Croatia part 2 VW T25 1981 Campervan

Plivtiv National park is our next point of call and we head up the motorway from Krka, stunning views this being hot dry barron landscape we approach Sveti Rok with a tunnel going straight through it lasting 5 and a half kilometers. We broach the other side to green lush bush like you hit a mini micro climate, here we have been driving on for about 2 hours and we switch LPG to fuel. Taking off again the engine switches off but turns on again instantaneously ’till about 2 minutes later down the road it switches off out right. So the obvious thoughts of not the bloody immobilizer switch! It was quickly noticed I can’t even turn the key, the wheel isn’t locked but the ignition will not budge one bit. So again something completely new and abit stumped for what is going on we decide to sit tight and see if she goes again, nada, the key is jammed well and good. Another call to the AA and explain our situation and they send out a mechanic to attend the issue.

So he looks and gets his tools has a good crack at looking at why it’s locked up, banging the ignition with his hammer also sprayed some WD 40 into the ignition he decides after half an hour lets just hot wire to start it and drive her to a mechanic. Well all in all she started well and running he thought why not turn the wheel all the way around, bad move the wheel locked itself.

So in the end he calls a tow truck and we wait around, tow truck arrives and there is a bit of a process in getting the Green Machine on. After careful patience from the towy we finally get it 1/4 of a way up, he needs a hand and told me to hop into the truck and rev the accelerater to power the girl up, so I hop in and give the truck some revs, well it almost sounded if the truck was going to conk out and jerking the truck uncontrollably until she was all the way up. Well she made it up and took us to the nearest village which had a mechanic turn up in a casual sedan car…. All geared up and proceeds with the steering wheel he takes the wheel off and gets into the source of the problem, the ignition cylinder lock was poked and needed replacing, this being Saturday afternoon around 4pm in the middle of nowhere he heads out to get the part…. To be precise we are in a little sleepy town called Gračac, theres no Repco or Halfords style shops in this area! He’s back within 10 minutes and has the brand new part to replace our old one, unreal! So he fits it in and turns the key she is all hunky dory again, has a look at our electrics in relation to our lights and tells us to follow him to a mate of his down the road, pull up next to a residential home they chat and proceeds to fix the electrics. So just to clue you up what is wrong and has been wrong for a little while was the brightness of the lights, and also the high beam switch no longer switched on and off without having to hold it on to use. Paid the mechanic for his work a measly €45 for labour and part that took him 2 or so hours, the electronic man in an hour with his lovely wife accompanying us whilst he fixes the electrics and high beam switch. She had spent time working in the UN and realising I was a kiwi spoke of how she worked with some kiwis in the UN and giving her account of witnessing the Moari war dance. Giving her account of the situation during the Yugaslavia war it was really interesting to hear how it all unfolded and the amount of hate appeared towards one another when they were all one country. So an hour and half later we are waiting it is 7:30pm and he fixes the lights and the high beam switch for a measly 14 euro, she says he will never do work on the weekend for the locals but if a tourist from another country needs a hand he is there, apparently we were lucky as the man down the road charges an arm and a leg.

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So all going again we set back on our journey to Plivtiv National park, with a curiosity to why the Green Machine turned off, whether she was hot and it was a really hot day or simply didn’t like the idea of changing fuel input or the immobilizer is playing havoc again or a completely different matter on our hands. Nervy drive to the nearest campsite to the park we finally reach our destination unscathed.

Driving in to the Plivtiv National park we park and take a packed lunch in to visit the surrounding area. This place in a nutshell is a bunch of lakes on different levels with water cascading through waterfalls or creeks into little pockets of clear lagoons that end up trickling down to the next level lake, this process happens a few times and the place looked stunning, 16 lakes in total. Fish everywhere the water looked so pure and clean, clear as day you can see the bottom of the pools, at times the tracks built over top of the water taking you over many of the ponds and creeks. We took a train/bus looking vehicle to a walking point and walked around one of the popular tracks before hoping onto a small ferry to take us on the other side of the lake to walk further where the water steadily flows from the many waterfalls. We are heading towards one of the biggest waterfalls in the area, walking the proximity of the lake and the view of the waterfall it was a pretty cool place, all just looks like a postcard.

The one little downside is it heaves with tourists and not to sound snobby because we are one of them too! I guess it’s more a case of not being used to that many people walking with their ipads and selfie sticks! They take their time on the tracks, so picking your moments to overtake or bide your time you can get a little impatient. I’ll leave you with the pictures to justify you ever visiting this place one day. That is our time in Plivtiv National park.

