Our few days in Camping Village Simuni were spent doing very little, to be honest. We made the most of the sunshine and lolled in our comfy outdoor chairs, taking short strolls along the beaches and watching the amazing sunsets. So warm was it on Monday that we celebrated Harley’s 2nd Birthday by joining him in the Adriatic for a swim – well, Roy did, I chickened out on the grounds that it wasn’t THAT warm and I had no neoprene beach shoes to protect my plates of meat from the sharp stones and numerous sea urchins! A fine excuse, I know, but one that I shall stick to until the sea temperature is at least 25C and I can find said footwear at an affordable price. Harley’s reaction to being joined in the sea? One of astonishment and he really wasn’t sure what to make of it. Not one for being overly zealous about retrieving a ball, despite being a Retriever, all of a sudden he became an enthusiast when he realised Roy was swimming out for it and was gonna retrieve it before him! Priceless!
We celebrated The Boy’s Birthday with the customary cheap Lidl bubbles and The Birthday Boy got a bit of our char-grilled tuna and extra treats as a present.
We finally managed to drag Sebo away from his comfy Simuni sleepy spot on Tuesday – an early rise for Team Sebo since campsite rules dictated we vacate our pitch by 10am rather than the usual noon. Team Sebo do not do early mornings so it was a case of pack up the night before, pay the bill and hit the road for Pag Town for a breakfast stop before continuing further south. Pag in the sunshine reminded us even more of Scotland though, the few photos I managed to take were, unfortunately, taken with the sun directly ahead of us so I’ve had to discard most of them.
Next stop, Zadar to do a food shop. Here we had a choice of not one but TWO Lidls and umpteen other large supermarkets! We were back in civilisation! Unfortunately, with civilisation, goes copious amounts of traffic and crammed car parks and our attempts to find a space for Sebo, even for a few hours, came to nothing and we aborted our mission in favour of heading 20km north to Nin. The campsite here, Ninska Laguna, had mixed reviews on our ACSI App but, heck, at €13/night, how bad can it be? Well, for facilities, it turned-out to be fairly lacking BUT, our pitch had THE most amazing view over the old town and the lagoon and, with a full tank of water and plenty of LPG onboard, we didn’t really need anything else so we weren’t worried about having to pay extra for hot water for a shower or washing-up!
We took a stroll down to Nin Old Town – a cute wee town with Roman ruins and all that- and slaked our thirst with a couple of pints of the cheapest beer we’ve had so far (14kn/500ml – €1.82!) before heading back to BBQ on our pitch. With only a charcoal BBQ onboard, we’re limited as to where we can actually use it – a lot of sites ban them due to fire risks- but here, there don’t appear to be any rules, so we fired up the Weber as a special treat!
On Wednesday morning, we decided to attempt once again to park up in Zadar – not a hope in hell! A Team Sebo talk concluded with the decision that we’d head a tad further south, find a lunch spot and somewhere to walk and we’d head back up to Zadar later in the day in the hope that we’d manage to find a spot in a free car park, close to the Old Town, which, apparently, has no overnight parking ban. So it was that we discovered Sukošan, a place we would never have thought to visit had it not been for lack of parking in Zadar! A free car park alongside a beach gave us a very nice wee spot for lunch AND free WiFi from the huge marina alongside us- happy days! We ate, updated all our Apps AND uploaded photos to the blog before taking a stroll into the village. A nice wee spot – lots of campsites along the beaches with some very nice large emplacements installed (popular with Dutch, German and Slovenian caravan owners by the looks of the reg plates on the caravans) and a pretty village, apparently renowned for “eating, drinking and singing”….. sounds interesting!
Our patience and persistence were later rewarded when we returned to Zadar and found the perfect spot on a free car park within a stone’s throw of the Old Town, so we celebrated this fact by donning our glad rags and treating ourselves to a dinner out, but not before having a meander around the town – alleged to be the oldest continuously inhabited civilisation in Croatia and, according to a recent newspaper article, rapidly becoming one of THE most expensive tourist destinations in Europe, we were a tad concerned that our budget may not stretch to more than a starter each! I can say, categorically, here and now, this is NOT the case at all, so I’m not sure quite how the compiler of that particular report came to his or her conclusion! For anyone thinking about visiting Zadar – go ahead! It’s awesome and extremely cheap!! It’s Sea Organ and Salute To The Sun have to be heard and seen to be believed! Inspirational!
We spotted a bar full of young people – always a sign that the drink is affordable and they must have free WiFi! It was and they did! Result! A further wander around town looking at menus yielded a decent restaurant and the lady at the door offered us menus to peruse and, no doubt as an incentive, a voucher for free aperitifs – no sooner said than done, we were in! We toasted my First Born’s 27th Birthday with our free aperitifs of a rather yummy honey grappa (well, it would’ve been rude not to!), dined on a huge portion of veal steak (me) and chicken cordon bleu (Himself) and, with a litre of house red and a coffee (with two more honey grappas thrown in as a digestif ‘on the house”), we happily parted with less than €38. So, no, Zadar is NOT expensive!!!
A surprisingly good night’s sleep was had in the car park – our first freebie since leaving Italy – and, despite waking up to a full car park and being unable to open our hab door due to our neighbour parking so close (thank goodness we’d not left our step out!!), we were happy bunnies as we left Zadar and headed for our next stop – Krka National Park.