Colca Canyon

We were up early to meet with our driver for a ride to Cruz del Condor, the lookout point for the Andean Condors. We got to the lookout just after 8am, and as we walked up to a spot to view the condors, one glided right past us. The condors are huge and lazily ride the thermals in the mornings to gain altitude. The older ones are marked with white on their wings which make them easier to photograph.

We sat for two hours, changing spots a couple of times to catch a better view. We saw a number of them, exciting every time. With the scenic backdrop, it was a really neat thing to see.

We went back to the hotel and decided to have lunch in town – not much to choose from, so we just picked a spot. We ordered, and then the people working there started to leave… to go to the nearby grocery. Edith had ordered pasta, and they came back from the grocery and said they didn’t have it. Jay’s cheese sandwich came out, then we waited… then my soup came out, and finally Larry’s chicken. We continued to wait for my chicken sandwich, which finally arrived. Edith ate it since I couldn’t even finish my chicken noodle soup.

We had a reservation for a horseback ride at 2, but it turned out to be more of a horseback walk, with three of us on horses and the non-English speaking guide walking along. So we decided I would hang out with Edith for the afternoon, and Larry and Jay would go on horseback with the guide (on horseback).

Edith and I walked through town and figured out how to get to the arch that marks the entry to Cabanaconde. I suggested we walk a little more, because I had remembered a sign pointing to the San Miguel lookout just ahead. We set out for the lookout, and Edith found donkeys by the side of the road to photograph.

We made it to the point, about a 45-minute walk from town. We were glad we went there – it was a gorgeous view of the canyon, and we saw more condors coming back home. We hung out there a while before going back for dinner.

Dinner was at the hotel again (lesson learned), but I had decided to take my “noche” pill before dinner, on an empty stomach. I’d been on Peruvian cold medicines, some for day and some for night, for the past week. We got to dinner and Edith and I ordered an avocado salad, which caused trouble because it wasn’t on the menu, but she had seen someone the night before eating it. I declared that I felt high. Our hot chocolate was delivered, and I remember having some of that plus my avocado salad (which turned out to be a sliced avocado with some sliced tomato on the side), and then I think I remember Larry delivering me to bed before dinner was over. Bad idea to have the noche pill before eating.

Puno to Arequipa

… also known as The Horrible Bus Day.

We arrived at the bus station early, after getting breakfast and a stop in at Rico Pan to get sandwiches and snacks for the ride. The bus was scheduled to leave at 10am and arrive at 3 in Arequipa, nonstop. We waited and 10am came and went, and finally boarded the bus around 10:15. We were seated in the upper level in the front four seats. It was warm, and we finally left the station at 10:30am.

We traveled for about an hour, until we arrived in Juliaca, where we pulled into the Sur Oriente bus station to pick up… not passengers, but vendors selling all sorts of things to eat. They roamed the bus calling out whatever they were selling and making exchanges with other passengers. The bus went around the block as the vendors sold, then stopped and they got off. Did I mention it was warm? No air conditioning on the bus.

We continued on, and it got downright hot on the bus. We closed the curtains on the windows and tried to just sleep the day away. I fought congestion and claustrophobia. The bus kept stalling going uphill. We went over at least one high pass. It was hot. The one bright spot was our sandwiches from Rico Pan, which were delicious.

We finally pulled in to Arequipa at 5pm and couldn’t get of the bus fast enough. We decided to just get a cab to our hotel since it seemed kind of far…. except all the cabs were tiny. We finally had to exit the bus station and found a larger cab on the street, but the cab driver didn’t know exactly where our hotel was. After a detour, we finally found Casa Arequipa, a cute little pink bed and breakfast situated in a nice neighborhood. The rooms are really nice, and we had high fives all around – good beds and hot showers were ahead. Every room is different, and the ones on the top floor seem a little better, especially the ones not facing the street (Andean Room, Sillar Room).

We got settled in and then found out the place we wanted to go for dinner was lunch only, so we picked another spot and set out on foot towards the historic center to find our restaurant. Arequipa is a colonial city, and most of the buildings are made with sillar, a white, porous volcanic stone. The square feels European, and overall the city feels less Peruvian than Cusco.

We wandered around a bit, then had dinner at Zig Zag – good beef, ostrich and alpaca. Jay had a little of all three. The alpaca was good, much more tender than what we had in Cusco.

We came back to the hotel and re-packed yet again for our trip to Colca Canyon the next day.

