Katie, David and I walked together back through the old city of Split after hugging Danica goodbye. Rain clouds had begun to make their way from the mountains to the coast, rolling in slowly and ominously.
We hadn’t made any reservations for hostels, so we just started dropping in to places.
Our first stop was Silver Gate, the hostel David had stayed in before we left for Solta. They had one bed, which Katie and I decided belonged to David.
Then, she and I began our wander to Fiesta Siesta to see if there were any beds there.
“We can call Booze and Snooze,” offered Fiesta Siesta’s receptionist. She hung up the phone, frowning.
So, Katie and I, ready to dodge the rain that was about to pelt us, decided to make our way back to CroParaside, fingers crossed there was something there.
Thank goodness there was.
We quickly grabbed bottom bunks and immediately turned on our computers.
Oh, hello, my dear sweet old friend Internet. I missed you so.
After connecting with the people we needed to connect with, we went into the city and wandered, shopped (well, looked) and grabbed food, planning on meeting David later for dinner at my go-to restaurant in Split, Fife.
Within a few minutes at CroParadise, I met a 20-something Canadian traveler, Carl, and invited him out with us.
The night was a party, at least for Carl and I.
(It should be noted — I love Split. Some of my best travel memories have been in this gorgeous seaside town. There is some sort of backpacker electricity in the air that just seeps into my pores.)
The four of us went to dinner at Fife, dining on fish soup, calamari and more. Katie and I decided to go hard and ordered a liter of Croatian red wine while the guys sipped beer.
Then, it was on to Charlie’s, the smokey backpacker bar under Fiesta Siesta where Simon used to work. David disappeared, leaving Katie, Carl and I sitting outside, avoiding the throngs of people packed into the tiny interior, drinking liters of beer.
Then, Katie left.
Carl and I went inside and ordered another round (of course). Then, we met a group of Aussies, a nice enough group who just wanted to drink their trip away. They had been sitting at the picnic table across from us at Fife, so we immediately started chatting them up.
Then, the beer and wine hit me.
“I’ve got to go home,” I mumbled, making my way towards the door.
“Alright poppet, see you back at the hostel,” one of the Aussie girls said.
I dolled out quick hugs and then raced outside, needing the fresh air to smack me in the face.
I walked fast back to the dorm, not because I was walking alone at night, but because I needed to lay down. Only, when I put my key in the door, nothing happened.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
I tried the other key.
I rang the doorbell.
Someone, answer. I am spinning.
Not wanting to be that girl who passes out at the entrance to the hostel, I walked back to the bar, pushing the thoughts of getting sick out of my head.
“I’m back,” I announced to the group which I had left only 10 minutes earlier.
“What happened?” Carl asked, eyes wide at my sudden re-appearance. “You came back!”
“My key,” I said, frowning, producing the offender in my hand. “It won’t work. I need you to open the door for me.”
“Sure,” he said, wrapping his arm around me. “No problem. But, let’s get another drink first.”
“Ohhhhh … I don’t know about that,” I began to protest. Then, poof, there was another liter of beer in my hand.
“Thank you,” I said, resigning myself to accept I was not getting out of it. And, at that moment, I decided I wanted to live it up a little bit. (SEE — crazy backpacker electricity of Split at work!)
And then came the honey rum shot. And then, I was done.
“I’ve got to go home,” I pleaded with Carl.
“OK,” he said. “Let’s go.”
We walked back to the hostel and sat outside together on the balcony. I know we talked … just not sure about what.
Then, the Aussies returned and joined us outside.
The terrace is made for three people. There are three seats. There were six of us.
I scooted closer to Carl, throwing my legs over his, when one of the girls sat on the chair with me.
I didn’t intend my leg-draping as anything other than simply making more room.
Carl, however, took it as anything but that. At that point, I didn’t care.
For an hour, we sat outside, all of us talking. Then, Carl and I were holding hands. Then, it was just Carl and I on the terrace. Then, well, there might have been a little bit of smooching. Then, I put a stop to it.
“We’re not doing anything,” I informed him. “I need to go to bed.”
“Yup. Sorry. I need to sleep.”
Oh, what a backpacking tease am I.
He and I crawled into bed, and I fell asleep nearly straightaway, tucking my head into his neck, laced in his arm.
I woke up the next morning a wee bit groggy, alone in my bed, with only one thought in my mind: What the hell happened to David?