We left Croatia with a ripped tent and eyes in need of clockwork orange crocodile clips from a sleepless night being battered by the Bora wind.
All night we lay petrified and frozen under the thin sarong we'd left unpacked as our blankets and sleeping bags were safely stowed in the car ready for an early morning departure which was not to happen due to said winds cancelling the crossing we were aiming for.
We did cross eventually on the larger ferry which was still in operation and we were once again on our way - via a stop at the biggest hardware store ever to buy some tent repair tape. Driving out of Split was rather surreal, a thick yellow fog like something from a world war gas attack clung to the hills surrounding us, as fires smoldered in the dry conditions and the high winds.
Approaching the border only heightened the underlying feelings of threat the fires had started. We really have driven quite far from home now and having passed through miles of burning lands to approach the border with Bosnia, it almost felt like we were being transported back in time to the war torn landscapes of the TV reports from the early 90’s.
My youthful memories of the Bosnian War lay heavily with me as we passed over the border and followed signposts to Sarajevo and we were both suitably subdued. We spent less than 2 hours in the country (for our €20 insurance) and the part we drove through was barren, bleak and burning so it was with some relief we passed onto Montenegrin soil.
We stayed in Hercig Nova, close to the border with Bosnia and Croatia, so close we could log onto Croatian mobile networks - vital when you're relying on using your UK contract data.
The eco-camp where we pitched up for 4 days, was unlike anywhere we've stayed so far. In eco credentials, it surpassed even the Varnam Homestay in Kerala, which used methane from their cows to cook with!
Denise and Steve's full Monte camp is completely off grid, powered entirely by solar, and has some inspirational water solutions in place that really impressed. It's great to see what could be possible given the drive and resourcefulness of committed people. They have water free toilets that don't smell at all (even after Otto’s let drop) and they recycle all the water in all sorts of amazing ways.
As the name suggests, the camp has a clothing optional policy,which was quite a big leap for Mikey and I. Although when we stayed it was about half and half clothed guests to naturists and it felt less awkward than you are probably imagining. After all, it did make some sense as it was seriously hot with temperatures surpassing 40℃.
The beaches in Montenegro, like their Croatian counterparts, are pebbles as opposed to sand but the water was equally heavenly and we spent a few days lazing at the camp and bathing on a quiet nearby beach, catching fish (yes, we did catch one!) and observing the burning landscapes around us. We didn't make it to the reputedly beautiful city of Kotor as the raging fires smoked the skies surrounding it. But we did at least get away from the freezing winds we'd had briefly in Brać.
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!