Day 9 - Duga Resa to Bihać

A 5 minute read, Posted by Dan on Sun, Aug 4, 2013
In Bosnia And Herzegovina, Croatia, Defender, Summer 2013
Tags bosnia and herzegovina, croatia, trouble

Well we had a surprisingly quiet night. We thought we would be woken up, having seen and heard the action at the bar, but managed to sleep through. We packed up promptly and made for a café in Duga Resa. The plan was to have some coffee and find something for breakfast. Duga Resa is a tiny place. At this stage I should point out that we still had not found a local cash machine and all I had was Euros. Which is fine for bigger places, but the lady in the café, did not accept them. By the time I remembered it was obviously too late and I had already ordered the coffee.

Luckily the lady had a plan, there was a tiny tiny shop around the corner run by two ladies, who were obviously used to all the tourists from the campsite popping in for bits and bobs. I asked if they would mind changing some Euros for me, they agreed, but had to have a discussion about changing as much as 50 Euro, of course it was by this time too late for me to say "How about 30, then?" which fell on deaf ears.

Anyway, now back at the café, I sat down for Wendy to tell me what she heard. I should mention that a fat man with a very bad blonde mullet with an irish accent, driving a slovenian plated white van, left the campsite at the same time as us and followed us in to the café. Anyhow, on entering the café I offered for him to go before us in the café while we procrastinated, he declined. After placing our order we heard him say in an irish accent to the Croatian lady "Is the boss around?" Thats unusual! Passing him on the way to the shop, I noticed them talking to a local inside the partially open rear door of the van, I think they used the term Cognac.

So when I got back and Wendy said, she heard mullet man saying on the phone to a fellow traveller "you better get up here now, there is a shed" our suspicions were confirmed about this lot. About 20 minutes later another of the Irish envoy turned up, in a SUV. Now, remember none of these people speak Croatian. I heard them saying to each other that we spoke english and the language! We can order coffee, beer and juice and ask for the bill. But I have no idea how to say "Do you have a shed we can store our dodgy alcohol in please?"

Anyway, we left them to it and returned to the shop to grab some stuff for lunch and headed off. We were headed towards Velika Kladuša on the back roads, which lead to some interesting views and sights. Arriving at the border crossing about an hour or so later. By the time we got to the crossing it was getting hot, we queued for about 30 minutes, left Croatia and tried to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina. To be told that the crossing did not have an insurance agent. This meant we would not be able to buy a green card, which meant we had to turn around and re-enter Croatia and head for the Bihać crossing near the Plitviča National Park. Luckily the border guard felt sorry for us and opened up the barrier so we could jump the queue. On the way back through, the Croatia guard recommended that we try to buy insurance at Slunj. We tried and failed there opting to just try at Bihać.

We were lucky at Bihać, the guard did not really care if we had insurance. Normally they hold a passport until you can demonstrate that you have insurance. They returned all our documents and trusted us to go to the offices a 200 meters on and get insurance. The agents building was dark and smelt really bad under the cigarette smoke, housing about 8 or 10 agents. Most of the offices had closed doors with people who did not really care for your presence. I approached a lady who looked at me with slight sympathy in one of the offices asking her for "Osiguranje", insurance in Croat. She had no idea, knocking and asking on all the doors. Just as she was giving up she told me after a colleague suggested to knock on the last door. I was in luck. They agree to do it, but struggled to find the forms! 30 Euro for 17 days. Moments later I piped out in triumph.

With this we motored towards Bihać not quite sure were to go. We passed the town on the outskirts not really seeing any good parts, and found shortly afterwards a sign for "Autokamp". We decided we wanted to rest and stopped, it was a camp almost empty in the grounds of an empty hotel, Hotel Ada. There was a Spanish van and a Dutch van on site when we arrived. Later two more arrived. The place was deserted. It was a nice campsite though, it had loads of well established trees which provided tons of shade, no need for the awning. We popped the tent up and explored the river bank for a place to swim in the Una. We were lucky the river was beautiful and nice and cool. We spent about an hour swimming before popping back for a shower.

That night we opted for an early dinner at the next door restaurant. It was a fantasy land from a film, outside it had a spit roast lamb on the go. The main building was an old mill and the river weaved between it and pontoons that supported seating areas. In amongst the pontoons the river flowed clear enough to allow viewing the plants and fish, like being in an aquarium shop.

We had a kilogram of lamb with flat bread and salad for dinner, finished off with Baklava and several local beers. All in around 25 Euro and fantastic. We headed to bed after a brief chat with our neighbours.

What a great first day in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

comments powered by Disqus