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Published: August 22nd 2011
Armed with our map of Korcula bay, carefully drawn and explained by the artist know as Simon, we boarded the morning Catamaran among the customary hordes, bound for our next Island destination.
An hour later we approached a beautiful walled city from the Sea, it resembled a perfect miniature of its bigger brother on the mainland, Dubrovnik. Disembarking we fought our way politely through the room touts, which reminded me of “Slow Boats to China” – where Gavin Young is constantly assailed by mature women at every port soliciting their spare bedroom to supplement their small widow’s income. Not feeling inclined to accept the invitations of these more modern incarnations of Young’s port hosts, we headed off, fully loaded, to follow Simons map the supposed twenty minutes to the campsite on the other side of the bay.
Forty Five minutes later, with me sweating under the weight of 35 kilos including a tent, and Michelle battling with slightly less, we finally stumbled up a small hill by the sea, out of the glaring late-morning sun and into a beautifully shaded campsite. At 155kn per night it was punchy – that’s around £20 – just to camp. If we arrived
three days later (out of season) it was 85kn per night. We pitched in a private shady spot with..... a chair! Such luxury would regularly be battled over in the coming days.
The campsite was set in woodland 3 kilometres outside the pretty town of Korcula, on a separate headland which afforded great views of the town across the bay, and the mainland directly in front. We spent the afternoon stocking up supplies, swimming, eating pasta and grabbing a much needed early night.
Korcula is a much larger island than Mljet and there was a certain buzz in the atmosphere. The bays were full of yachts, the cafes and bars were busy and there were numerous bakeries, little vegetable stalls, and coffee stops within walking distance of where we were camped.
On Tuesday we strolled the pretty route along the coast, which the day before had seemed like an attempt at Everest, and headed for our first Internet session. We had Burek for breakfast for the first and last time too. It is a local delicacy and favourite for the first meal of the day, but I am sorry to say that pastry stuffed with salty cheese
did not do the local cuisine any justice and we resolved to stick with just our usual coffee to get us going in the mornings.
Again the rest of our day was spent rather lackadaisically. A stroll around the old town, some swimming, some budget saving camp cooking, some reading and a movie in bed in the tent!
Wednesday was treat day, and again we relied on the artistic talent of Monsieur Simon, whose inspired lines guided us clearly to a local eatery 3 kilometres inland. Here we sampled some local Mediterranean inspired favourites; Octopus and Potatoes and home-made pasta with Ragu and Shrimp, all washed down with the ubiquitous Ozujusko beer and a blazing sun. It was a fitting end to our Korcula Island time and the next day we were booked to get on the 6am ferry for a 2 ½ hr trip back to the mainland, and the busy city of Split.
After a final night with the mosquitoes, which had eaten us alive, we woke at 4am, packed in the dark, and hiked back to the ferry port. What we didn’t know as we boarded the catamaran bound for Split was that we
would not stop travelling until 5pm the following day (Friday). An adventure was waiting for us on the other side of the water.....
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