Saturday 6th October
It was a bit overcast for our final morning in Split and there had been some early drizzle but this cleared enough to let us get in our walking walk. We left the apartment at 10 am for the two hour drive down the coast to our next stop at Gradac. This was just a one night stop at a hotel right on the beach and I seem to recall my initial planning had this as a beach rest stop as part of our lengthy trip. The overcast skies might put a different spin on this though.
The journey down the coast was, again, along a seemingly new highway and with very little traffic. There was more spectacular limestone mountain scenery along the route, especially as we turned off to weave our way down towards the coastline village where we were staying.
With just one wrong turn along the way we made it our Hotel Saudade at Gradac but this is where things turned south; south for Mark that is. We had arrived at the little coastal town and, given it was now October, we realised that most places seemed to be closed for the Winter and the place was deserted; not just our Hotel but the whole Village. We’d experienced a bit of this ‘early shutdown’ mentality since October had started but not to the same extent as here in Gradac; up until now it was just one or two restaurants that we had found were shut but, here, it seemed like the whole town had gone AWOL.
It was at this point Mark that exclaimed he was not going to stay but I replied that we had already paid, so, yes we were going to stay. There was a bit more heated back and forth, but I reasoned with him, it was 12 noon already and we only had one night here anyway. But, true to form, Mark stayed in the car whilst I went into the Lobby where the Concierge greeted me by name, before I had even announced myself. With hindsight, I now suspect that we are the only people staying in the hotel! Anyway, Mark eventually got out of the car and came into the lobby, however I had already warned the staff that my husband was not happy that the venue was deserted, but they were very helpful explaining various activity options for us for the afternoon.
Our room was on the third floor, looked right out over the beach and was lovely. I thought to myself: there were worse ways to spend the next 15 hours and a rest day, after all our walking, would not go astray anyway! We had walked about 10 – 15 km each day and nearly all of this was on the hard and unforgiving limestone that seems to have paved the route we have taken this trip.
Anyway, Mark resigned himself to the short stay, put on a ‘nearly’ happy face and we set off to find somewhere open for lunch. The Marco Polo boutique hotel had a nice waterfront restaurant and, more importantly, there were several people already dining there so that’s where we stopped off. The lunch was very pleasant and we then went for a short walk to explore the rest of the Village which, as you can imagine, didn’t take us very long. We headed back for the hotel for a bit of a rest and Mark took another walk before we ventured out for dinner.
We weren’t sure what to do for dinner but headed back down to the Village. A drink stop back at Marco Polo ended up being our dinner stop as well and I attribute this due to their cloth napkins on the dining table. Dinner was lovely but it was another early night for us weary travelers.
On to Dubrovnik tomorrow.