The Spiders of Lastovo and the Walls of Ston


4th August: Our walk from the anchorage at Pasadur to Lastovo town turned out to be more of an adventure than expected. We set off along the road alongside the anchorage, soon turning off onto a forest track. Being a forest track we expected some shade from the trees, but the makers of the track had been super efficient in cutting down trees leaving the track wide open to the sun. After a mile or so we were intending to turn left onto another track. We ended up walking on past it as it was no longer a track, but a slightly less overgrown area of wood. Damn you Google maps! Our choice was a long detour or a brief bash through the foliage. We went for the brief option but ended up blooded from the briars and blackberry bushes that were determined to halt our progress. After 100m or so the former track widened out and a push up hill brought us to the road.

Colin and the spider stick

Colin and the spider stick

Now we could get onto the proper trail to Lastovo with signposts! We now had some welcome shade but it was a mixed blessing. It seemed that every spider on the island had come to make this path it’s home. Suspended between the trees and bushes on either side of the track by a gossamer thin strand was a large web with a giant 8 legged beastie parked in the middle awaiting some prey. Every step we took we were sabotaged by the tickely strands of spider silk and at every possible height – knee, chest and worst of all, head. As we inadvertently broke the strands, the webs folded in on themselves and the spider scurried off – sometimes in our direction. Yuk!

Colin found a big stick and as we walked along he waved it up and down in front of us to break the strands. It was slow going but much better than having big spiders scurrying across our bodies.

An old chapel

An old chapel

In a clearing we had a reprise from spider alley. An old chapel had been built in the 11th century, the third oldest in Croatia. The reprise didn’t last for long as another woody section of path beckoned. Eventually we came out into a clearer section with views over the interior carpeted with grapevines and allotments surrounded by pointy mountain tops. It was beautiful.

The last section was along road with a view of Lastovo. As we reached the town we hoped for a shop to top up our water supplies. The first one we came to was closed and it was a long, thirsty slog up the many steps and steep paths to the shops and bars at the top of the town. A bus was due to leave soon (not so soon that we couldn’t squeeze a beer in) and made the return journey much quicker and easier. For more about the trail click here.

Lastovo

Lastovo

Like Vis, Lastovo has some military remains in ruins. There are many tunnels and a boat hide as well the old barracks to explore.

5th August: When we left the anchorage the next morning to go for fuel, the wind was from the north east, which was unexpected as every forecast was predicting southerly. We put it out of mind whilst we motored around to Ubli for fuel.

The anchorage at Pasadur

The anchorage at Pasadur

Ubli was chaos. At least eight boats waiting for fuel and to check out, we would have been stuck for hours. As a stroke of luck or clever forethought by us, only our cans needed filling. We dropped the hook and a frenzy of activity followed getting the dinghy in the water and the cans out of their storage bags. Colin zoomed off and I tidied the fenders and lines away. Only 15 minutes passed before he was back. He’d been able to sneak in behind a powerboat that had finished filling up but was taking ages to leave. Repeat for the second load of cans and we were done. A slight moment of peril then arrived with the ferry, tooting its horn and scattering powerboats in every direction. It seemed to be heading right for us but turned before it got too close. Phew! Dinghy out, cans away and we were off before an hour had passed, others boats that had arrived at the same time as us no where near to getting filled up.

As we’d motored around the west of the island the wind had gone south as predicted. Which was good and meant we’d be able to sail on our return. But as we got back to the north of the island it went north east again, right on the nose! It must be an effect of the island as once we’d cleared Lastovo the wind set in southerly and we could sail, slowly.

Polace was busier than the last time we’d visited, maybe twice as many boats with more at anchor than on the restaurant pontoons. There was still enough room for us to anchor, although we had to make do with being in deeper water.

The Walls of Ston

6th August: We’d raced a maelstrom of thunderstorms to get from Polace to Ston, dark skies behind, monitoring a lightning strikes website as we motored through a choppy sea. We saw strikes had hit the anchorage at Polace but the storm clouds were staying north of us so far.

Anchored near Ston

Anchored near Ston

We made it to the anchorage where the winds were still light. Not much later they were gusting up to 40kts and the dark skies rolled over the top of us and threw out some rain. Still no lightning and it stayed that way.
Ston lies at the end of a 5 mile long channel which narrows and shallows for the last couple of miles. We didn’t fancy running aground or having to pay on the quay so plumped for anchoring at the entrance along with Bonaventure.

That night was the local carnival and with winds still up near 30kts, it wasn’t a good idea to leave the boat. Colin kindly suggested running myself and Jay ashore so we could walk up and see it whilst he stayed on boat watch.

The crazy sheep men of Ston

The crazy sheep men of Ston

We arrived just in time to see a small parade. First were some girls dressed as hula girls, followed by lots of Super Women. A pause followed before the next group – a group of scary sheep with a shepherd trying to tame them and a clanging and banging of bells and drums. Crazy!

They twisted and turned in the square and bonked against each other…. Not sure whether they were bonking or banging their bells! It was entertaining whatever it was. When that finished a duo set to on some Croatian songs which the locals danced away to – they certainly know how to party here. Lightning started flashing again nearby so we legged it back to the boats, a nervous journey especially when all the lights went out.

Some bell bonking going on

Some bell bonking going on

We reckon The Walls of Ston would make a great name for a heavy rock band! The walls of Ston are a several mile long construction from the 15th century, built as part of the outer defences for Dubrovnik. A large section has been restored for walking along between the towns of Ston and Mali Ston.

The walls of Ston

The walls of Ston

Walking the Walls of Ston

Walking the Walls of Ston

The next day the wind still blew but Monday dawned much calmer. We headed off for the walls walk under a clear sky and 30c temps. My, are the walls steep! I thought my legs were fairly fit but even I had jelly legs at the top. Some crazy people even run a marathon along the walls, two lads passed us running down, getting some training in. To make up for the burning lungs and wobbly pins the views are beautiful and once at the top its a short flat section and then a steep down into Mali Ston. The waters here are used for mussel and oyster farms so lunch that day was trying out the local fare. Both towns are beautiful, Ston being the bigger of the two. Suffice to say we took the easy route back along the path by the road!

View from the walls of Ston

View from the walls of Ston

Sailing Info

3rd August: Vis to Mali Lunga, Lastovo, 35nm travelled
Anchored in 6m in position 42 46.057’N 16 49.54’E
There is a park fee of 30kn per person, per day but we were only visited on one of the two days we were there.

5th August: Lastovo to Polace, Mljet 36nm travelled (14nm sailed)
Anchored in 13m in position 42 47.37’N 17 22.58’E

6th August: Polace to Ston, 22nm travelled
Anchored in 6m in positon 42 49.162’N 17 43.195’E

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