Cusco to Puno

We decided early on that we wanted to take the Andean Explorer train to get from Cusco to Puno. It’s ten hours, and the train is made up of refurbished Pullman cars, and tagged as one of the most scenic train rides in Peru. It was scenic and nice to rest for a day but ten hours was a long time to be on a train.

We were up early to check out of our hotel and at the station just before 7am to check in for the 8am departure. The station wasn’t even open yet. When it finally opened, we had to show our reservation to get in, then we went into a little waiting room and were given a number to speak to an agent. The agent exchanged our voucher for our tickets and we went and checked in our luggage and went to another small waiting room, carpeted with nice wing chairs, with live Peruvian music. It’s the strangest train station I’ve ever been in.

We boarded and found that our assigned seats weren’t even together, and other people had taken our seats. So we just found a table with four of the same wing chairs around it and sat there. The train was two of the passenger cars with the chairs and tables (total capacity 72 people), a bar car, and an observation car with big windows, benches, and an open-air balcony.

They served breakfast (for a fee), but everything else was included – lunch, Pisco Sours mid-morning and mid-afternoon, afternoon tea, and juice. We went through many small villages, and the children waved at the train. We spent some time in the observation car and waved back at anyone who waved. We saw a lot of sheep and llama and alpaca herds and herders, and a lot of the Peruvian countryside. We passed through Juliaca, a city about an hour away from Puno (where the airport is located). Juliaca was having a market day (or maybe they have one every day, and we slowly made our way through town, inches from stacks of items for sale. We even passed over things for sale that people had put on the railroad ties. Juliaca is a pretty rough-looking town.

As I mentioned, it was a long time to sit on a train and by the time we got into Puno we were ready to be off the train. We got our luggage and set out to find our hotel, but we were surprised to see a driver with my name on it. I didn’t remember setting it up, but it was nice to have a driver ready to take us to the hotel!

We were staying at Colon Inn. I think there’s an accent in there somewhere but the name is funnier without it. It’s part of the Best Western chain, oddly enough.

The first thing we did was get onto the Internet and sketch out plans for the next few days. We didn’t have any reservations for the next six nights or so, and now it was time to make some decisions – how many nights to stay in Puno, how to get to Arequipa and Colca Canyon, and how many days to stay where. I sent out some emails to agencies and lodges and waited to hear back. Luckily the hotel had wireless and Larry and I both had our iPhones with us so getting email was relatively easy.

Next we had to search out an agency to take us out onto the lake the next day. We had an address for All Ways Travel, and as we stepped out of the hotel, we saw the sign right across the street – All Ways Travel. Convenient! We went up and decided to do the remote Taquile trip, which has a cultural focus and also includes a trip to Uros. Larry and I had planned to do an overnight stay with a family, but we decided it was a bad idea with how sick I still was.

The tour we picked out is on a fast boat, and limits the group to 8 people. We paid more for it but were happy with our choice. This meant we had to stay in Puno for two nights and travel by bus to Arequipa, so we made plans for an overnight in Arequipa.

We went out for dinner at Incabar, which was pretty good. Puno is fairly rough-and-tumble, not the nicest city, but there’s a pedestrian zone with some restaurants and shops. Incabar is located there. After dinner we turned in and got ready for the trip to the islands the next day.

Inca Trail, Day Four: Machu Picchu

We were up early for a breakfast of pretty decent pancakes. I was still sick and we had rain on and off. We had a photo session with our amazing porters and tipped them before getting our daily snack bag along with our lunch (sandwiches).

The trail was a very rapid loss in elevation (1,000 feet) all stone steps. Downhill is definitely as hard on the body as uphill. We stopped at Winay Wayna ruins – very pretty – for a bathroom break and clothing adjustment. There’s a small campsite there, the last one on the trail before Machu Picchu – only 4k left to go to Machu Picchu!

The trail continued mostly downhill, stone path and steps, then steep steps uphill to the first Machu Picchu gate, where we were greeted with clouds and mist. We continued on about 10 more minutes to the second gate, the Sun Gate, and were delighted and amazed with our first view of Machu Picchu as the clouds parted. We made our way down to the guard house terraces, where we had an illegal sandwich. Alavro insisted we wait until this point to have our lunch, but kept reminding us that it was our responsibility if we got caught. Weirdo.

