So the plan was to catch the ferry on saturday and then back on monday or tuesday, but I didnt realise that the ferries didnt run that frequently, or that it was so far to unije island The best thing we found was a catamaran on sunday (3.5 hours) and two ferries back on tuesday, leaving at 6.30 am and not getting back until 11 pm, 8 hours on ferries and a day in mali losinj. I was annoyed at first, but it worked out for the best, as things tend to do.

We found a great campsite in a little village, Babinje, it was run by aussie-croatians, and they were great, so nice and friendly, typical aussies, the campsite was on the adriatic, well you had to go through the bar to get to the water..the bar was a cafe/ bar where we hung out and drank tea and chatted. I met croatians and slovenians and had a chance to ask the millions of questions that I had about the countries and the differences between them, they were so nice at the campsite that they insisted we leave Rosita there and they drove us to the ferry,...so that we would save on parking and taxis. (campsite rates for the two of us about 15e a night!...and not for the nights Rosita was there on her own.


It was so great to hear the aussie accent again and to experience such generous warmth. I was reminded so much of why I love the place. Of course Croatia and the Slovenians that I met were much the same. So much so that I was wistfully thinking of how I could afford a tins adriatic-side shack!

so we caught the ferry to unije, a tiny car-speck on the adriatic, a croatian version of inis oirr. We stayed in a traditional house right on the harbour, with a little garden shaded by a vine, an outdoor shower of sunwarmed rainwater. Vera was the perfect hostess, she fed us on homemade bread, homemade ice-cream, great food, great conversation. Her two little girls are adorable, they were very perplexed at the strange language we were speaking and it is a little disconcerting to have a little moppet speak earnestly and repeately at you , and you have no idea what she is saying. We ate, we swam, it was wonderful not to drive and to be in a bed. Altough it was also great to get back to Rosita, after our epic return journey. I am seriously not cruise material! half an hour on a ferry is long enough, the return journey was about 7.5 hours, but it was OK, it was empty and when we arrived we got a lift back to Bibinje in another spontaneously generous croatian fashion...

seriously I love this place!
 
 
I was actually annoyed with myself when I found that I was in croatia as I had wanted to stop in a little slovenian cafe...that was until we were driving down the road and spotted a pig, spit roasting outside a resturant...there were tyre tracks on the road, we spun around so fast.

We had an amazing meal, a huge platter of spit roasted pork, chips and raw onions, local bread and a couple of bottles of water...all for about 30e, of course expensive by local standards, but it was awesome.

We were busily congratulating ourselves on finding the restuarant, when we realised that every second place had a pig roasting outside. I would feel very insecure if I were pork in this place, but it was so so good. On the way here today we passed another place that had half of the meat counter of a supermarket, roasting outside..we know where we are going to eat tonight, no idea of where we will sleep!

We drove and drove some more, heading for a ferry port about half way down the coast. Again we avoided motorways, and so had a beautiful (rain shrouded) trip hugging the coast all the way. This place looks like what I would imagine the sorrento coastline looked about 30 years ago, tourism seems to be the biggest industry, but its of the campsite and B&B variety, rather than big hotels, I guess campsites are cheaper to build. Get here soon, before it becomes like every other concrete holiday spot. We stopped in a little campsite, which was just a flat bit of land looking out to sea, a row of campers, cliffs behind, sea in front., The sound of the waves only drowned out by the thunderstorms. There was a little restaurant just by the campsite, even closer to the water. Vodkas about 70c a shot!

Today it is still wet, and we have arrived at the ferry port, food shortly and then somewhere to sleep, our ferry doesnt leave until a civilised 4pm tomorrow, a 3 hour trip on a catamaran for about 7e each...like I said get here soon.

The city Zadar is a combination of un touristified roman ruins and communist architecture, set around a gorgeous bay. We are going to stay with some slovenian friends tomorrow in Unije island, car free, island, so a bed and no driving for a couple of days, bliss!

So folks, if there is anything you want us to bring you back from our travels (including the hypermarkets in France) email me your lists..

 
 
But we didnt spent long in Slovenia. I awoke on thursday morning in Trieste in Italy, my birthday, to an apocalyptic thunderstorm, imagine a hundred gene kelly dancing on the roof of our little van and you will get an idea of the rain! It was fabulous, we havent had a good thunderstorm since we left Australia. Trieste does look beautiful, what  one can see of it through driving rain, the harbour and then whole road is majestic. For once we were in a legitimate camper park, While I could wax lyrical about Rositas strengths, one thing she does lack is a loo, this is not a problem under cover of darkness, but I didnt fancy flashing my butt to half of Trieste, plus with all the water pounding down outside it may give chinese water torture a run for its money!

But as I said Trieste was gorgeous and we LOVED! the motor way service station (loos!) so leaving the city it was time to head for Slovenia, continuing our policy of getting lost on the way to the border and avoding motorways we eventually got to the border. This one looked official, we were prepared for sniffer dogs and strip searches, but the border guard was too busy playing mine sweeper on his computer, flashed us a bored glance and waved us through. he didnt even want to look at our passports. So far the only country that has looked at passports has been switzerland.

Slovenia was very wet. I have said in the past that we are undoubtedly much beloved by rain, if not then we are rain goddesses, as it follows us everywhere, when I visited south africa, they had the worst two weeks of weather in years, when we were last in Australia, ditto, I could go on...suffice it to say that now that the rain had caught up with us, it wasnt leaving us again.

We took a quick look at the lipizzaner stud farm, but sadly arrived on the wrong day for the performance. We had thought about caves, but were put off by the zillions of cars and tour buses, obviously everyone else thought it a good idea to escape the rain too. So basically we drove...

slovenia is a pretty country so much less populated than some of the areas that we travelled through in other countries, we found more mountains and did a lot more driving up and down. Rositas clutch is starting to protest a little. But hopefully she will be content to wait until we get home for Seany Madden to caress her innards.

we found the border OK and yet again we got waved through...an