Saturday, May 23, 2009

Durovnik to Plitvica Lakes

Today we got really lucky, there genuinely is a 'transit' route through Bosnia which in practice means a lane that says 'transit' and goes around the border post and continues on the same road that one would be on if one wasn't in transit. Go Figure!

We stopped in Slano for some coffee and a break. It is amazingly beautiful here on the Dalmatian coast, not to mention hot!

Mabel and the map both had a bit of a miserable day because some of the roads that were meant to exist didn't but it was all pretty well signposted so we made reasonable time. We stopped at a roadside stall and bought some cherries, a tomato and some dried figs. We also tasted some cherry liquer which was very sweet and very alcoholic.
The landscape here in the south of Croatia looks green but is actually very rocky with a topping of 2-3m high trees so while it looks quite lush, it is anything but. There is the odd rocky strewn field but on the whole it is mile upon mile of native bush.

After a couple of hours we made it onto the motorway which was a real pleasure, easily amongst the best, if not the best roads we have yet experienced in europe. We passed several bridges over the motorway which didn't have any roads over them and eventually figured out that these were for bears and wolves to be able to cross the motorway safely. It would seem that Croatia is taking conservation pretty seriously which is a good thing since the whole of western europe has pretty much wiped out all of it's endemic wildlife.

The terrain remained pretty much the same until we climbed up onto a plateau above Zadar. On the plateau the trees were much taller, about 4-6m and there was wide fields with agriculture in between areas of virgin bush where it was still too rocky to try and clear and farm.

We finally arrived at the campsite which is absolutely huge and can accommodate 3500 campers and the facilities are first class. Had a bite to eat before collapsing after the long, hot days drive.

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