We had a quick tour with Alvaro of the main Machu Picchu sites, then checked in and Alvaro left us. We decided to wait to go back into Machu Picchu until the weather and tourists cleared, and sat in the outdoor restaurant and had a snack. Lo and behold, the rain cleared (mostly) and so did many of the tourists.

We spent more time exploring the ruins. We all couldn’t get over how incredible this place is, and how neat it was to make the trek on the trail to reach them. It’s a huge city, surrounded by jagged, tall mountains.

We took the bus into town and checked into our hotel – Gringo Bill’s. Lots of potential but in a bit of disrepair and noisy. There aren’t a lot of mid-range options for Aguas Calientes, but the $700/night place was sounding really great by now. At least we had hot showers and we were able to get some laundry done.

Larry and I went to the pharmacy for cold medicine, then we had dinner at Indo Feliz. It was a really good meal, with trout, soup and dessert. We stopped in at a nearby Internet cafe and caught up on email and tried to decide if we should change hotels in Puno (we decided not to) before turning in for the night.

Inca Trail, Day Two

We were awakened at 5:40am by a braying donkey, followed shortly by a crowing rooster. Ah, nature. We had hot drinks at 6:30 and breakfast at 7. Breakfast was an omelet with queso Andino, tomatoes, bread and jam. Local dogs waited outside the kitchen tent for the chicken that was being cooked for lunch.

We were packed up and hit the trail by 8:30am. We were given snack packs for the trail – crackers, banana, candy bar. Everyone was in shorts and short sleeves. It rapidly warmed up due to the sun and steep trail – it was hard work. The conditions on the trail were alipine at first, then forest, then more tropical.

I had problems on the trial for the first two hours of hiking – heat plus altitude plus a steep trail were not a good combination for me. We had to check in at the ranger station part of the way up. I had an altitude headache at this point, so Alvaro gave me a cotton ball soaked with alcohol – a trail trick that seemed to work a little.

We stopped for lunch at four miles, at 10,900 feet. We stretched and had Coca tea and tried to dry out our shirts (wet with sweat!). Lunch was egg drop soup, avocado,, bread, hard boiled eggs, pasta, chicken and Tang to drink.

We continued to hike for another hour, two more miles to 12,400 feet for the next camp. Our porters amazed us, the trail was a lot of steep stone steps, and even though they stopped to take breaks, they still beat us to camp.

We arrived at our campsite at 2:15pm, a gorgeous spot with breathtaking views, situated next to a stream sourced from a natural spring. We washed our hair and shirts and soaked our feet in the frigid water and hung out in our tents for the rest of the afternoon. We were camped somewhat close to another group – the first time we’ve seen anyone else on the trail. They were far enough away that the only time we saw them was on the way to the bathrooms (hole in the ground yet again).

Our snack for the afternoon was coca tea, crackers and popcorn. We reviewed the map and the plan for the next day with Alvaro, and while we were in the food tent we got our first real rain. Dinner was aparagus soup (yuck), and beef and rice for Larry, Edith and Jay. I got a special meal of chicken and french fries (allergic to rice, but don’t ask why they gave me chicken instead of beef). Dessert was strawberry Jell-o that had been cooled in the freezing stream water.

We finished dinner fairly quickly and bant back to our tents. Noises for the night were lots of croaking frogs (one even made it into Alvaro’s tent). We had lots of storms overnight and slept a bit fitfully.

Pisac

[googleMap width=”400″ height=”300″ mousewheel=”false” typecontrol=”false” directions_to=”false”]Pisac, Peru[/googleMap]

Important news first – we got water at the hotel around 6:30 in the morning. Yay! I was thinking we might have to change hotels. We had a light breakfast at the hotel – eggs, bread, jam, juice for Larry, Edith and Jay, and fruit with yogurt, honey and granola for me. Larry, Jay and I continued sipping coca tea. I was still feeling pretty bad – headache, lightheaded, fatigued.

We thought today we might try to see some of the ruins around Cusco. Instead, one of the hotel staff had metioned the Sunday artisan market in Pisac, about 20 minutes away from Cusco. We decided to go there, but first had to go to the Mayuc office to get our second duffle.

As we got closer to Plaza de Armas, we hear marching band music. We stumbled on what turned out to be an every Sunday celebration in Peru. Kind of a mix between ceremony and parade, there were police and military marching around in formation, marching bands (both adults and schoolchildren in uniform), city officials and other dignitaries. And crowds of people. It´s hard to imagine them doing this every Sunday. We picked up the duffel and stopped in at a jewelry store and bought a few more things, then caught a taxi to Pisac.

