I’m so used to long hauls between marine supply outlets that I buy in bulk when I can. The local chandler here almost fell over when I asked for 16 oil and fuel filters but it is better to have spares than not. That’s why Tainui is 2 tonnes overweight. Cruising, you are always adding things, never removing them.
Having serviced the engine today I wandered the old town and explored the coliseum in warm summery weather. In fact, Pula is a very pleasant place.
Imperial Roman roads led from all over Istria and Dalmatia to Rome. Wine and olive oils were the chief currency and Pula was a major trading centre. Augustus, Claudius and Vespasian built the huge stadium which dominates the waterfront. Gladiators fought there then, but this century the arena has been given over to the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, rock concerts, and hockey matches. Adaptive re-use, they call it. It is a splendid edifice.
Travelling in Croatia, Chris and I found modern history in the Balkans just too complex to make sense of. By contrast, the activities of Imperial Rome seem more accessible, distilled as they are by 2,000 intervening years.
Tainui is in pretty good shape, Jasper arrives tomorrow and Maxine on Sunday. I am sick of my own company (always have been) and I am looking forward to seeing them both. We’ll do a market shop Monday morning the clear immigration and customs for Venice.
Now, it is a lambent evening. Everyone is outdoors. Here I sit in the old square, with a pile of fresh scampi and a chilled white. On the seafront, trawlers are casting off while children play on the cobblestones, lovers canoodle and old couples with canes support each other gently. A swim would be good, but not in this soupy harbour.
I reckon everything is pretty OK. Life might be evanescent but, as a local drunk in Millers Point once said to me, “mate, you wouldn’t be dead for quids”.