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Leaving Lastovo, Monday 13th June

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Well, that again was a unexpected bonus. Vanja was a great home cook. We told her we just wanted local food, had been diving and were hungry and got a few different plates…pastries stuffed with fried vegetables and an apple mustard vinegar paste. A cabbage salad. Moussaka. Hand cut chips and grilled bread. Really nice.

She was a local, lived there all her life and with another restaurant she had handed on to her son. She was getting this one started, but with not much advertising…or customers yet.

Oddly, I ended up answering questions about web sites and marketing of the hand-made creams and stuff she makes and is trying to sell. Her and her husband seemed pretty switched on, but constrained by what you can do from such an isolated place.

During the day we had run into a frog on the hot stone stairs. It didn’t seem the right place for him to be, and we wondered if he had fallen from a garden above. But we left him there, and I was pleased to see him the next day, still happily hopping around. He must live in a deep crack in the stonework.

Big beetles, lots of lizards. We saw four or five surprisingly large (squashed) snakes on the paths. There must be lots of them around.

And lots of night-time mosquitoes. Lastovo has plenty of water, which shows in the farming areas, unlike Dugi Otok. But Dugi Otok doesn’t have mosquitoes. Neither have flyscreens, but you had to have the window open or choke in the heat.

We were driven mad at night. I killed at least 35 on the first night. There were a couple of different sorts, One species went quiet with a light on, so I ended up doing that on the second night, which helped. On the last night I woke at dawn, and realized they were mostly on the curtains, trying to escape. The revenge was absolute, but almost every one was loaded…with Sylvia and my blood.

On the first day we were approached by the fruit shop owner. She had a paper bag with maybe 300 gms of fresh capers and wanted us to buy them. We couldn’t use so many, and were not cooking anyway. Frustrated she went off and came back with a toothless old duffer who sort of spoke English, and he translated for us. Disappointed, she grabbed the bag back and huffed off.

I had thought of buying some for the landlady, but it seemed miserly to negotiate buying a smaller amount, and I let the opportunity pass. As it turns out, there was a similar amount of fresh-picked berries on the kitchen bench when we came back.

It was only later I realized the capers berries grow everywhere, in cracks and crannies on the stonework. You can pick a handful walking along. Sylvia had been commenting on some exotic flowers, but they were all high up, too far to photograph. And that’s because the buds at reachable height get picked and eaten….!

Today the ferry option to Vela Luka on Korkula was 4.25am or 11.30. We’re too relaxed for 4.25, so we slept in a bit, packed and said our goodbyes and sat at the café near the bus pick up point. We’re obviously a bit too relaxed. The old toothless guy who had been our translator was sitting in the café, and he was chuffed when I saw him and said hello. We also talked to a handful of New Zealanders who all arrived at once. They had chartered a boat and 18 of them were cruising around, stopping off here and there.

They weren’t making the most of Lastovo…they had walked up and down the 10 shops and were sitting down for coffee waiting for their bus back. They could have been wandering the village itself, or going down to the water…

The bus was late so the driver rushed in and was backing out again while I was still paying the bill.

Cursing he stopped and waited for us to clamber in. Back on the ferry, but this time in the air-conditioned restaurant area rather than under the baking iron roof of the back deck. Inside the cafeteria an endless Croatian folk music CD played for the whole trip, and the locals unselfconsciously sang (or whistled) along.

We evidently have five minutes to find the bus from Vela Luka to Korkula town before it takes off.

St Serendipitious, watch over us…..

I understand there have been some accusations that there is no such Saint as St Seredipitious. I am sure you will recall the Christian who, when he was due to be martyred by order of Emperor Diocletian, was accidentally released and went home.

That in itself doesn’t really qualify as a martyrdom, but he was killed shortly afterwards by a frypan to the head by his enraged wife. They had been arguing over Seredipitious’ claim that the pregnancy of the neighbour’s teenage daughter was a miracle.

Perhaps that in itself wasn’t all that lucky, but the Church ramped up the legend and got him converted into a fully-fledged martyr.

Anyway, St Serendipitious was looking the other way when we reached Vela Luka. The ferry was late, and we watched from the deck as the bus pulled out. Perhaps St Serendipitious was too busy looking out for the locals who were running on/off the boat before it had stopped moving, the steel doors still descending, cars behind us on the boat deck with their engines revving. One chap was so keen to get on board he neatly garroted himself on the rope securing the gangway. He looked annoyed, but I was thinking, who could he blame for that but himself

Written by wurstofvienna2011

June 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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