They buzz around your face and land on your skin like flies. Fast and aggressive. I ended up running around in circles eating my porridge to stop them swarming me. The only one I managed to kill landed in my coffee and was scolded to death. Its a miracle I never got stung.
Then, the most perfect stretch of coast followed that made the day worth it.

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There are many of these ‘hobbit houses’ so small, they can only be used to store tools or provisions. Some were really cute, in one place I found a mini village of them..

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Hobbit house

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View over the bay near Korcula town

Korcula town
Very pretty town walled town where the streets are so narrow cars cant pass. Explored the backstreets, hunted for food (Burak) and visited the monuments.

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Peljesac
A 20 minute ferry ride took me the the next island. Dotted small villages that have transformed themselves into low key beach resorts offering rooms, apartments, ice creams, grills, beach bars and the usual seaside fun.

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Ston
Peljesac is joined to the mainland by a isthmus that has a purpose built town and wall to divide it from the main land. Build by the French (or by the locals at the request of the French) it is quite a feet of engineering. The wall has been restored and it is possible to walk from shore to shore. The views are a sight to see. Nearly a whole day spent not cycling. When asked how many kilometers I do, its days like this that really brings the average down. Rightfully so!

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Off into the distance the wall goes

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Route to Dubrovnik
Once back on the mainland to avoid the busy coast roads you must head for the mountains. Delightful views, but you really have to work hard for them. Asked around for rooms and was surprised to be generally asked for around 50 Euro for B&B, even after explaining I have a tent and was also considering camping. The campsite was 25 Euro a night for the usual patch of hard stony gravel, which was a bit of a surprise.

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I love Cyprus trees

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