Well that went well. The good thing was at the back of the boat we got to see a spectacular sunset.
45 minutes later, as ferry pulled into the island of Korcula, we grabbed our bags, went to the back and, this time, disembarked at the right place. We wandered into the Old Town, that was practically deserted and went looking for our street. We had to ask for directions but we found our place, Guesthouse Korunic, not far from the main square, and just above a little restaurant, Leut. We were met at the door by the owners son who took us to the room and left to fill in our passport info. The passports returned, clutched in hand by the owner, the loveliest lady ever. She gave us all the information we needed, maps and ran off to make sure we had a little fan to cool down the room. It was a bit late to start cooking so we headed down to Leut which seemed to be the only restaurant open and who served…sigh…pizza.
We decided to wander through the Old Town that was almost completely deserted, except for five drunk men, sat within gates of city walls swigging from 1.5 litre bottles of pivot whilst singing a capella. It sounded amazing with their voices bouncing off the stone walls while we meandered down the main street, past Cathedral Sveti Marko.
As we reached the the steps at the end of the path, simultaneously, Sarah and I looked up at one of the forts of the wall through an arched glass window to see people climbing a ladder. Ever the investigators, Sarah and I decided to follow. Not only due to our inquisitiveness, but also to the fact we both read a sign saying ‘Cocktail Bar’. There is only one problem with the set up, after the drink, you had to try and get down the ladder. And the drinks were long and strong! We just managed to make it down, and decided to call it a night, so wandered on back to Kuronic.
The following morning we woke to another bright and sunny day. We opened our bedroom shutters to find a completely different town. We looked down to find heaps of people wandering the streets, all with a common outfit, red and white check shirts – today was the opening game of the World Cup with Croatia taking on Brazil. So with a plan for the evening sorted, we decided we would spend majority of the day exploring the island before coming back to wander the town and watch the game. The island is big, so we would need a vehicle equipped to handle the long distances and difficult inclines. Yep, a 50cc scooter oughta do it. We were given a choice of 3 places on the island that could be visited and to choose one so we had enough time. We said okay, got on the bike and decided to visit all three. First up, we took the coastal road to Racisce. It’s a shame the road isn’t so long as it is spectacular. The road winds around the base of hills, hugging the shoreline of perfect blue water with the occasional small jetty jutting out. We pulled up in the shade of the small fishing harbour of Racisce for a quick break. The sun was so hot, we had to keep finding shady spots. If only it was after 12pm and we could have stopped for a beer. Unfortunately is was 10am and the bars were full anyway with everyone getting ready for the football in 11 hours. A sip of water, a slop of sunscreen and a slap of a helmet later, we were on Scooty, heading up a mountain laneway to reach the other side of the island.
We climbed higher and higher, through smaller lanes until we rode pass the decaying remains of what can only be described as a Korculan Possum and realised we must have taken a wrong turn. We turned around, drove back through the downwind stench of the “possum” until we found our starting point with no other alternate routes. So back the other way again pass the possum (wind had changed so as we sucked in all the air to hold our breath, we got to taste it as well) and rode down to the coastline to find the real route to the other side. This time it was a real climb. We passed over-zealous cyclists in overly tight clothes, convincing themselves they were training for “le tour”, but as the higher we rode, we watched more and more get off and push their bikes. It was funny until at one point Scooty almost failed, but she thankfully made it. We grabbed some food for lunch at a small village and rode on down a very windy road towards a recommended bay called, Pupnatska. The beach was nice, and water cool, so when we eventually jumped in, it was great.
After an ol’ faithful tuna sandwich, we jumped on our beast and climbed the mountain up towards the main road. As the tarmac smoothed out and road opened up, we thought we would open up the 50cc’s to see what she really had, at almost 45km hour, she broke down. Unfortunately it was in the middle of a highway but thankfully near the shade of a tree. After an hour and a half of judo chopping horse flies, our new ride arrived and we were off exploration-ing again. We rode past Korcula Town and headed out to the peninsula of Lumbarda.
This region is well known for its vineyards, and in particular, a specific grape called Grsk, a white wine that is only grown in region. After a walk along the coast, we pulled into the information centre and were shown the directions to one vineyard, Zoran Cebalo. The Grsk was lovely, but we had a meal in mind for dinner that evening that called for a red so we bought their Plavac and head back to Korcula Town with the convoy of hundreds of cars covered in red and white check and horns honking the whole 8km there.
Back in the old town, we bought our ingredients for dinner, and sat out on the back stairs with a few other guests, enjoying the Plavac whilst being overlooked by the dome of St Justin. With dinner settling, we wandered down to the street to find a bar to sit and watch the game. It started well, with a goal for Croatia and subsequent flares being fired in many directions, but ended not so favourable, so we were back up to our room for good nights sleep before the 6am start to Dubrovnik the following morning.