On the dock of the bay

I arrived in Split by plane on Friday night and made it to my hostel in the Diocletian palace at about 8pm. After getting myself ready I tried to find other people in the hostel bar or who were up for heading out, but quickly realised they had all left on an organise pub crawl at 8:30pm. Curses! I quickly asked the bartender where to find them. Instead, she got an organiser to come and collect me!

I followed her to the meeting point of the bar crawl and found amusement in the form of being the only girl joining two large groups of Bachelor parties from the UK (one from London, one from Brighton). The first two hours of the bar crawl comprised beer pong and free drinks in a large room of a bar but seemed set aside, like a function room.

Eventually we headed to a bar with a fun dance floor that was playing good retro music. I required food so one of the organising ladies led me to where I could get a big and content-full burger (apparently it is much more common for Croatians to have sandwiches, so I had to wait for the lady to cook the frozen burger). Back at the bar, I felt quite tired so ignored the pleas of the tipsy British men and made the short walk back to the hostel.

The next morning I had to wake up and haul my bags to the dock to board the Amadeus for my week long Sail Croatia cruise. That day we met everyone on the boat and set sail at 1pm, including the 3 course lunch we would have every day. Quite tired from Rome and a slight head cold, I tried for an hour nap but felt I was missing out so joined everyone on the sunny upper deck for sunbathing and cocktails. We stopped so everyone could jump in an have a swim, but I found it a little too breezy and didn’t trust the water temperature! Thailand and Nha Trang have spoiled me.

That night we got to Hvar and had dinner in an organised restaurant in the courtyard. I met the other boat travelling alongside us, the Tuna, who were a very social bunch. I also ate a delicious steak while everyone else had pizza, which I was rather done with after Italy (or so I thought)!

Everyone from my boat wanted to walk up the stairs to the castle for a view of Hvar, but after a few steps and realising it was 15 minutes each way, I decided to give up. I took some photos of the dock then went back to socialise with the Tuna crew.

When they were done with their dinner I joined them on their boat for socialising and games until Dunja, the guide of both boats, came to collect us and bring us to the bar at 11pm to join my boat, which had gone there at 10. We danced to good music until late.

That night, however, I realised my folly: I had forgotten to stockpile water and we were unable to drink the boat water or buy any at that hour. I tried to sleep but at 3am I made an executive decision to drink the boat water. I told myself I couldn’t be sure I had heard it was unsafe. I went to the sink in my room – which was fortuitously large and luxurious compared with most others on the boat, and which I had to myself for two nights before my roommate joined us in Dubrovnik – and had my fill of boat water.

Hydrated, I slept well. The gentle rocking of the boat as it moved on in the morning barely phased me, unlike others who ot up for breakfast because they could not sleep! I did get up for breakfast at 8:30, but only so I would not be hungry later. I then went back to bed and enjoyed a sleep in – a pattern I followed nearly every day.

The next day we went to Trstenik (after whiling away the afternoon sunbathing on the deck). Here we took an evening wine tour. Then, because there is not much to do on Trstenik at night, our boat put on a large all-you-can-eat Croatian barbecue, followed by a party on the top deck, complete with foam machine, disco lights, and cocktails lit on fire on the bar!

After a while myself and a Canadian, Greg, decided to sneak onto Tuna boat to see what they were up to. This proved a fun choice as they were playing fun games with cards and oranges, and I stayed there until late (making sure I didn’t miss my boat!)

The next day we got in to Dubrovnik at midday and had plenty of time to explore and head to two Buba bars, or bars that are set into the side of the cliff and go out onto the water. The optional walking tour was then at 4. It went for an hour and explained some key sights, complete with information on the recent war.

After happy hour on the boat we went for dinner in an alley way at one of the partner restaurants before wandering into a nearby Irish bar. I then skipped ahead to the main bar we were heading to, Sky Bar, to meet up with the Tuna boat. Our boat joined soon after and we all danced the night away.

Mjlet was our destination the next day. We arrived here nice and early also, after a couple of pleasant hours during which we stopped to swim in the warm sunshine, complete with floaty toys some people had bought in Dubrovnik. But we had to wait for the Tuna boat, on which our guide, Dunja, was, before we could be guided as to what to do on the island.

Eventually she came and led us to the National Park where we swam in the none-too-warm water. The Tuna guys were there also. That night was a quiet one on the boat with both boats playing some cards and turning in early.

Mjlet national park
Mjlet national park

The next day we went to Korcula and did a fun buggy ride in the morning. At first I didn’t want to drive, but after stopping at a beach, which would have been delightful in summer, I decided to bite the bullet and was glad I did. I tore around the rocky tracks. We had home made prosciuto, very tasty cheese and wine on the boat ride back to the main port of Korcula where we hopped on the boat in time for lunch at 1pm.

That night we went for dinner at a tasty pizza place, but I was very hungry by the time mine came at 8:30pm. We headed to a fun bar where everyone demonstrated their skills on a pole, blissfully unaware that a huge TV screen was outside the bar, showing everything to passers by.

The next day saw us in Makarska, where there was not a lot to do as it as raining non-stop. A few of us took a walk into town, but the shell museum was closed in the afternoon.

That night we had dinner. Then, a random Croatian led us to a nearby cocktail bar where we enjoyed cheesy New Zealand and Australian themed music (90% of our boat were New Zealanders). We eventually headed to the main outoor club we were going to, Marieta.

The final day we headed back to Split, but not before those of us doing river rafting left the boat at Omis, where we had lunch. The rafting was not particularly white water, and it did get quite cold by the end, but it was a bit of fun and quite pretty.

That night the crew decided to do our own thing for dinner and just grabbed some quick takeaway near the boat before our final happy hour and goodbye drinks at a cocktail bar. There were multiple other boat groups at the same place and I befriended a Contiki group, who were a lot of fun. I went with them to Imporium, a funny, large club that was right near the boats and playing Croatian music.

The next day I hung around with a few people from my boat at a cafe, trying to ignore the cold wind, until catching my flight to Rome.

Our boat, the Amadeus
Our boat, the Amadeus

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