We left the glistening Adriatic a few miles south of Split, Croatia and headed to the mountains and the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Although people tend to encompass the whole country under the name Bosnia, the southwest region near the Dalmation border is actually Herzegovina – and the locals will remind you if you forget it! The country’s political geography gets even more complicated with the north and east of the country allocated as Republika Srpska or RS (predominantly Bosnian Serbs), separated from the remaining Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the south and west (Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks). This was the “solution” that helped to put an end to the recent conflict in the 1990’s, though whether either side is satisfied is open to debate. Having said that, the locals seem happy enough to be getting on with life as usual.
Crossing the border from Slovenia was an easy affair as we motored south along the motorway down towards Pula out in the Istria region of Croatia. Back in a familiar country we felt at home, even if we had not visited this part of Croatia before. Studying the maps we decided to come off the motorway after a short period and head down to the coast along some unpaved routes. We had done this on a moped back in 2006 and found some great secluded coves and inlets so in the Land Rover it should make for some excellent wild-camping this time around. Passing several closed camp sites there were many signs saying you could not stay overnight, no fires etc but we continued on.
After less than 24 hours in Austria we were over the Slovenian border and into the small lakeside town of Bled. A quick enquiry with ‘Camping Bled’ showed that they were closed and the nearest open site was 20 Km away at Bohinjska Bistrica. Seemingly a long way south west from Bled we were greeted by another fantastic lake, sparsely populated and beautifully situated at the head of the valley in Triglav National Park within the Julian Alps.
After almost a week back in the UK I flew back to Munich Airport where Griff picked me up and took me to the campsite he’d found in Landshut, a surprisingly large town northeast of Munich. It was a beautiful town, complete with snow (which I’d forgotten about while back home), and bars and restaurants aplenty. One in particular had caught Griff’s eye, a lovely rustic looking place with chunky wooden tables awash with candlelight, perfect for a romantic dinner. Having established that yes we would definitely like to eat there, it was (ahem) agreed that we would walk around another hour before going back for dinner. But on returning we found it was full and could not eat for a few more hours! We were so disappointed!