The dining terrace
On the third leg of our road trip, we drove along the remaining coast of the Istrian Peninsula and over a bridge onto Krk Island. Along the way, we stopped in the tiny coastal town of Mošćenice for lunch at Tu Tamo. I found the restaurant via a travel app, and it was one of my favorite meals of the trip so far. Nik ordered the wild boar stew, and I hoped to have the beef stew, but it had not been made that day. Instead, the owner recommended I try the Crni Rižot (Black risotto) which is a traditional Croatian dish made with squid, cuttlefish, risotto, and squid ink that makes it black. It was the best mixed seafood dish I have ever had. Also, to make the stop even better, we sat on the terrace with a view of the restaurant garden and the Adriatic Sea with Krk & Cres Islands and the city of Rijeka in the distance. If I ever own a house, this is the view I want. City on one side. Nature on the other.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the Istrian coast is littered with large and small campgrounds. After seeing them on our drive to Rovinj, I decided to do some research to see if we could find one to stay at as well. The trick was to find a place where we had all of the comforts of an apartment (private bath, regular bed, kitchen) but the setting of a campground. Luckily, campgrounds often rent out mobile homes equipped with all of these amenities. However, most looked worn out and best suited for my grandparents. Then I found Camp Bunculuka. Their mobile homes here are new, nicely furnished, and not set up in a grid where each home is on top of the next one. They even had “romantic” options specifically designed for couples where the windows and patios look directly out towards the sea. The was only one catch. It is a naturist camp meaning that when you are on the beach, clothing is not allowed. Elsewhere, clothing is optional. We went back and forth about whether we would be comfortable, and ultimately decided that this is a trip for new experiences and we wouldn’t see anything we haven’t seen walking down the streets of San Francisco. So why not?
When we arrived, the weather was turning cold and rainy, and the place was empty. Of the possible 1,200 visitors the campground can accommodate, I estimate only 100 were there, and no one was outside. Nik and I had blog posts to catch up on, so we bunkered down in our 250sf home for about 36 hours and let the winds shake our walls and rains drench the beach. Once it let up, we went to the beach for about 30 minutes before the rain started again and made sun bathing impossible. Instead, we went out on foot to hike through sheep pastures to a secluded bay on the eastern side of the island. There was still enough rain to keep everything cool and be annoying, but not enough to deter us. On our return trip, we climbed down a steep, rocky canyon and then past several secluded swimming holes. If only it had been 20˚ warmer.
On our final afternoon at camp, the clouds lifted, the sun came out, and the few visitors crawled out of their tiny homes. We sat at the beachside bar for a drink and daydreamed about what this place would be like in a month. It would be overrun with multi-generational families on holiday. The mini-golf course would have lines at each hole. The supermarket would be open. The picnic tables would be full. The hiking trails would be crowded. In warmer, dryer weather, the camp will be a vacationer’s paradise.
The southeastern tip of Krk Island
Our Mobile Home #27
Stone walls & water
Vela Luka’s Bay
The smallest of rock forms in the canyon
Nik’s scrambling gear
Towards Otok Prvić
Small lanes of Baška
Tu Tamo Konoba
Nik’s Blog: Mostly Rainy in Baška, Krk Island, Croatia