Croatian Hospitality A+

RadeWe arrived in Zavalatica to be greeted by Rade, a cousin of a good friend of ours, who helped tie us up to the wall, which we had all to ourselves. After some quick introductions and a beer or two, Rade whipped us home to meet his lovely wife, Marinka, and his Father in law, Marinko.

We were then treated to his wine (quite good) and his grappa (strong – not so nice!!!!), along with some of his olives (which were yummy evidently). Then it was off to see a big of Korcula by car. We headed over to Vela Luka, a largish harbour town, which looked well worth a visit. Along the way we drove through Rade’s vineyard and along a pleasant inland highway. After buying some fuel and stopping off for some cocktails at a nice bar we headed back to a wonderful feast that Marinka and Rade had prepared for us. What wonderful hospitality.

Over a few more glasses of Rade’s wine, we hatched up a plan to sail down to Dubrovnik to pick up Mark and Leanne, and then back to Rade’s to watch the AFL Grand Final at 6.30am in the morning. Then we would sail back to Dubrovnik to drop everyone off at the airport. Simple really. Rade fitted neatly into this plan as he could delay starting work and come along with us for the week.

So next morning at 6.30am, Marinka dropped Rade off along with enough wine to nearly sink the good ship La Mischief, and off we went. Rade was having a great time sitting up at the helm station taking in the wind and the sea as we bashed our way into 25kts.

It settled down as we entered the straight between Mjet and Peljesec and by the time we got to Dubrovnik, the seas were really calm and we anchored right in front of the main town – prime spot.

Safely anchored, we took the dingy into the old port and found Mark and Leanne waiting for us. With them safely aboard we had a full boat of 7 – but La Mischief has heaps of space so it worked really well.

Rade had a cousin who worked at the Excelsior , a rather posh hotel on the cliff face, so after grabbing pizzas in the old town we walked up there to sample his cocktails (which were rather excellent), whilst sitting on a balcony overlooking La Mischief in front of Dubrovnik all lit up at night. The hotel had a wall with pictures of all the rich and famous that had stayed there – no usual – Richard Burton and Liz Taylor etc. – funnily enough nobody asked us for our photos.

Next day, we spent a lovely morning, showing Brad, Bec and Cas around the old city, whilst Rade (who’d seen it all before) had a great time lazing about on La Mischief. We did the wall walk and Brad got a little infatuated with the waitress at the bar on top of the wall. Definitely a tick.

We finished the morning at a great restaurant overlooking the bay. Rade came and picked us up in the dingy after we got back and we spent the afternoon swimming and paddle-boarding.

Next day it was time to meander slowly back, visiting some of the highlights between Dubrovnik and Korkula. First stop was Otuk Lupid island, where we found a beautiful white sandy beach at Uvala Sunj. It was perfect, great beach, with a couple of bars behind, all a comfortable swimming distance from where we dropped the anchor. A perfect lunchtime stopover.

From here it was a short sail to Sipanska Sipan on Otuk Sipan, where we were planning to continue our Tour De Fork. We anchored off the restaurant where we were planning to eat and went off exploring the town. We were particularly interested in all these renovated buildings, quite big buildings. completely wrapped in plastic.

Then it was off to continue our Tour De Fork. Hopefully someone will help us out with the restaurant name as neither Google nor I can come up with its name. Anyway, whatever it was called it was damn good. We each ordered a main course, either fish or veal and then they proceeded to bring us out a hundred and one entrees, all brilliant. Couldn’t argue with any of them. When we finally got to the mains, we did have an argument about which was better – I think the veal won. Then it was onto desert and coffees. Somehow we didn’t sink the dingy on the way back to La Mischief.

Next morning it was up early and off to Mljet. Rade got a good laugh around our pronunciation of Mljet, but came round to our way of thinking in the end. Bit of an in joke with Howie.

The wind had started to pick up from the south so we had a lively sail up to the top of Mljet where it was lovely and protected. The top end of Mljet is a national park and is a wonderful wilderness. We found a beautiful anchorage in a bay near Pomena at the northern end of the island. It offered the perfect shelter with beautiful clear water around its edges. We anchored in the middle and backed into the shallow water tying up to a tree on the shore at the back.

It didn’t take long before Brad was jumping off the roof into the water, enticing Bec, Mark and Leanne to follow suit. Leanne was careful make sure she cleared the lifelines on the side of La Mischief, which made for an interesting face plant on her first attempt. The bay was dead calm so out came the paddle board and canoe and everyone had a great time whiling away the afternoon.

Next morning, after a swim, we were off back to Rade’s so we repay Rade and Marinka for their hospitality with an Australian BBQ on the back on La Mischief on the wall in Zavalatica. We arrived just after lunch, delivering Rade safely home. The girls took off with Marinka to do the food shopping, whilst the boys remarked the anchor chain and then had a bonding session over a beer or two, waiting for the girls to return.

We had a great night on La Mischief, with Marinko, Marinka’s dad coming along together with some other friends of Marinka and Rade.

Then it was off to bed to get some sleep before getting up early to watch the AFL Grand Final at Rade’s the next morning at 6.30am. (Yes….that is how far I’m behind in my Blogging – need to put in a big effort to catch up).

For pictures of Dubrovnik (Take 2) see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200362833666353&type=1&l=904eb9555e

For pictures of our trip back to Korcula see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200377239026478.1073741880.1620379103&type=1&l=1a1c5c6cd0

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