I was really happy we decided to make the trip to Pisac. We got to see some of the countryside and views of the Sacred Valley were pretty amazing. Plus Pisac is at 9000 feet so I got some relief from the altitude.

We spent some time wandering around the market and bought more things. I bought a cob of corn to eat. The corn is different here, big fat flat kernels and the flavor is interesting – more starchy. We saw two girls with a cage full of quails, and the girls were hard boiling and peeling the quail eggs for sale. There were a ton of artisans selling sweaters, scarves, alpaca items, hats, and other Peruvian handicrafts. There were Peruvian women selling fruits and vegetables, making soups and frying stuffed peppers, and selling brightly colored dyes for wool.

Larry and I were wandering around and saw a woman herdins sheep through the city, right next to the market. She was headed away from us, but we were hoping to get some good photos so we ran after her. We ended up not catching her – she was fast! But we landed in a pretty spot at the edge of town, next to fields of quinoa.

We met up with Jay and Edith at Ulrike´s Cafe where we had good quinoa soup (Edith and I), creamy pumpkin soup (Jay and Larry), more coca tea, and a surprisingly good margharita pizza cooked in their wood-fired oven. After lunch we wandered around the market some more before finding a taxi back to town.

We did a little looking around for a restaurant for dinner before deciding to split up. Jay and Edith did more shopping and Larry and I spent a really nice afternoon at Cafe Trotamundos. It´s on the second floor, right on Plza de Armas, with a woodburning stove and a nice balcony overlooking the square. I had hot chocolate with multicolored marshmallows, and Larry had coca tea with lemon cream pie. We spent some time at their Internet stations, catching up on email and blog posts.

Afterwards, Larry and I wandered around the charming San Blas neighborhood for a while. Very cute, with nice stores and narrow cobbled streets. We met Jay and Edith for dinner at La Rentana for dinner. The restaurant was mostly empty except for a huge group of Chinese tourists having a buffet dinner. Jay had trout in garlic, I had quinoa soup (again, the altitude has left me with little appetite), Larry had excellent beef brochettes and Edith had a traditional Peruvian-style chicken (aji de gallina). Dinner was good.

We went back to the same cafe for a while for tea and desserts – little cookies called alfarjores, dense chocolate cake, and a quash raisin cake. I can imagine it´s very challenging to bake at this altitude. After dessert, we called it a night and went back to the hotel to separate our belongings into the duffels for the Inca Trail trek tomorrow.

Sunday artisan market in Pisac
Sunday artisan market in Pisac

San Francisco to Lima

[googleMap width=”400″ height=”300″ mousewheel=”false” zoompancontrol=”true” typecontrol=”false” directions_to=”false”]Lima, Peru[/googleMap]

We were up early for a 5am car to the airport (SFO). I ran late because I decided to re-pack at the last minute. It´s hard to pack for three weeks of active travel in both hot and cold weather. We picked up Jay and then Edith on the way and made it to the airport for our uneventful flight to Altanta, then on to Lima.

We arrived in Lima at just after 11pm, and it was midnight by the time we checked into our hotel. Fortunately we stayed in a Ramada Inn that´s located on the airport property, so we didn´t have to go far. The Ramada is a very nice hotel and we had a drink in the bar before turning in. Larry had orange juice because he was still nursing a cold/laringytis. Edith was smart and had more water, and Jay and I had Pisco Sours to celebrate our arrival. We turned in for a few hours of sleep before our next flight out.

Celebrating with Pisco Sours
Celebrating with Pisco Sours

Bled

[googleMap width=”400″ height=”300″ directions_to=”false”]Bled[/googleMap]

We woke to – big surprise – more rain! It actually wasn’t pouring, and when we looked out the window, we saw a bunch of runners passing by – it looked like a race! We got dressed and went out to see what we could find. It looked like a 10k that finished up with a loop around the lake. We were slightly disappointed that we didn’t know about the race, because we may have signed up – although most of the runners had mud-splatter all over their back so they must have hit muddy puddles on the route.

We watched the runners come in to the finish line. It was a pretty small race, but what a gorgeous route! The lake is crystal clear, and there’s a small island with a church, and the castle is on a cliff overhanging the city. Absolutely beautiful. It was starting to rain again, so we went to the hotel for breakfast, then went looking for another room for the night since our place was full. We went to a travel agency so we didn’t have to run around, and they got us a place that was reasonable priced, in a good location. Not the nicest place, but good enough.

