Skradin and Hvar, 2007

After a couple of misdirections and re-directions at the various tourist offices in Skradin, we boarded the ferry to Krka National Park. There, we enjoyed a walk around the park, with pretty views of the waterfalls and cascades.

A lesson learnt

Having completed the walk, we found a quiet spot to sit in. It was nice for a while. We had a good view, so Beatrice decided to whip out her large camera and started pointing it at the waterfall.

This was a mistake. All of a sudden, a crowd had gathered and various groups began taking turns to take pictures. We were forced to leave our seats.

Finding Zakaria

From Skradin to Hvar, we had to take a bus to Split and spend a night there for the next day's ferry. It was afternoon when we arrived in Hvar. Following the directions in the email, we thought we had got lost so we stopped to read the instructions again.

"Looking for Zakaria?" a voice called out behind us. We turned and saw a man's head pop out of a second-storey window.

"Yes!" I said and we went on in. Luka Zakaria offered us drinks and we chatted. The dog lay quietly beside as he produced a map to tell us what to do and where to eat.

"Faria Gardens, beautiful," he said. "Golden Shell, pricey but excellent. Junior, good price, good food."

Facts about Hvar

We ate at Junior and it was as good as Luka had said. A fellow diner spoke to us. He was a Croatian who had been living in Toronto for 38 years. He told us that Junior was owned by a mother whose three sons are fishermen. Every morning the sons will go fishing and supply the restaurant with fresh catch from the sea.

He also said that 95 per cent of Hvar residents are in the tourism trade. One year, the streets got so crowded that the Mayor ordered the residents to stay at home and make space for the tourists.

You could tell that he was proud of his country.

Chugging out to sea

The next day, we went out to sea. As we were running low on cash, Beatrice was at first reluctant to rent a boat for 350 kuna. I managed to persuade her to go for it. This turned out to be a superb move. Neither of us had handled a boat with an engine before. We ran aground twice, and once I had to dive under to get the anchor unstuck. But it was great fun. We found a fantastic beach with the clearest water I've seen. We shared it with an Australian family until they left.

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