Adriatic Trip: I Smell Like Fish

Four hours and 15 minutes to kill in a tiny town. I smell like fish. I’m glad to be here. Not much to do so I’ll write.

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Nerd and Bus Driver Not Paying Attention.

Or maybe the driver couldn’t care less. I messed around in boats beginning at age 10. While the ferry docked I was watching the captain skilfully use thrusters to bring her alongside a lee dock, something I’d never seen up close before.

There are big signs on the gangways saying no access to automobile deck during passage. Turns out docking is not considered part of the passage. By the time I and many of the rest of the passengers headed for the deck my bus was off the ship (we’d been the last vehicle on – the state ferry line waits for the state bus line). I was the only one who missed it. Oh shit. Time to improvise a Plan B. Plan C was another bus on the same line due in about 4 hours.

Two tour bus drivers couldn’t or wouldn’t sell me a ride. Snack bar lady spoke English and was helpful. She called the bus company, so my backpack was taken off at the next stop. She then arranged a ride with a retired friend who was down working on his little fishing boat. Would I mind waiting an hour? Not at all.

After being well and truly rescued I asked if she knew the stories of Winnie the Pooh. She did. I said with a big smile I’m having an adventure. She got it immediately, giving me a big warm laugh in return. I visited a bit in halting English and Italian with her and her 2 friends who’s idea of a good time apparently was to share coffee and conversation while watching the occasional (very occasional this time of year) ferry come and go. Of course, I paid for all the coffees they wanted.

The ride to Cres (pronounced ‘stress’) was a trip. Zlatko spoke Italian and some English, shared my love boats and fishing. We also both love late 60’s American ballads (he entertains his Apartman guests with guitar and song), so sang a few of them together. He practiced his English, I practiced Italian. The hour drive went by fast.

The ancient Skoda was his work car. He’s a fisherman. Do the math. Of course it didn’t matter. Even on the small scale it didn’t matter because for the first time since I left Bangkok, every piece of clothing in my packs was clean.

There’s an extra special bonus. When reunited with my backpack in Cres, I mentioned to the bus agent I’d left my umbrella on the bus. She reached the driver who was waiting in his bus until the return trip. Bus and umbrella will be here at noon. I have a history of losing umbrellas, maybe this means I purchased one with 9 lives. Maybe it will stop raining before the bus arrives.

Umbrella was returned, ride was caught on the next bus, final destination reached with a nap and without incident, accommodations found and first draft of this finished. Today is already in my Most Memorable Travel Experiences memory bank. Like the others, this one was all good.

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There will be no more posts on the Adriatic trip. I saved the best for last.

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