Krivi Put sklonište was an interesting place to wake up. It had been a sticky night. I’d spent the hours with my head resting on the pillow just so, in order to block both the light of the moon and a single street lamp with the window panes. But I admit that I was glad for some light in this cold, old building, with onions still pickling on the benches and piles of old shoes, belts and jumpers, smothered in dust. We shut both doors before sleeping in the far corner of our safe room.
But we wake very comfortably, both having slept on two layers of thick mattress. Today is a resupply day! We head down from the mountains to Senj, a nearby coastal town. Given the choice, I much prefer our cool, green mountains to the hot beach, but necessity calls.
In the morning, we hike through fields of flowers to once again see the ocean. The Adriatic is expansive and beautiful. The islands in the distance are absurdly pale, like albino fish.
We take a few shortcuts across the fields (some work out, others not so well). The latter half of the morning however, is winding down the last 600 m in altitude along the main asphalt road into town. No chance of shortcuts here. Red and orange poppies line the gravel shoulders, paper thin. My eyelids shrivel in the heat.
An hour later, and we’re there. The place we stay tonight, Skver campground, is right on the sea. We set up the tent to discover the ground beneath is hard-packed gravel for at least 3 cm, which is as far as we can jam the pegs. We inherited this site from a European couple, who warned us about the ground. “We used rocks to hold the tent down,” the German guy says, “but the lady next door, she lives there all the time I think… She’s building a wall.” He trails off, but I get the impression we’re not meant to touch the rocks.
I don’t think we could pitch the tent much closer to the ocean. It’s just so lovely. After 7 pm, I go for a swim, dipping from the warm surface into the cool, still blue below.
As evening settles in, we plan our next days and restock food as best we can. Unfortunately, the pharmacy is closed on Sunday (i.e. today), which is our only hope of buying more fuel for the Trangia stove. We won’t know until tomorrow morning if we can have hot food again, so we’ll have to save buying dinner food until then as well, after the pharmacy opens. Gah. I’m hoping it won’t delay our walk back into the mountains too much. It’s tempting to take tomorrow as a rest day, to give ourselves the time to sort it all out… but we’d ultimately prefer not too, despite how lovely it is here. It’s only been four days since our last rest, and we’re keen to be walking again.
The night is horrendous. It’s desperately hot and the mosquitoes are unbearable. A pack of them have slunk into the tent. The tent fly is completely open to the sea, but somehow the breeze doesn’t reach us. We suffocate slowly. To make it worse, I forgot to take my antihistamine this morning. The flowers and dust of the town make my cheeks swell, my eyes and throat itch, my nose run… I feel like a bee sting. I think I sleep for about two hours, at best.
We ultimately decide that the situation now warrants another rest day.