Things Lost Lost Things

Park up: Makarska Riviera, Croatia.

Views of the Makarska Riviera

From upper Podgora I made my way towards a tiny chapel with some extraordinary views and then on towards Split but it was such a lovely warm day I didn’t want to be driving so when I saw I side turning I took it and drove up into the hills. The area didn’t look particularly van friendly, with height barriers over several entrances to the olive groves but luckily there was an abandoned picnic area some way up with a background of the mountains and an outlook to the sea, it was also incredibly quiet. Perfect.

Park up with mountain and sea view
Breakfast table the next morning

The next morning after giving the van a spring clean I had an al fresco breakfast of banana pancakes and fresh coffee on the abandoned picnic bench. I couldn’t decide whether to look at the mountains or the sea for my breakfast view so I swapped seats half way through.

On a quick look at the map I saw I was less than 10 minutes drive from a never-finished Napoleonic road. Following my phone sat nav led me down a rocky track that turned out to be not too dissimilar from the abandoned French road itself. I was then met with a height barrier so I parked up and walked. It was pretty impressive to see a 210 year old road, the underpinning dry wall slowly crumbling down the hillside but you’d probably have to be an engineer to admire its design and construction properly. I only walked a short length of it and when I looked it up online later some of the sections further on look more impressive zig zagging through the mountain.

Walking meant I got to have a close encounter with some black squirrels and some pine processionary moth caterpillars, unfortunately a bit too close to the pine processionary caterpillar. The next day a small red patch had turned into an enormous swollen chin by the evening, leading to a panicked hunt in the dark for a pharmacy with antihistamines. Thank god for covid masks is all I can say.

Pine processionary moth caterpillars, although rather touching on their head to tail march, are not just potentially harmful to humans but are destructive to coniferous forests, stripping the needles bare, so the fact that most of them are squashed on the road is no mourning matter. Needless to say I won’t be trying to save any more.

Black squirrel in the forest