Friday, 7 August 2009

Croatia - Day 7, Jadrolinija Ferry

In the morning the anticipated improvement in the weather did not materialise and we were greeted again with the lump of cloud sticking to the mountain over the Pelješac canal like a giant pancake whilst all around there was blue sky. The cloud cast a giant shadow over the town of Korčula and that was a shame because we had hoped to see the red tiled roofs under blue skies and sunshine but it seemed that it was not to be. The plan today was to spend the morning on the island and then take a lunchtime ferry back to the peninsular and then make our way back to Split.

With the weather prospects looking poor we agreed to change the plan and take the early morning ferry instead so after breakfast we packed in a rush and left quickly to be sure of catching the ten o’clock boat. As we left the Grgic I noticed that there was still no sign of the sign! At the harbour I bought the tickets and then noticed something unusual. The man in the ticket office charged me for a car and two passengers but only issued foot passenger tickets and I remembered exactly the same had happened on the way across. There was no trouble getting on the ferry and the man collecting the ticket only gave me back one ticket stub. I think that this may have been a scam and I thought about writing to Jadrolinija when I got home but I never quite got round to it back in the United Kingdom where it suddenly seemed less important.

The ferry left dead on time and as we watched Korčula slip away a huge cruise ship pulled up off shore and it was so big it seemed to dwarf the little town and we wondered just how it was going to accommodate two thousand cruisers who would shortly be going ashore. The amazing thing was that as soon as we left the harbour the sun came out and by the time we reached Orebić on the other side there wasn’t a cloud to be seen except for the stubborn pancake clinging to the top of the mountain. With the island fading into the distance I owned up about the cockroach and Kim had a confession of her own because it turned out that she had found and killed one as well and had also kept this to herself.

It was half past ten and we needed to get to the port of Trpanj on the other side of the peninsular to catch the one o’clock ferry back to the mainland so we didn’t stop in Orebić but took the road south before crossing west through the gap in the mountain and across to our destination. We arrived with about forty minutes to spare so parked the car in the ferry queue, bought our tickets and found a nearby bar to sit and wait for the boat. It was very hot now and the sun was shining so we sat outside and joined the local men who were having a lively pre-Sunday lunch drink in the company of friends in the way that men here have probably been doing for years.

The ferry was a bit late and when it arrived I couldn’t believe how small it was. It certainly didn’t look big enough to take all of the vehicles that were waiting to go on board and as we were at the back of the queue I began to start thinking about what we might do for an afternoon in Trpanj while we waited for the next one. One by one the cars and lorries started to drive on and it was filling up fast, finally we reached the front of the queue and as the man came across to say the ferry was full my heart sank, but no, instead he took our tickets and indicated that I should reverse onto the boat which I did with some difficulty. It was a scene of such complete chaos that it made a Greek ferry terminal look organised and if you have been on a Greek ferry you will know that this takes some doing. Well, it didn’t matter we were on so we made our way to the top deck and settled down in the sun for the one hour crossing to the industrial town of Ploce.

On the way there were good views of the Dalmatian coastline with grey mountains rising almost vertically out of the sea and up to one thousand metres high with only a little space between for the towns and villages that punctuate the coastline. It was a relaxing crossing and on the way across I reflected on our visit to the islands and I decided that even though they have superior plumbing arrangements I doubt that they could replace the Greek islands for me. We disembarked at Ploce and with the sun blazing down we anticipated a leisurely drive with frequent stops for sun and siteseeing.

1 comment:

Funnyface said...

Hi Andrew, Day 7 and i feel as if i have been on holiday with you. This is great writing, so enjoying it.
Thank you
Jaynee X