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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Memories of Mljet

Tuesday afternoon I crawled above deck just prior to docking at Mljet. Everyone was gathered around Lisa who had tales of her "birthday present" and it seemed some people down the other end of the deck were discussing it too ;). After we'd post-mortemed the night (Classified!) and our tour guide advised us all on the afternoon's activities, we disembarked to go swim in the sea nearby.

Mljet is a gorgeous little island off Dubrovnik, with a national park and a small community devoted to conservation. The sea was freezing, as usual, but we had fun playing around in the small pool nearby and the boys took turns in trying to dive through the various rings they had brought. Somehow I managed to hit the bottom of the sea, despite being the smallest, scraping my already banjaxed toes along the bottom. Ryan and Gary had the music going and it was very relaxing. When the wind had blown us dry we picked up and headed back to the boat for some afternoon drinks and to prepare for a cycle around the island.

Sarah and myself's late night chatting caught up with us and we decided on a quick nap but when the boys came to get us for cycling neither of us could move. It looked absolutely spectacular, particularly St. Mary's islet and monastery. After I'd caught an hour or two sleep I went off on a little walk of my own to explore. It was absolutely peaceful and the sounds of nature recharged me as I walked. On my way back I decided I'd choose a restaurant for that nights dinner and spoke to some of the restaurant owners. They were all friendly but I needed a place to cater for the various palates of our group so I settled on one where they had a varied menu. I stocked up on some snacks and drinks at the local shop and returned to the boat - having to cross 5 other boats to reach ours. In the process I lost one of my lovely white flip flops but decided against retrieving it as the depth of the drop between the boats was a little far for me!

Then it was time for drinks in the bar on deck again and everyone was pretty relieved that this definitely wasn't going to be a late night. No hidden clubs in coves here! We headed over to dinner and after a little bit of a wait we were delighted to find that the local food was very nice indeed. Gary said it had been his best meal on the trip so far.

Conversation over dinner at my end of the table centred around jobs in Dubai and us trying to convince Katie, Chloe and Liz that they should go to find work in Dubai. I think we sold it well? (Although after a week with us on a boat maybe not?!). The wind was sweeping in off the ocean making us very chilly but a nice Intrada wine warmed me up.

Dave, Gareth, Doug and myself stayed back at the restaurant to finish the wine, being literally the last to leave the restaurant and then Doug and I got into a conversation about the photography industry - given I had worked in it back in Dubai. We stopped off at the nearest little beach bar to the boats and had a drink with some people who were on other cruises. Back onboard it was time for a little night-cap on the top-deck with most of the girls cosied up under quilts. It was so windy, but the sky was sparkling with stars and we all felt we could have slept out there.

I retired at a reasonable hour - think it was just past two - and delighted that I could probably get a quality night sleep before our trip to Korcula on Wednesday.

(Photos - Doug Harding for the group shot in the pool)

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