It’s day 4 or thereabouts and time for a hotel lunch in the south of Montenegro. We were getting to know our walking comrades much better: Very British Tony and the lovely Primrose. Anyone who wears a cravat and gilet on a walking holiday is unlikely to be a “Corbynista”. We’d outlined ‘rules of engagement’ between ourselves, they likely being of the right and we being of the left any talk of religion or politics were put on holiday. We got on famously. We’d arrived at Perast on the coast at the hotel where we were to have lunch outdoors on the “terriss” as Tony put it.
It did not look promising with leaden skies, and then the heavens opened and the ‘terriss’ was where the ordinary waiters got a soaking and the head waiter signalled from the door being aggravated by holiday makers filming the debacle on their mobile phones, just like me!
I’d like to speculate what he was thinking but it’s probably unprintable, but unlike the foot soldiers, he remained relatively dry. Speaking of soldiers, this would have pleased Very British Tony, as it was a subject very close to his heart, Primrose was less impressed with such talk. Possibly like my other half and my ramblings, she’d more than likely heard it all before.
Speaking of rambling, which is why we there, that was to happen on the next day. And it will be here tomorrow.
It’s day 3 in Montenegro and we set off up the hills. Then up a bit more. Then even more. On the way, we come across this wreck, which is of absolutely no interest to anyone in the group. Snow on the mountains in the background. I just love wrecked cars and this one was a gem for me. I’d have stayed longer but would have made myself unpopular with my new found friends and the leaders taking us to what is the second deepest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon.
It’s a long picturesque walk and with our guides we managed to go off the beaten track and wandered through wonderful meadows full of wild flowers. It had the air of Switzerland in every way. Every now and again there were farm buildings and little Hansel and Gretel buildings.
“It’s only about 20 minutes to the very top” said our guides Misa and Stefan. This was when we’d walked quite a way, but we were promised a view into the canyon. What he neglected to tell us was that it was quite steep and rocky but we all managed it with the promise of our packed lunch at the top, and at least it was not raining. It was indeed an awesome view, awesome being a word I don’t use easily. It seems that WordPress is as guilty as anyone on this front deeming a few random visits to a blog as ‘awesome’. It’s not, this canyon is.
You may well ask why I do not feature a picture of the aforementioned Awesome Canyon and feature a wreck instead, well to be frank, my pictures of the canyon did not do it justice, and I was feeling a little ‘wrecked’ by the effort. I felt more like having a long lie down enjoying the view, a bit like the cat below.
More tomorrow, will this adventure never end? Yes, it will.
Our first day out walking and we were in the North of Montenegro walking around a large lake where Tito had organized the partisans in the last war. I make that sound simple but it certainly was not. The terrain around here is large high mountains and it is still very much undisturbed nature.
Lunch started and so did the rain. We’d found a spot near the side of the lake ( or to be more accurate our guides had ) and unknown to us they had brought enough stores to feed a small army of partisans. Cheese, wine, bread, cold meats, fruit and red wine ( red as in the colour not the political affiliation ) As we sat by the lake on a handy table and bench a small Japanese chap wandered towards us seeking shelter from the rain under a tree. He stood there with no rain gear and a rucksack that appeared to have nothing in it. We were in full rain kit, useful to protect the picnic, and the couple with us, had brought umbrellas! How terribly British, how typically Japanese!
He eventually moved off looking like a lost fell runner who’d lost his emergency rations from putting the rucksack on upside down, but was unfazed by it all.
We met him in the village a day later, still in the same singlet and shorts and British Tony in his typical friendly way approached him with greetings of friendship just as he’s stuffed some rations into his mouth. He looked at us with shock, bowing gracefully and losing some of the mouth borne rations at the same time. I suspect he did not recognise us. He now probably thinks it’s normal to greet anyone with a mouthful, if you get my drift, just as we will now think it quite normal for the Japanese to go out hiking with an empty rucksack and no rain gear.
Our brilliant guides Misa and Stefan told us all about the area and halfway around the walk, we came across this rather smaller lake. From some distance away we could hear sounds, that we thought were ducks, but on seeing the lake there was no sign. ” It’s frogs!” we were told. We wandered closer to the lake and I asked for complete silence from the small group so that I could record the sound and the place. They all fell into a respectful silence, including the frogs!
I let the party wander off as the frogs no longer wished to perform, and waited. These shy creatures then gave me a short chorus.
I’m not over fond of flying and doing so on an empty stomach is probably recommended. Especially if you have to be at the airport at 4-00 in the morning. Here we were on the plane ready to take off for Dubrovnik eagerly anticipating our walking holiday in Montenegro. The bacon sandwich looked tempting in the photograph in Tui’s Menu on the plane. (Tui used to be Thompson’s or was it Thomson’s…I suspect that so many people got it wrong that they had a competition to find the shortest domain name for this digital age ). They chose something so bland and meaningless but easy to spell that it’s a miracle that they described their bacon sandwich as a Ciabatta.
Anyhow, I bought one, to keep body and soul together. Expecting it to look like the crispy morsel in the picture. Now, I’m not one to take that many pictures of what I’m about to eat but for this one I thought I’d better. It could then be used in evidence if I had an unexpected trip to the Coroner’s. Here’s the flaccid reality:
It tasted as bad as it looks, and to add insult, it was not cheap.
I promise that this is the end of the horror story of the holiday. It really does get better from here. If you’ve just woken up and feel like breakfast, apologies. There’s lots of cheery stuff to come.