We have been so lucky with the weather here: sunshine daily and temperatures low to mid 20s. Not quite the high temperatures I hear the UK has experienced, 29 C in London, but still very pleasant. The sea has warmed up too, and we have all been swimming, not just Ben who seems immune to cold water.
We had an extremely nice day in Korčula on Saturday. We all set off on our bikes, Ben and Jack on crossbar seats, and Meg trotting alongside, for the ferry. We had visited the tourist office for ferry times, and had been given a leaflet. This showed an 11.30 ferry direct to the Old Town. We duly arrived at 11.15 only to be told that the 11.30 passenger ferry only runs Monday to Friday – we’d have to take the 11.30 car ferry that would dump us some 3 miles from the town. We had planned to lock our bikes at the ferry terminal but had a change of heart. The idea of walking 3 miles with Jack mostly on my shoulders was not appealing. I did seriously consider arguing that the 13 Kuna for taking a bike on the ferry should be waived as we had Bromptons that could be folded into a small package but decided against it and shelled out an extra £6 for two return bicycle tickets.
The passage took 15 minutes and we were soon on a delightful motor traffic free route hugging the coast between the car ferry terminal and the Old Town.
I think we must have chosen the day of the Korčula Marathon for our visit. As we passed the fire station we were offered cups of water, but just as I tried to grab one a runner, number 35179, passed me and snatched it just as I was about to take it.
Korčula is a fine town, not dissimilar from Dubrovnik, but much smaller, and walking along the town walls is free. Away from the walls the stone streets are narrow and stepped, set out in a herringbone pattern to guard against strong winds.
The town makes much of its connection with Marco Polo, even boasting to be the Venician’s birth place. There is little or no evidence to support this boast, but what is know is that he surrendered to the Genoese in Korčula and was imprisoned by them. It was in prison that a fellow inmate wrote about his journey to China.
After a good long day out we returned to the campsite to BBQ some sausages. The gas pipe between the bottle and BBQ was hissing and I could smell gas. We had a leak in the pipe. This should not happen and it is a concern that it has happened. We always cook outside the tent, usually under the shelter of the awning. The gas hose is about 15 months old. Initially on our travels I was very careful about packing and storing the regulator and hose, lightly coiled in the gas storage box, but more recently I had become more casual, tightly coiling the regulator and hose, and storing it for travel in a pouch on the Cadac BBQ bag. Clearly this was wrong and I have cause a hose which must not fail to fail. And I had foreseen the need to replace the regulator hose. From England, all around Scandinavia, the Iberian Peninsular, zig-zagging across Italy and up and down the Balkans, we have been carrying 2 metres of unused brand new BS3212 gas hose! From now on I will make sure that I replace all gas hose yearly.