We checked out of the hotel and transferred everything to the new place, then headed to Radovljica, a small, very nice little village on the Sava River. It was raining when we got there, and looked completely deserted. There’s a pedestrian zone in the center of town, which has a memorial to Anton Tomazh Linhart and a drinking fountain built in the memory of the town’s benefactor Josipina Hocevarjeva. There are also many old houses from the 16th century.

We found a place to eat lunch and had goulash (Larry) and roasted pork (me). Lunch was pretty good, and it seemed like it was mostly locals there.

The bee museum is devoted to Slovenian apiculture (bee keeping). It has exibits showing the evolution bee keeping in Slovenia, a working hive (we couldn’t find the queen), and a collection of painted front boards from old hive boxes. The painted boards were the most interesting because they depict all sorts of religious, folk and historical scenes. We bought some honey and a couple of reproductions of the front boards – my favorite is the hunter’s funeral, where all of the animals are happily carrying the dead hunter, but the dog is very sad.

After we left the museum, we went back to our favorite coffee shop for cake and tea/hot chocolate. Delicious kremna rezina! It was a nice, relaxing way to spend the afternoon. We went back to the hotel for a nap, then I worked on re-packing everything for the flight back to London. We had seven bottles of wine to keep safe on the trip back! It’s good we bought the spare duffle, because we needed it.

We decided to have dinner at a local pub – but unfortunately, it was closed. So we ended up back at Pizza Rustica, where we split another salad and a pizza. The pizza wasn’t as good as the previous night, but still good.

Dubrovnik and Trogir

We got up early so we could walk the wall around the old town without having to deal with rain and crowds. We decided not to run, since we didn’t have a route in mind, and old town Dubrovnik is pretty small and hilly. Lucky us – it was questionable weather but not rainy, and there was hardly anyone on the wall at 8. We did the wall clockwise, even though the suggested direction is counterclockwise (this was a Rick Steves suggestion). This way involved a bunch of stairs at the start (augh, more stairs!), but then it was pretty much downhill. The other people who started at the same time as us went in the other direction, so we pretty much had the wall to ourselves for most of the time.

The wall provides beautiful views of Dubrownik and the Adriatic. It was interesting to see all of the roof tiles that had been replaced due to the war in the early 90s. Also hard to understand how anyone could bomb such a beautiful city.

There are some towers along the wall. It’s amazing that it’s so old and is still sturdy – in fact, it once again protected the city against outside invaders during the last war. The people of Dubrovink actually held off the invaders for three months. They survived using water from the old aqueduct system, which flows out of fountains around the city.

The wall is around 2k around, and it took us about an hour and a half to go all the way around – we stopped a lot to take photos and just take in the views. Once we finished, we went and had breakfast at Cafe Dubrova, right at the end of our street. Good timing, because it started to rain.

After breakfast we walked around the city and shopped a bit. We bought local olive oil. It’s such a neat city, but there were a lot of tourists. It reminded me a lot of Korcula but with a lot more people. I didn’t especially like the crowds.

We had lunch at Cafe Festival (we each had pannini – tuna, chicken). It rained some more, and we stopped for gelato. So good, although I think it was better in Orebic.

We decided to head out earlier than planned because it was still raining. We had trouble finding our way out of the city. There’s one bridge in and out, and there was tons of traffic. We finally wound our way through narrow residential backroads, with tons of switchbacks. We just kept making our way uphill to the main road, but not before we made a wrong turn and ended up on a road that narrowed to the point that it was no longer passable. It took almost an hour to get out to the bridge.

We decided to our way to Zadar, which is also on the coast. It was getting late but we wanted to be in Bled, Slovenia the next night. Larry did some research on Zadar and other cities that sounded interesting along the way. He read about Trogir, which is just north of Split. Trogir is described as one of the best destinations along the Croatian coast. It sounded wonderful, but I didn’t think it was far north enough for us. It would mean more driving the next day.

As we passed through Split, we came to a Y in the road – go right to Zadar, left to Trogir. At the last minute, I steered the car to the left and we headed for Trogir. Talk about winging it!

Along the way, we passed through the Kastellas, where origins of Zin grape were found. We also passed the Split airport, which seemed surprisingly tiny. We pulled in to Trogir around 7pm and immediately found the hotel we wanted to stay at. Unfortunately, they were full, but they offered to help us find a sobe. We waited, and they arranged for the owner of the sobe to meet us at the hotel. The sobe was only about a quarter mile away. The woman who met us is the owner’s daughter – the owner doesn’t speak English. The daughter told us that they’ve had a lot of Americans staying with them lately.

