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141: daytrip to Milet Island (National Park). 2012/9/19

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[The official final stop of my RTW trip’s European leg = photos.]

The private room owner offered to give me a ride (“free!”, he emphasized) to the place for the ferry.  Two beautiful German girls shared the ride, and they responded mostly sincerely when I bid them a good day and journey to Koruča Island.

There were roughly 15 people in front of me in the line, and yet the girl who’s supposed to start selling the tickets at 8am didn’t appear until almost a quarter to nine when there were well more than five dozens of people waiting in line behind me.

The boat ride took almost two hours, surprisingly longer than expected while predictably boring.  And the fact that the sky simply turned grey once we boarded the boat didn’t help at all.  Once we arrived, the situation turned out to be rather straightforward: for daytrippers (while there were people offering accommodations at the harbor), simply approach the ticket booth for the national park, buy the ticket, which includes coupons for (mini-)bus rides and boat rides within the national park.  Actually they could really have put up some signs and maps to illustrate the whole thing, but they didn’t, so all of us were somewhat anxious and wanted to ask the young woman who sold the tickets, who was (again) rather impatient.

So, it was basically a very unimpressive ride to the shore of the first lake, from where one can take a boat to the islet in the midst of the lake to see the 12th-century monastery on it.  The islet is tiny, and the monastery was really not interesting, although I suppose if the sky were blue and/or the weather was even hotter and consequently more fitting for swimming, my verdict would’ve been different.

Some other tourists as well as I tried to figure out which of the boats go to “Small Bridge,” which borders both lakes, but no matter which one asked a boat-driver who was coming back and forth between two shores, he stayed consistently impatient.  I think I was the one who succeeded to getting the most words out of his mouth, although it was basically “yes, yes, yes, don’t worry,” while he showed every effort to shut me up and run away.

When that boat did arrive, there were quite a lot of people waiting, and this boat turned out more than full – many were left standing without a seat.  I wonder whether that’s wise for safety.  And when we reached that “Small Bridge,” which was small and really something you can see somewhere across some gutter near your house, this side had similarly lots and lots of people waiting.

Anyway, at this point one can hire a bicycle or a canoe or swim or hike.  But the views were anything but impressive, and as I tried to walk around the smaller lake, once I discovered that I couldn’t find the ride road signs, I decided to turn back and walk to the place right beside the bigger lake for minibus pickup.  After all it was shortly past 2pm and I deserved lunch, which has been the bigger of my two meals of the day these days.  (See how I will never lose weight in the short run?)

The boat back set forth at 4pm, and we arrived at roughly 6.30.  I checked the tourist info near the harbor, which gave me different answers about airport shuttle buses from those given by the tourist info near Old Town: this clerk wasn’t sure if the bus would stop near the gas station but thought the bus would also stop near Old Town, and she thought it’s ok to pay in Euro.  Well, anyway, it seems that I would have to go to Main Bus Station just to be safe, and it’s better – according to her – to change money here (at the money exchange, for instance, right beside this tourist information center) rather than at the airport, since the rate at the latter would be markedly inferior.  (As I checked the next day, while the rate here is something like 7.34 – 7.43, the rate at the airport was 7.1 – 7.6.)

Back in the private accommodation, I found that the owner, whom I asked to keep my notebook, hadn’t returned, so there was no way I could make a call.  On the other hand, he moved the guy with a drop-jaw accent (a term I coined) who didn’t seem to hear me well and kept asking things very loudly to my room, since the Japanese had left earlier today.  Anyway, I went to do my shopping first, which included things for tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  (Yeah, me who have to eat to ease the mind, it seems…)

When the owner did return, I asked him whether it’s ok for him to drive me tomorrow to the bus station.  (The shuttle bus schedule is set to coincide with flight departures and changes every day; the morning buses on my departure day leaves at 5am, 10 and 10.30.)  His expressions – I am sorry to say – immediately turned irritated and unwilling.  Gosh, why do these people simply change their faces as soon as they know that there’s no more money coming for them? He did (reluctantly) agreed, except that I would have to leave at 9am with him, since he’d “have to work.”

I went again for a short internet session at the nearby bar, although this time a young pretty waitress told me that the wireless is “only for customers,” no matter how I told her what the private room owner said (about him being a very good friend to the bar owner and his guests can come here using the wifi without ordering anything).  She was nevertheless gracious enough to say that I could use “this time” without having to order things, and since there were quite some smokers and I wasn’t very keen on surfing the net tonight, I had my quick session, checked some info to jot down with a pen, and then left.

Lying on the bed, I thought about various potentially daunting insecurities about my South American trip, although what Daphne said online tonight (amazing that she was on line so late) was absolutely right: “Good, you’re going to South America! It’s [after all] more difficult to go to South America than to Europe.”

[寫於Bogota時間2012/9/21,10.47am。]

9/19記帳:1HRK = 0.135EUR, 1EUR = 7.415HRK, 1HRK = 5.195TWD
Split – Dubrovnik公車:125+ 10= 135
住宿:14歐
Dubrovnik – Polače來回船票:108HRK
國家公園門票:90
咖啡:14?
中餐:79
超市:79.77
總計:505.77 HRK + 14EUR = 3190 TWD 爆!

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