Another day in Drage
The Bura winds were blowing less fiercely, but still too strongly, on my second full day in Drage. I had a brief ‘conversation’ with the lady who seemed to run things and I think we agreed I would stay till the following day. I was given breakfast of pork chops and potato, and encouraged to eat at the table with two old men. One of them turned out to speak German, so we were at least able to have a very basic conversation and he could translate questions asked by the lady. Having nothing else to do after breakfast, I washed some clothes in the sink in the hopes that they would dry out over the course of the day, and I sat down in the dining area and finished my postcards. Unlike the day before no-one wanted to take me anywhere this day, so I spent most of it writing postcards and job applications and generally mucking around on the internet while keeping an eye on the weather. The winds died down by the later afternoon, but with only an hour of daylight left there was no point in me leaving.
At about 5pm I was invited to join Tommy and the lady and the two old men for dinner. As usual the food was great, but the conversation lacking. Thinking it would be too rude to ignore everyone at the table my habit has been to follow the conversation as best I can, which is to say not at all. But I still tend look at the person who is speaking in case I do happen to understand something. This can be quite tiring and sometimes lead them to believe I understand what is going on, which can be a wee bit awkward. So after dinner, while I appreciated their encouragements to stay at the table with them, I retired to my room where it was warmer and I could cease concentrating on nothing.
Fortunately the following morning was as calm as predicted and I was able to get back on my bike. I got up a little earlier and was packed and ready to go by 10am when the lady came in. I gave her the money for the first night, plus the additional measly 30 kuna I had in my wallet, and a short note I had written in Croatian (with an English translation underneath in case I was actually saying nonsense). She smiled when she saw this, though didn’t make any comment, then brought me a coffee and asked if I wanted food. For the breakfast of soup, fried crumbed pork, and potato salad I was joined by one of the old men from yesterday and a girl in her 20s called Anita, who it turned out spoke English. Hooray! From her I was able to gather that all the people coming in and out of the restaurant weren’t customers so much as friends and family and they were getting their food and drinks for pretty much free. Tommy was her dad and the lady was her mother. And I also finally figured out what they had been trying to tell me about olives for the last three days. I’d only ever been able to understand ‘olives’ from what they were saying, not the context around them, but it turns out that the food they were preparing in the mornings was actually for the people who were away harvesting the olives, and the village of Vrana that Brani had taken me to in the dark was where the olive groves were. The food I had been given for brunch each day was just a little of the amount being made for the workers’ lunch, and it wasn’t customary to eat fried meat for breakfast! I was glad to be able to understand this, otherwise I would have gone away with quite an odd understanding of Croatian eating habits.
Anita passed on my thanks to her Mum and my desire to leave shortly. She asked what I was planning to do with my bike once I reached Split and when it came out that I needed to sell it she said she was interested in buying it for her Mum. So we spent the next 10 minutes agreeing on a price. While not much in comparison to the cost of the bike new, I counted it a fair exchange for the hospitality I had received from her family for a bike that has done over 1000km. They will come and pick it up from me in Split next week. I said my goodbyes and Anita's Mum rushed away to make me a sandwich to take with me. It turned out to be almost a whole loaf of bread with a giant piece of the crumbed pork. I was so full from breakfast that I couldn't face it till after 4 o'clock!
|Anita, her mother, and honarary Grandmother.|
Feeling quite pleased with myself for being able to sort out my bike and give my hosts some sort of payment for my accommodation and food, I was in good spirits as I went back out on the road. After two days enforced captivity I was glad to get moving again. The weather was dry, if a little windy. My destination was Sibenik, a reasonable sized town about 35km south of Drage. I passed through the seaside town of Vodice and stopped to find a cash machine to replenish my empty wallet. I didn’t hang around because most shops and cafes were closed.
On my way to Sibenik I came across people harvesting olives from the trees along the road and would smile or nod hello as I cycled past. The landscape was very rocky, with small hills every so often. The vegetation is coarse and scrubby and fairly sparse. I wonder how much rain falls in this part of the world.
|Landscape south of Drage.|
Just before Sibenik I came across a bridge spanning an inlet on the other of which I could see a town I hoped was Sibenik. By this time the winds had increased again and I thought it best to walk across. From there it was a relatively short ride into the city.
|Bridge to Sibinek.|
My hostel was situated just on the edge of the old medieval town. When I arrived it turned out I was the only person in the entire hostel! They hadn't had anyone for the last seven days. So I got to choose my dorm room and had plenty of space to myself. It being only 4.30 I went out to investigate the old town. It was surprisingly empty. There were a few people in the waterfront restaurants and a few in the main shopping street, but otherwise it was very quiet. I wandered the streets for a while and then grabbed a disappointingly soggy pizza and an average glass of wine at one of the waterfront places before heading home for the night.
|St Jakob's Cathedral by night.|