THE ROAD TO CRES : Saving the Vultures of Croatia~Part Eleven

33

Going home.

34

Quayside at Cres.

Because of my novel way of getting to Cres-no other volunteer had ever come from the south I was told-and due to flight times, I had to get the boat to Rijeka, which took 90 minutes, and a four-hour bus journey south to Zadar to catch my  plane. Add to that a three-hour flight and a four hour bus journey on the other end and then a taxi to my house, it was a long, long day. Still I enjoyed seeing more of Croatia…

36

Rjeka

Rjeka to Zadar Road is some piece of engineering, better than Highway 1 in California I think. Amazing scenery especially Krk to Rab. Rain on distant islands, watercolour sky. Paz, as yellow as the mainland is grey, a lone olive trees. The islands are yellow still bright under grey sky, then suddenly a green valley.

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I was fairly amazed by Croatia infrastructure, especially as it had been through a war. As Yugoslavia it had been a holiday destination and I suppose Titos’ regime ensured that municipal works were carried out properly. At every conceivable swim spot a path and a sturdy ladder could be found. The main roads were in great repair and it all seemed clean and the people were friendly. In all it seemed in far better shape than my home country of Ireland. I would return a few years later and remain impressed. If I could buy a house on The Mediterranean…and I really want to…it would most likely be in Croatia.

However a few years ago the Eko~Centar, under the leadership of its founder, Goran Susic, moved, controversially, away from the griffon colony  to the mainland where it was more accessible.

http://croatiaonline.blogspot.ie/2016/10/croatias-griffon-vulture-rescue-centre.html

You can still volunteer ..

http://worldwidevolunteering.org/details?organisationID=775&returnURL=%2Fsearch%3Fact%3D2295%26start%3D360%26count%3D20

I  was sad at the thought that Beli had been abandoned. But in writing these posts I found this was not the case. The centre at Beli was renovated re-opened under a different leadership in 2016. That’s all I have found out so far but here is their Facebook page…

https://www.facebook.com/EkocentarBeli/

And so the trip was over…

Zadar airport, finally. Shattered.

44

Later on the bus from Dublin to Waterford…

On the Rapid Express, all todays’ journeys blurring into one, car, catamaran, bus, airport, flight and now the bus and afterwards a taxi. Just found out my bank account is empty. Angry until I realised I probably spent it myself. Sitting on the bus, patterned seat covers bathed in an acid orange light, thinking of my volunteering pals.  I wonder if I will ever see them again and I realise in the same moment that it doesn’t matter. And I smile.

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