Split, Hvar, Croatia

A forest fire just north of Makarska blocks the main route to Split.

06:30, on a bus somewhere. Should have been in Split 2 hours ago. We stopped around 03:00 (?) at the side of the road. I figured engine trouble, or driver break, or something, and kept sleeping. Staying on a relatively warm bus was preferable to wandering the streets of Split at the scheduled arrival of 04:30. I didn’t need to be in Split until 08:00.

Those flames are close, and a very strong wind is blowing straight towards us…
Eventually another bus took us back and around the mountains to get to Split. From the side of the mountain we could see the fire and smoke blowing out to sea.

Finally around 6am I decided to see what was going on – starting to get worried about making it in time to do laundry, and I’m on the funky end of the last pair of underwear’s tour of duty. Looked out the front window just as a fellow passenger, a Brit, said “Um, that’s a lot of smoke”.

Walked up the hill a bit, and sure enough: forest fire just north of the town we are stopped in (and, disturbingly, directly upwind of where we’re standing, and it was a fierce wind). Now I’m worried about getting to Split at all, nevermind the underwear situation. And it is so close to town… maybe homes are in danger? Nobody seems upset, though, just tired, bored, cranky. (My new friend and I got yelled at for talking softly, but the guy who had been sawing logs loudly ALL NIGHT was left alone…)

[Got too busy to write more – see the next entry for details.]