The sobe was large – like a small apartment, with a dining area, refrigerator, and bathroom. The house seemed pretty new. The daughter was very friendly and invited us down for a glass of wine. We declined, but stopped in on our way out to dinner and met Patrick and Anne from St. Louis, who were also staying at the sobe.

The old town is quite charming. The area we stayed in is actually on an island, across a channel. The old town is on the mainland. The old town is also a walled, stone city, similar to Korcula and Dubrovnik, and is also pedestrian-only. We walked around and explored for a while, then had dinner at a pizza place (Pizzeria Jambas), which was quite good.

After dinner, we went back to the sobe and went to bed. It was kind of a long day.

Pelješac Peninsula

From Markaska, we made our way south, towards the Pelješac Peninsula – home of Croatian wines – namely, Plavac Mali, cousin of Zinfandel. We left the soba very early in the morning. Just past the exit for Sarajevo… I saw a cop on the side of the road. A bunch of cars had just taken the exit, so I had accelerated a bit… apparently too much. They got me on radar. Dammit! They don’t pull people over by coming up behind them, lights flashing. They just stand on the side of the road, one cop with a radar gun on the other side of the road, and one with a little wand with a red reflector on it. He waved it out to me.

The speed limit was 70kph (43 mph), their radar said I was going 84kph (52mph). On an expressway. Hmph. It was a 50-dollar fine, paid in cash right there, after I showed my passport. I even got a souveneir receipt. Who knows how legit it was, they just came up with the fine amount right there.
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We went on our way again and finally got to the Pelješac Peninsula. Mali Ston and Ston are the first two teeny towns on the Peninsula and are really interesting, at least for a quick peek and stroll around.

In Ston, we found a wine shop (Wine Shop Tir) that gave us a map and pointers on which wineries to go to. We had lunch there in Ston at a little cafe – spaghetti Milanese for me, black risotto for Larry. It was good – there’s a huge Italian influence in the area, and it seems to get stronger the further South you go.

The first winery we came to was Milos. It didn’t look like a winery, it looked like someone’s house. But there was a sign outside, and when we poked our head in to what looked like a tasting room and said hello, someone from the house heard us and came down. The winemaker makes a Plavac Mali as well as some dessert wines, but he only had the Plavac to taste. It wasn’t that great, so we thanked him and were on our way. We decided to skip some of the other wineries and go straight to Grgic and the Dingač region.

We found Grgic with relative ease – it’s the Croation branch of the popular Grgich Hills winery in Napa – Mike Grgic is Croatian and was involved in the seach for Zinfandel’s heritage. We only tried the Plavac. It was excellent, and we bought a bottle.

We continued along the peninsula to the Dingač, where we found the second winery we were looking for. No signs, and it’s located in a small village. It looked like a relatively large operation, and they have a regular tasting room. We tried several reds and ended up buying one. We liked them all.

We finally arrived in Orebic in early afternoon, and drove around a bit. We finally decided to go to a travel agency to find a sobe. They were quite helpful, and found us a place on a small street, fairly close to the water. The owners were nice – older people who didn’t speak much English, and the place had kind of a funny smell. But we had our own bathroom across the hall again. It wasn’t super fancy but it would do.

Orebic is a nice town. It’s right on the water, and there are narrow stone streets that run perpendicular to the shore. We immediately changed into our swim suits and walked up to the main road in search of beach towels. We hung out at the beach for a while. Well, really, we hung out on the rocks next to the water. I wouldn’t call it a beach – very rocky. There are concrete piers that people hang out on, and later in the afternoon we finally found a free one. We put our legs in the water – it felt nice, but we didn’t go in.

After we hung out on the beach for a while, we went to Beach Bar Amphora for drinks. It’s right on the water and there was a nice sunset.

We checked into ferry times for Korcula for the next day – our timing was a bit off, because we could have taken the car ferry to Korcula and then another car ferry to Dubrovnik from there. But the car ferry to Dubrovnik doesn’t run every day.

We showered and spent an hour at a bar that happened to have Internet access. We had dinner at Cafe Coco, which was quite good. It’s an Italian restaurant, so we both had pizzas. There is a huge Italian influence in Croatia, so along the coast it’s either seafood or Italian.