We crossed into Slovenia this morning around 10am. We were heading for a camperstop, which my guide book said was located at a wine producers. When we arrived however it was almost impossible to drive the campers down the very narrow road to the entrance. Tom was unsure and in the end we decided to give it a miss and continue on to another stop further northeast in Tolmin. The drive to Tolmin was superb, driving alongside a river whose aquamarine colour had to be seen to be believed, it was stunning. The Kamp Siber was located alongside the river, small but with all the facilities we needed. There was a reunion on when we arrived so we had to wait for an hour before we could get parked up properly, but it was worth it. After a quick snack and a drink Tom and I set off for a walk, Fran decided to stay behind and relax. Following the river we crossed it on a wooden planked foot bridge, enjoying the tranquility of the place, we walked for a couple of hours.
Returning from our walk we came upon a group of teenagers who had rigged up a tightrope walk and we showing their skills as they walked along the 4 centimetre wide webbing strap for about 50 metres. They certainly had had a great deal of practise, we watched them for half an hour, taking some photo's. Returning to the campsite I prepared dinner then wandered over to the communal sitting area, where a group of 7 men were singing Slovenian songs, they were a singing group who sang in their spare time and gave several concerts during the year. It was a fun evening and it was gone midnight by the time we said our goodbyes.
I wanted to stay a few days at the campsite. It would have been good to have gone out for more walks, but Tom & Fran, more Fran wanted to move on. I took advantage of the lovely hot showers, then packed ready to leave. We picked a campsite from the guide and set off, driving about 140 kilometres before we arrived at Camping Dolina. We asked the price, which for me would have been €15 per day inc. for Tom & Fran €22 per day. It looked a nice place with super facilities including a pool. I asked Tom & Fran if they were happy to stay, they are both very reluctant to make decisions, they said okay and I said I would asked where we could park, Tom then said "maybe there is somewhere cheaper elsewhere" it was already 4pm. I was getting a bit pissed off as I always seem to be the one planning the route, looking for campsites etc. They say a price is okay then say it's too much, it's frustrating for me and I'm finding them very wishy washy in many ways. In the end I suggested another camperstop some 50 kilometres further on and we set off. The second site at Rogla is a ski resort in winter so we had to climb up a mountain road, reaching the site at 1500 m. There was no one else parked up and we found we could have free electricity, but Tom was moaning about driving up a mountain and using more diesel, I could have screamed. We set up and not long after a Slovenian couple turned up in a Nissan pick-up with a de mountable camper unit on the back. Andre & Metka are a super couple in their 50's and keen outdoor types.
Andre came over this morning and while chatting said he was going for a walk to some small lakes, about an hour and a half away, he asked if Tom & I would like to join him, I was keen and I think Tom was too so we said yeas and got ourselves ready. Fran & Metka joined us for the first 15 minutes or so, but left us to continue on our own. It was a really enjoyable walk to the lakes, there were a large number of walkers on the paths. At the lakes we climbed a look out tower for a great view of the surrounding countryside, then stopped for a break, we had walked a little over 5 kilometres. We decided on a different route back. Andre suggested we stop for a beer near the end of the walk which we did, it tasted great after the walking. Returning to the campers we felt good having walked over 13 kilometres. We sat together for our evening meal, Andre & Metka giving us some information on places to stay in Slovenia. Overall for me it was the best day so far on this trip, I went to bed feeling nice and relaxed.
Although the sun was shining brightly the following morning the clouds moved in around 10 am. I thought about another walk, but I don't think Tom was so keen, or maybe Fran didn't want him to go, she wanted to clean their camper and wanted Tom to help. Andre went off on his bike, riding up and down the mountain road in preparation for a race he has entered in the Dolomites in a few weeks time. I cleaned the camper until lunchtime then just relaxed until the evening, before an early night.
I'd suggested a camper stop to Tom & Fran that looked good in the guide book and had been recommended by Andre. However they wanted to go to Maribor, the second largest town in Slovenia. They said Andre had been told about this new aire near to the centre behind a shopping mall. We arrived in Maribor around lunchtime and eventually found the aire, it was in the main bus terminal. I would have turned round and left but Tom pulled in and having been shown where to park went and paid the €10 for the night, feeling pissed off I paid as well. Okay so for the €10 you get a parking in place, electric, water and a waste point, but it's actually in the main bus terminal and alongside the railway line and station. We went for a walk into the shopping centre and spent an hour wandering around, but the rest of the afternoon and evening was sitting outside, it was 30C and very humid, suffering the sound of buses and trains passing every five minutes and the choking smell of diesel fumes fro all the buses and coaches that use the terminal. Never again I said, and first thing tomorrow I'm leaving for the countryside and peace and quiet, Tom & Fran said okay but they didn't seem to bothered one way or another. How long can I go on with them? I ask myself, time will tell.
I slept reasonably well until about 5 am when I was woken by the early morning buses and trains. It had been the hottest night so far and I slept on the bed rather than in it. After a nice shower I had breakfast, we set off around 10 am. I'd found a camper stop in Ljutomer at a farm come wine producer, only 55 kilometres away. It was a pleasant drive through beautiful countryside, we arrived just after midday. The owners came out to meet us, they spoke very limited English, but I managed to understand their German a little. The farm is set deep in the countryside and is a rustic, peaceful and very relaxing place. About a thousand times better than last nights stop I think we could stay for a few days at least.
After lunch I went for a little walk, when I returned the owners son and his wife were stacking logs on a huge pile close to where we were parked, Tom & I gave them a helping hand and we were rewarded with a bottle of wine.
It seems I've been travelling all my life. For the past eight years I've been following a simple, nomadic lifestyle full time touring in a camper van and meeting with other like minded travellers.
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