Wild Split

 

 

While Kev drove down in their van Ali flew in to meet us all, chill then meander back North slowly pulling in a few stops on the way before we split (can you see what I did then) as they had an appointment with Venice and a plane booked homeward.

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Al needs time to chill and slow down to our pace of life
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That didn’t take long then !
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Breakfast by the sea or was it lunch ?
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So let’s go visit Split
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Like all old sea trade routes it’s a mix of every kind of architectural influences including those Romans again
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High rise
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Columns
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This is Grgur Ninski, big as a church he was !
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Roman baths in their day
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With a short ferry ride we visited the island of Brac
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Sunny out, raining back but it’s hard to get the camera out in the wet
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View of harbour at Brac from the ferry
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It’s only a small narrow lanes place so tractor parking is hard to come by
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Al chilling, again ! She’s getting the hang of this
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Krk, camp Njivice

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The Dalmatian coast dotted with islands and old fishermen
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Catching fish on what looks like a mill pond
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The sundowner bar right on the sea front
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It’s a rugged coastline which makes it all the more beautiful
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I spotted a pair of Black throated loones so set out to get as close as possible !
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And disturbed one of thes about 1m long, I don’t know who was more scared (pics courtesy of google)
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We came across a fallen pine tree, some people have a good eye and a talent to create something to put a smile on anyone’s face, this was out walking the coastline in the middle of nowhere
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The cycling is the only way to get around and a pleasure
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But I kept getting a feeling of being followed though !
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So it’s time to relax it what is a very comfy hammock, in fact I don’t know how I’ve lasted this long without one (a birthday prezzie for the man who has [almost] everything)
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Time to weigh anchor and move on as those boaty folk say

Lake Garda

Simply stunning in the sunshine. Campsites surround the lakes edge each one as good as the next, Great Crested Grebes keep you awake at night, then you realise the amount of fish in the lake, it teams with fish also got my first glimpse of a Great Reed warbler, heard it first and my first cuckoos of the year.

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View on first sunset from our pitch
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It’s a huge volume of fresh water
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Cycle rides abound…
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….as well as eatery’s
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We fell on a sunny week according to the locals, bargain !
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I could sit all day here and drink coffee looking out at the lake
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Castles around every corner
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Boats on every bit of spare water
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You can see from the mountains and the lake the reason people from all over Europe flocked to spend time and money here
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If you had a boat would you want it on a lake ?
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Just have a coffee and think about it !

Cinque Terre

So we bought tickets for the train ride to see the five villages clinging to the cliffs, we all jostled for a window seat with sea views, we soon realised it was 95% tunnels, when you burst into the station and sunlight you felt like a pit welder with arc eye !

In truth it was well worth the ride and a brilliant piece of market tourism.

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Five fisherman’s villages hung on the cliffs
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Each linked with the railway
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Each tunnel interrupted by a village
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Some at water level….
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….some high up
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This tested the old knees
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How the old folk manage is beyond me
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Flowers always work
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You can walk between villages across the tops
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But a severe storm closed most of the routes due to land slip, killing some and it’s still not passable in places, so it’s train or boat
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La Spezia
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At sea level it’s only ever up
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Or down…..
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….or back up !
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Lord Byron had a bit to do with this little grotto, he got everywhere as if Newstead Abbey was a mid terrace back-to-back !

La Sfinge

Set into the side of the valley the site was one of the most peaceful yet, but the week earlier the rains had the whole valley a seething torrent looking at the tree line devastation. A two mile walk down into Devia Marina and the train station to the Cinque Terre and La Spezia, so a walk over the mountains it is then.

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La Sfinge (the finger) covered in climbing gear for those with a head for heights
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Martha, on the site named after the finger
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It sits in a valley cut in two by the river even so you will always find a church
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It’s easy to walk down the road but not as interesting as over the hills
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Middle of nowhere left for the ants
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Wood boring beetles bleed the pines dry of sap, thought it was bird droppings from a distance
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I had to act fast, he didn’t want to hang about, even reared up when I tried to slow him down
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This is lizard love, catch em by the waist and don’t let go
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“Indiana Jones” mode
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Found some beautiful mountain streams
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Monument to the old mountain rescue teams I think ?

Leaving Portugal

We had an offer to meet up with both the Hudson’s and Clark’s for Easter in Spain, Puntas de Calnegra to be precise even though it was a few weeks away it was on our plan to get to Croatia for May, so off we shot, through Seville into Andalusia to a place used as another “Game of Thrones” set, Osuna. Very medieval and unchanged apart from the Eroski car park we used as an overnight stop.

The mountains still had the chill factor and some snow so we dropped down into Malaga with stunning views of the river valley onto the coast road and 10 degrees warmer to Castell de Ferro to catch up on the laundry.

After a couple of days we moved on to another old favourite the port of Almerimar before our final push into Puntas de Calnegre to drink and eat away the Easter holiday.

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Seen in Portugal this old bus with a German plate, beautiful !
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Osuna
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All very narrow, steep and old
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Even the Eroski car park has facilities to dump, take on water and stop over for the night with great views for free.
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The ride out of the hills to the coast road, all very green after the winter rains.
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Almerimar again watching the harbour entrance with a glass of Vino tinto
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Snow on the hills near Osuna, it was chilly up there !
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Busy boats over wintering, the red one was an Australian pair who sailed from the Gold Coast picking up two cats and a Labrador on the way !
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The Aire at Puntas de Calnegre, €6 for everything but lekky, bargain with the solar panel in full swing.
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Meal on the beach before the Spanish rock up then the party and noise levels really do go up !
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Coastal walk to loose a few of those calories from last night
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Beautifully rugged and warm.
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Well fancy that a cafe bar on the beach
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Picnic time
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Other than a few German naturists we have the little coves to ourselves
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Planning meeting over coffee for this years Deathfest itineraries ?
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He sat most days weaving his baskets
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A proper old tradition
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Finish with an Easter flower shot across the bay from Chris. Happy Easter 🐣 

 

South bound

Overnight on the promenade at Dover for an early crossing and a mad dash South, three overnight aires got us to the Med, Guisson to be exact one of our favourites. First stop just South of Reims, Mailly-le-camp then just South of Lyon in a little courtyard very close to the church bells! in a place called Seyssuel, finally onto the Med at Gruisson on the coast near Narbonne. Still cold but we have left the fog behind us. Plan now is to head West into Spain and hopefully a bit of sunshine and get a site for Xmas and a planned visit from Shaun.

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It was P&O actually
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Foggy, cold drive south.
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Starts to warm a little.
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Vineyard stop, just us and some Belgium campers.
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Views out the back…..

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…and front of house.
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Ah Gruisson at last.

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In Spain now on the Rio Ebre, Deltebre

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Cycle paths everywhere.

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