Thursday, September 11, 2008

Coco Butter Bread Spread

Day: 347
Labin to Pula
Time: 3:15
Distance: 49.8 km
Avg Speed: 15.3 kph
Terrain: hilly
Location: N 44˚ 51’ 25.0”, E 13˚ 48’ 53.0”

We got up early in Labin to get our day started and as it turned out, visit with our little hostess. We had our usual bowl of muesli and had planned on grabbing some coffee downstairs with Anđela (that is our hostess’ name). She had shown Leslie that she grinds her own beans and had a drip coffee maker. Anything is better than Nescafé, so we weren’t too hard to convince. She apologized that she couldn’t cook us breakfast, but since her leg was bad she had trouble getting around. We got packed up and ended up sitting in her kitchen where she had made us a pot of coffee and sliced us some bread. She went through the sugar (šećer), milk (mlijeko), bread (kleh), butter (maslac), marmalade (no special word there) and her pride and joy; a container of coco butter left by the Canadian cycle tourists a week before. She left the room to go and get some paper work for us and I quickly grabbed the coco butter to examine it. It was brand new, thankfully, and had never been used. I also verified what Leslie and I thought it really was. It was coco butter skin cream, not coco butter bread spread. She came back in the room and Leslie and I had poured ourselves some coffee and were putting butter and marmalade on our bread. She started to talk about the coco butter some more and I thought to myself ‘we have to tell her…I just don’t want to embarrass her or confuse the situation any more’. Leslie must have been thinking the same thing, because she grabbed the container and pointed to the back of it and made the motion of putting it on her skin. Anđela got it immediately and just started laughing like it was the best thing she had ever heard. She grabbed the coco butter from Leslie, looked at the back of it, laughed some more, rattled off a bunch of Croatian and put the container on her ironing board. Evidently my fears were unjustified. We finally got on the road and had a great ride cruising the back roads south. We pulled into Pula around noon and quickly found the campground and settled in for our daily tan and swim. I fell asleep and missed my swim time so we got changed and headed into town to check out the Roman Coliseum built in the first century. We got sidetracked at a colorful, lively square, but finally found it. Very cool, very old and not very touristy. We had our fill of sight seeing and went to find some dinner. One of the specialties of the Istria is truffles (the fungi, not the chocolate). I was weak and couldn’t just do truffles so I got a meat dish, but Leslie was good and got truffle ravioli. Hers was way better than mine.
We are now back in the tent where I met the hitchhiker I had picked up today. I think I got him last night since I had stored our tent bag on the ground. While unpacking the tent today I came face to face with a little scorpion who rode through the countryside with us. I set the bag on the ground to grab my camera and when I turned around the little guy was gone. He is probably in amongst the pannier bags waiting to see where we will go tomorrow.

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