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Mostar and Half Island Camping (Keith Dear) PDF Printable Version E-mail

A Visit to Mostar and Half Island Camping

Keith and Jenny Dear
Summer 2014

Visit the Half Island Camping Website: http://camping-buna.com/?page_id=102 

This was a short trip into Bosnia on the way up from Dubrovnic last summer. We had read in the latest edition of the Lonely Planet for Croatia that a train service connected the Croatian town of Ploce to Mostar in Bosnia, and eagerly approached the station only to find it somewhat crudely locked up and looking like a bomb had hit it. We were then told that the last train had left the station some two years ago, due to government cut-backs. A move not appreciated by the locals. So we drove to the border and bought third party insurance for around 20 for one week. We then enjoyed a pleasant drive to Mostar, checking out the excellent Half Island campsite as we went in towards the town.

We were astonished at the war damage in Mostar, but noted that the average tourist would probably see none of this, as the bridge, and the cobbled streets leading to it, have been fully restored. But it was all extremely interesting and the camp site owner (who goes by the name of 'Gaga') and his mother were wanting so much to enhance our visit, and couldn't do enough for us. Gaga was a worshipper of 80's British music and taught himself English through his passion for this. We considered it a wonderful experience to have met him.

Next day we left Bosnia and found a 4-hour queue at the border, due to the cussedness of the Croat border police we were told. But as the sadly recently deceased Mandy Rice Davies once famously said 'they would say that wouldn't they', singular being changed to plural here, of course!  So we took a much longer route but it worked for us in that we got back into Ploce quickly enough.

What a change from British attitudes to visitors in this small town - we found a small car park clearly labelled 'FOR TOURISTS ONLY'. So we stayed the night there!