“Travels to a Different Time” ; 27July1974: Drače, Yugoslavia: Adopted by a Serbian Family: A Ride on a Putt Putt

Well I think I am in a tiny town called Drače in Croatia. What a beautiful beach! What clear sparkling water. There isn’t much to do but get up go to the beach, have Dalmatian smoked ham and a bun with a cold litre of Radenska mineral water, sit in the shade and head back to the beach. Romania was tiring and quite frankly disappointing so I am in paradise “recovering”. I walked into Janina to mail some letters and buy some food. I returned and ate my breakfast in the shade and then went to hang out on the pier and then enjoy my favourite lunch of Dalmatian smoked ham and an ice-cold bottle of Radenska sparkling water. I went back to the pier and felt like I was burning but couldn’t see any evidence of it. Around 4:30 a very good-looking girl with soft brown eyes and her brother stopped by in their small putt putt boat. The girl’s name is Mirela and her brother Boca. They recognized me as the camper next to their camper. We puttered around for half an hour and had a swim and played some Frisbee. Mirela is here with brother Boca and is my age. Her mother and father ae here too. They are from Belgrade in Serbia. I cut my finger opening a can of Russian sprats. I watched the sun set on the beach and was in bed at 21:30 tired from the sun and surf but feeling very happy to be in the Adriatic again!

28July1974: Up early at 06:30 and I am healthy and even wealthy and wise. I am wealthy as I have learnt so much in my travels and all that has made me wiser. I wonder at times if I am too driven to discover a country and its people so perhaps it is good to cool my heels here and veg out. I have almost everything I need here including a sweet girl Mirela who seems different from all the other Yugoslavia girls. She has a good heart to match her good looks. I had my breakfast of two peaches, fruit juice with some bread and cheese. These Croatian peaches are just as good as Turkish peaches. At 10 I was at the pier and Mirela, her dad and Boca picked me up in their put putt and we travelled to tiny islands where we had beaches to ourselves. They are very good to me and I feel somewhat like an adopted guest. Me the pasty white boy is turning a glowing red. A great Dalmatian smoked ham sandwich and a cold bottle of Radenska sparkling water for lunch. The staff don’t even ask what I want and simply bring me the usual! I walked with Boca and Mirela to Janina which is a small town with donkies, chickens and goats wandering around. We went for a cherry nectar and walked home. I talked with Mirela until she had to go for supper and she stopped by to talk more being very curious as to what life is like in Canada. The trailer beside us had their television was blaring so we walked to the pier and hung out until 22:30. I said my goodbye to Mirela and went to bush my teeth using the hose with cool water. The camping is free so one hose for the entire campground will have to do.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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