Bol, Croatia

Not the easiest place to get to, but well worth it. I met my cousin Andy in London where we flew to Split, Croatia. From the airport, it is a thirty minute bus ride to the Split harbor, and from there a forty minute ferry to the town of Supetar on the north side of Brac, one of the Dalmation islands. From there, a forty minute bus ride takes you over the desolate interior of the island to the town of Bol on the southern side.

Bol is a pretty small town, all coastal, and you can walk from one end to the other in 20 minutes. We stayed at the Hotel Elephusa at the west end of town, just on the ocean. We arrived in darkness, so the next morning we walked the hundred or so meters to the ocean, which from our hotel was obscured by pine trees. Here’s what we saw

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The famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape) beach. Things were looking promising. The beach literally comes to a tip where the ocean surrounds you for at least 270 degrees, it is pretty amazing. Apart from the sheer beauty of this place, I couldn’t help but laugh at the one lifeguard stand for this entire beach. A tower with beer ads and a lifeguard engrossed in her magazine

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I’m not sure it really matters though, from what I can tell this part of the Adriatic seems to have absolutely no currents or tides, the only time the waters seems to even be disturbed is in the afternoon when the winds pick up, and I never saw the height of the water change once in two weeks. Plus the water is very salty, making it incredibly easy to float. As you can see from this sunset shot, the water is literally as still as a lake.

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A ten minute walk east from the Elephusa along the tree-lined, ocean-front promenade takes you into the main part of town. This shot was taken from where the promenade ends and the built up part of the town begins, the right side of the photo is the east end of town.

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Virtually the entire waterfront is populated with cafes and bars on the land side, and boats on the water side. Veraduro is a cool wicker sofa patio bar with good music. Here is a shot from the terrace bar that we spent many a night in, it is the outside area of the bar Aquarius.

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We ended up eating dinner on at least half the nights at Taverna Riva, mostly because if you have a table on the edge of the terrace, you are literally perched atop the comings and goings on the promenade. Plus Robert and Ana who work there are really cool. Besides the places along the waterfront, there is really only one other place to go, a huge disco built on the hill on the way in and out of town. I think it is there because it is so loud that it couldn’t be any closer to town. At any rate, we ended up there a few nights until sunrise, running into Costa, our man at the front desk at the Elephusa, as well as virtually every other person we had encountered in the service industry in Bol. Definitely a small town in that respect, which I liked. Upon hearing I was from Washington DC, a local was quick to inform me that the White House is constructed of stone from the island of Brac. Ironic that I had been working five blocks from the White House for all those years before hanging it up for a while to hit the road and here is where I end up first.

Mountain bike rentals are everywhere in town, we rented then on multiple occasions. If you ride west of town, past the Zlatni Rat beach, the coastal road turns to dirt but continues on for about 7 or 8 kilometers before ending. There are an endless number of small coves and beaches along the way that you can venture down to, plus the views along the road are spectacular. There are a few hills to deal with, nothing that Lance Armstrong couldn’t do in his sleep, but I am pretty sure I am still gasping for air in this shot that my cousin took as we reached one hill top

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Boat rental is also fairly common in the town, but most of the boats are small with the little 10 horsepower motors that you steer from the rear. However, Dennis the boat rental man in town just recently began renting out his speed boat. Fortunately my cousin had enough hours on a boat to pass the driving and docking test that Dennis put him through, I certainly would not have. Here is our speedboat, flanked by more typical rentals

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With that, we were off on a speed boat with a couple of people that we had met the day before, with the opportunity to go places that small boats could not take us. We headed south to the island of Hvar (you can see it to the right in the mountain bike photo), and explored the northern coast for a while, and then explored most of the southern coast of Brac to the east of Bol. We found at least six different coves or beaches where we dropped anchor and explored, every one unoccupied. Here is a shot from one of them

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What a cool place to snorkel

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The landscape in between the places we anchored was just raw and at the same time beautiful

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My cousin at the helm as we seek out our next spot to anchor

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We enjoyed our day on the boat so much that it wasn’t long before we were out again. This time we headed southwest to the western end of Hvar, which is the way into Hvar Town. It took almost an hour, but was well worth the trip. The town was bigger than I expected, and had a beautiful harbor that we motored into

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And just like that, we tied off in an open spot and we were in the center of town, where we had lunch and a few beers.

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Back on the boat we headed out of the harbor to a small island that most people take the water taxi to for the day (I don’t think there is a beach in Hvar Town), and we anchored and spent the rest of the day there, either on the boat, in the water, or eating and drinking at the restaurant on shore. “This is definitely what it’s all about” kept going through my head and coming out of my mouth. “Cuz, do you concur?” “I concur.”

I think that covers most of what we did, of course there were days where we were so hideously hung over that all we could do was make it down to the ocean by 5 p.m. for a swim so that we could say we went to the beach that day. But having two weeks there, I think we had factored in for a few days like that with no regrets.

We left two weeks to the day after arriving, and were back in the Split ferry port around 5 p.m. on Saturday the 30th. My cousin and I said farewell, he off to the airport and back to London, me wondering “Where should I go next? More importantly, where am I sleeping tonight?”

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