This morning I sit in a beach café and finish the Tracy Chevalier book. AGH! Now I don’t have a book to read at all. The waitress is very pleased (in fact, downright chuffed!) to take the book away, so that’s lessened the load slightly. Interesting how “The Impressionist” took me weeks to read, but “The Last Runaway” was frittered away in a few hours.
Jaz beach was the venue of some HUGE music concerts – including Rolling Stones in 2007 – it’s probably one of the last places along the Montenegro coast line that hasn’t seen huge development of hotels and buildings – though it still looks completely full – with campervans, sunbathers – to me.
It’s still too hot to do much cycling – so it’s late again as I pack up my tent. As I’m doing so, there’s a HUGE crack and a dead branch from the tree to which I tethered Rowenna falls, to land but 6ft away from where I was sleeping. A little too close for comfort I think. I walk over and heft it – yes, it would have hurt! A reminder that I need to look up as well as down when looking for potential hazards on pitching my tent.
I woke up this morning with my left eye stuck together. An insect flew into it last night and I wonder if this is the cause? But it continued to feel sore and produce greenish gunk all day long, so I decided to go to the Apoteke in Budva. The woman behind the counter asked very few questions, just looked, produced some eye drops – “Clean with this three times a day”. “Is it saline?”, I asked. “No”, she replied, “and have some antibiotics, twice day”. I got a tube of chloramphenicol too. “How long for?”. “Two or three days” came the reply – vague enough, I suppose. All came to £3.50 – which is cheaper by half, than an NHS prescription. As I’m leaving, comes the rejoinder, “If not better, go to doctor”.
There seems to be no peaceful section of this coastline. I plod on in the heat.
I’ve been considering which route to take to Greece and have decided to head for Thessaloniki – I want to get away from the coast and have been to Athens before so feel no need to revisit. From there, I can take ferries to the islands with the ultimate aim of reaching Marmaris in Turkey.
The stores of watercolour paper are falling – and I see nothing like an art supplies place advertised despite looking about in town, or on the internet. I find the daily draws get smaller and as I feel the need to scrimp. I wonder if there’s no room for ‘self-actualisation’ if you’re having to ‘work, work, work’ to provide for your family.
Charged my macbook with the new lead to connect it to the solar panel storage battery that Kathryn brought from Nina’s for me. In the words of a famous beaver: “She works Swell!” and brought the power up from 9% to 49% in the time it took me to drink a beer. The storage battery is being a bit slower to come back to full power, however. It needs to be in full sun for a full day to come up one bar (5 bars is fully charged). Plugging in the computer wipes out a couple bars almost immediately.
Today I camp at what appears to be a small shanty town of caravans and sheds under trees for Balkan people who wish to spend their days on beaches cheek to jowl with their neighbours (looking at their smart phones – though I can talk! - having spent the day looking at a laptop screen blogging!). I am squashed in between two such establishments, on a rocky and dusty bit of ground covered in bits of broken glass. I spend a good half an hour shining my head torch on the surface picking up the shards that shine in the light – removing as many as I can, fearful for the exped mat (not to mention my footprint and tent floor).
As I am pitching my tent, the woman from next door comes over – not to be friendly, but to pick up the bag of plums that is resting on the old picnic table under the tree. “Pardon” she says in the same way that the French use the word for ‘excuse me’. For some reason, I am vaguely hurt by this that she didn’t come around to say ‘hello’ or ‘Dober Dan’ or even ‘have a plum’ but I let it go. After all, I hadn’t taken the time to say hello to them either!