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We head north to a farming county that looked breathtaking, unfortantly we didn’t take any pictures but it is amazing scenery, everyone making the most of their space to grow fruit and vegetables it was so lush and green with many rivers running through the area. The campsite is situated in Duga Resa which is south of Karlovac from the National park up to this campsite was absolutely stunning countryside. We pitch next to the river before setting off the next day to Lovran on the coast again north Croatia, spent the afternoon there on the white pebbly beach with plenty of swimming had, the water temperature is warming up quickly here. Next day and we drive to Premantura and pitch not far from the coast, again taking in more rocky beaches and sunshine.

Rt Kamenjak is a national park south of Premantura we take our campervan in for the day with a small fee, Kamenjak is 3,400 meters long and 500 – 1,600 meters wide. It has over 30 picturesque coves of crystal clear blue seas, here we drive to the most southern point of the peninsula and walk the surrounding area, snorkling was a must with a vast array of fish. We based ourselves at a point where cliff jumping is popular and snorkled that surrounding area, we have pictures so hopefully we can get pictures to you soon. The amount of fish was a very cool sight and just coming right up to you and looking they weren’t frightened in the slightest, shoals of fish at a guess hundreds swam past me like medium size Kahawai which is a like a sea trout to you non New Zealanders.

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To this date that has been me and Karens best diving thus far, we drive onto another cove to eat lunch and find a spot on the rocky beach to enjoy the sunshine and waters, so casually putting it out there it seems alot of folk just like to get their kit off, nothing like tanning your bits, usually older folk. Well this bloke a good 80 meters away from us on his patch of beach I would say quite rounded… His belly atleast hid his bits decided to do some snorkling, fair play so we continued to sun bathe and 10 minutes later with a tap on the shoulder Karen points to this bloke literally snorkling right where our entrance to the water is. The funny thing is his butt was so big the whole thing just stuck out of the water like the top of the submarine as everything else was submerged in the water, this to note was not a nudist beach….

Pula is our next destination which is a small sea side town, and what we came here for was quite simply breathtaking and in shock of how this is still intact. The Amphitheater of Pula is from the period of Augustus (31 BC – 14 AD) which was enlarged in 41-56 AD during the reign of Emperor Claudius.

This was host of several areas of exection of fights, there was also a Northern and Southern point of the entrance where the beast were let out for the fights. The sight was quite impressive and to get there with the sun setting made it even more enjoyable, hardly any tourists here made for some spectacular photos. Took a wander around the fishing town through the bending streets ice cream stalls everywhere, here we approached the town square with the Temple of Augusto on show that was built from 2nd BC to 14th AD and in the square also is the City hall built in 1296. Back at the campsite and set to leave in the morning to Rovinj we make sure of a quick dip in the ocean before we set off, just because we can.

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As we head towards Rovinj there is a camping shop we wanted to stop at and see if there were some supplies of any use to us, one problem we have is the campervan is getting very hot inside and some days just impossible to cool down with fans. Most of the time leaving the windows and sliding door open but as it comes into the evening the pesky sandflies and mozzy invade the Green Machine. So hoping to find net fittings to secure windows and sliding door no such luck at this campsite, got our usual supplies amd headed on.

Rovinj is another seaside town that is built upon a peninsula with the church at the centre of the hill the focal point, here the streets are narrow with streets ending at the water front with people living there casually sat at table and chairs over looking the water. Here more prominent than anywhere in Croatia are truffles for sale, not the chocolate sort but these grow under the ground, huge in Italy for shaving over your pasta dishes it is an expensive delicacy. Well here its jarred whole or accompanied with an array of different flavours, we tried a bunch with a lady trying to sell us some, perhaps the price tag was just abit too much. It’s definitely an aquired taste. This area and north Porec is well known for their wines and olive oil, purchase some more red for our journey ahead.

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This is our time coming to an end in Croatia what has been a stella 3 weeks touring the country, so much to do here you can really vary it up in terms of doing different stuff. It’s not just beaches, seaside towns and indeed there are some fantastic seasides here, you would be missing out on a whole lot more if you limited yourself to that. If you think Italy is good for wine, well alot of them come over here for Croatian wine and back in the Roman times this was the area for it. So that puts and end to the Croatia blog, hope you enjoyed the read.

One thought on “Croatia part 2 VW T25 1981 Campervan

  1. This is a very good account of Croatia. Having visited 20 years long, you got many of the locations spot on
    Well done.

    Like

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