Our distrustful sheep buddies are back this morning, determined not to pass us. Their poor shepard – we’re both feeling more than a little guilty as he chases them from paddock to paddock, but starting the motorhome now they’re nearby would only freak them out more.
Most of our day will be spent on the road. We’re on a determined push towards Mostar, through the centre of Bosnia. Our journey follows the Vrbas river into two enormous lakes which in turn forms the Neretva river that runs all the way into Mostar.
We drive through incredibly picturesque country, the river our constant companion. It takes us past farmland, berry growing areas, fish farms, forested hills, one gorge after the other and beautiful autumnal colours.
The drivers here it needs to be said, are a little crazy. Whilst the speed limits are quite low in recognition of winding mountain roads, locals think nothing of overtaking on blind corners and drive at roughly double the speed limit. Buses and trucks are driven the same way. I shudder to think of the road toll. Our lack of insurance here is very much uppermost in mind.
I also can’t help but wonder many times, why there isn’t more tourism here. There’s certainly plenty to see. Not being part of the EU is no doubt an issue. Perhaps the local politicians would do well to spend a little less money on self promotion and a little more on their EU bid. Unity between the three factions is a requirement, but a pipedream.
The villages we drive through are decidedly mixed in culture – Catholic and Muslim graveyards often mere metres apart. The only commonality being that there are far too many of both of them.
High in the mountains, as we’re in the final approach to Mostar, signs of tourism start to appear. Coach buses are frequent and a restaurant trade catering to busloads appears. Most frequent are the spit roasts, a little confronting as the photographs feature a full sheep on them, head and all. Once again we’re in no man’s land, post lunch, before dinner.
We reach Mostar by late afternoon. Chris and I had both pictured a small village, its famous bridge being a key highlight. What we drive into is a thriving city, which extends for kilometres.
We had a spot picked out to stay, right near the old bridge, but access proves a challenge. The streets are packed with parked cars on both sides and its entrance is too small for us to manoeuvre, and it’s already packed. So much for that plan.
Instead, we drive further out to stay at a campsite near the river.
We’ll explore Mostar tomorrow. For now there are kittens to play with and peaceful river setting to enjoy.
The cool of the mountains has gone – it’s a bright 26 degrees even in the late afternoon.