Sun, Sand, and more Sun.

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Flag of Croatia  ,
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Waking up in Varazdin to find we have landed on their first day of their ten day yearly festival. This town is sweet and filled with market selling food, paintings, jewelery, it takes over the whole city. We try a freshly cooked crisps. It is one potato peeled into a spiral, fried and sprinkled with flavor. 
 We have come to Croatia for one thing......WATER!!! So we head directly to the closest part of the Adriatic Sea, a small town Senj. We find a fantastic free camping site with our own private access to the sea. We love it so much we decide that it is time that we took some time out and stayed for two nights and spent a whole day chasing the shade (so as not to get burnt), diving into the very chilly Adriatic Sea, and listening to the slight waves crash against the rock while watching the sun set with a beer in hand.

As we travel south, always with the Sea in sight and stopping for a cool dip every few hours, we kindly pick up two French students hitchhiking, they are friendly and quite. We once again free camp next to the sea and the next day find a town called Sibenik. Another gorgeous old city (the Croatian coast line is filled with these old towns) We visit Krka National park, a natural waterfall has formed a layer of limestone to give the rocks and boulders a smooth feel on which vegetation still exists . We are not advised to swim in the lake that forms at the base of the waterfalls- but there are hundreds of people and even life guards to ensure that we don't get to close the falls. We swim around cooling down and exploring the many rocks that sit not far under the waters surface.

On our way to Trogir (friends have recommended this town over split) we call a few diving companies eager to see what the Adriatic sea has to offer from underneath. Sadly because we have not dived for 12months we are required to do a check dive and after a testosterone clash between Soren and the company owner we book to dive one on shore and one boat dive. Sadly we walk away disappointed with the marine life on the Croatian coast.(lacking colour and fish both big and small) Our high- light was a small octopus (sadly only Donna saw it). We meet  Julia an english girl on our boat trip and catch up with her and her boyfriend for dinner. Getting back to Grandpa quite late only to realise...We have killed him, leaving the headlights on for 12 hours will do that to an old van. Luckily we have the leisure battery to jump start him, but he is not feeling well.

SOREN BIRTHDAY!!!!! 31 oh how old soren is getting. We are thinking to go into Split, Lonely Planet quotes 'Split a town free of mass tourism’ and as we drive in the direction of Split we are horrified at the mass number of apartment buildings filled with tourists, so much for free of mass tourism. We go into Omis for some rafting down the Siroki River. After a miss communication with the rafting owner and being told absolutely nothing on what to bring and how to raft down rapids, we are both very very tense and annoyed by the whole disorganisation of the company. We are in a boat with four other Slovakian paddles and being English we are the odd ones out and need to learn Slovakian very quickly. But after a few minutes we relax into the rafting and have lots of fun. One of our crew members likes to sing whilst paddling down the river. Many laughs (although not in English... but fun anyway).. one of these experiences was the Bomba! A term used to all sit in the bottom of the boat with our paddles up as we go down a deep drop in the river that lands everyone in the boat covered in water.

On our way to Dubrovnik we find an extremely cheap camp site or rather a car park, we park for 3.50 per night and again we spent another day relaxing by the sea. We head into Dubrovnik looking for a ferry to Italy, sadly there have no space for us but direct us instead to a Montenegro town Kotor. We book our ferry for 10pm with a 7am arrival. We explore Dubrovnik again a beautiful old city, it is so hot and it would  be nice to see it by night. 
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