On our last full day in Croatia, Andy stayed home sick. If anyone has seen Andy's Facebook page, he is always on the go. If he's not training for the marathon, he's making people crave a day in his life. He is one of the most well-traveled people I know - between jetting to Ireland to visit his family, heading to Haiti for work or going to Brazil to see Snoop Dogg, all this travel eventually can wear one person down. From Bermuda to Dubrovnik, Andy finally crashed and needed a day of rest. As for Amalia and Kat, understandably, they wanted to soak up their last day with their family.
So Jeff and I were left to our own devices. During this vacation, I learned I wanted to be more like Jeff. For starters, he shared one suitcase with Kat for a two week vacation. He wore the same few items and reminded us to strive to be low maintenance. Limit your wants and needs. On top of that, he was open minded and adventurous. If we were wandering around a village in Croatia, admiring the scenery, Jeff would have already made friends, finding answers to fill the questions in our heads. I think his inquisitive nature and his warm personality is an indication of why he has such a mix of interesting friends from all over the world. I kept reminding myself to be more like Jeff.
We didn't realize how much we relied on the others until it was just me and Jeff. Amalia and Kat knew the ins and outs of Dubrovnik and it helped tremendously that they spoke the language. And Andy, well, he was our voice of reason. Without the others, Jeff and I took notice that we say yes more than we say no and we don't always think things thru.
Case and point. We left the guest house with a towel, some cash and decided to make our way to that secret beach which was a good drive away. Needless to say, we did not pack water, lunch or have a working cell phone on us. Brilliant. Jeff and I walked thru the neighborhood, where Jeff had stopped a local teenager asking if we could borrow the bicycles in his yard for the day. Unsuccessful with a language barrier to tackle, we walked to the edge of the village to hail a taxi on the main road. It took longer than expected - we later discovered that taxis don't stop when you hail them like in New York City. They prefer a phone call. Eventually a taxi stopped and picked us up. He overcharged us but without our beautiful Croatian girls to translate (and flirt), we had to stick to his fare but we arranged with him to come pick us up at 6pm when we were done with our day at the beach.
Popovici was just as we had last left it- an isolated and beautiful beach. Hot as hell though. After an hour or so (who even knows what time it was), we took a nap in the cave to avoid the heat. Water and something to eat would have been ideal. It had only been a few hours and we still had 3 hours to kill at the beach. Heat exhaustion and dehydration began to take a toll and we slowly hiked our way back to the parking lot. Problem was our taxi wasn't arriving until 6pm, that is if he understood our broken Croatian/English. We decided to try to hitch a ride. And we sat there on a bench in the shade waiting for people to leave the beach, a hidden beach. Good luck with that.
We sat patiently and hopeful for a ride. Time passed until we saw a single person. A young twentysomething just pulled into the small lot by the entrance and as she was walking by I asked her if we could borrow her cell phone to make a call for a taxi. She asked where we were going. It was a good twenty minute drive. And instead of lending her phone, she offered to take us. We said the phone would be fine, she was just arriving. But she insisted. On the way back to the house, Jeff came up with a more sound solution. He told the girl to drop us off at our favorite local winery which was in between the beach and the house and as a thank you we would buy her a bottle of wine. From there we could sort it out but we didn't need to burden this girl with us hitchhikers. She sweetly declined the offer but dropped us off at the winery.
Stay bitten ;)