Previously, on The Buda Nest…
We travelled to Hvar from Budapest whilst being force fed biscuits. The island was beautiful, but the sea was fishy. We stole a random family's clothes and then fled the island with our next destination being Brela…
The first I heard of the beach was in Brela, on the Frankopanska Road.
“We found it yesterday. It’s an idyllic, isolated beach on an untouched peninsula.” says Mr Tomato.
Mr and Mrs Tomato are friends of ours from Budapest, who like a pair of juicy, ripe stalkers, just so happen to be staying in Brela, in the same apartment building as us, at the same time as us! And as much as I’d love their real names to be Mr and Mrs Tomato and for them to be real life, children’s book characters, these are actually their nicknames. The beach that Mr Tomato is referring to is in response to our glum faces on the discovery that all of the beaches in Brela appear to be pebbly.
“I just don’t understand it.” I say whilst searching through Google. “Look! All of these sites talk about the gorgeous sandy beaches of Brela!”
“I know!” agrees Mr Tomato. “That’s why we came to Brela as well (that and to stalk us). But it seems to me that Croatians have a different understanding of sand! You should seriously check out this beach that we found though. It’s heavenly! No tiny pebbles!”
The next morning we mentally prepare ourselves to tackle the pebbly beaches of Brela with baby Mila.
“Maybe it’ll be alright.” I say to Zsuzsa. “Maybe Mila will enjoy the pebbles.”
“Honey. Mila will try and eat the pebbles. She will find them inexplicably delicious.” she replies.
“Maybe she won’t. Maybe you’re underestimating her intelligence. Maybe she’s smarter than you give her credit for! She’s not stupid you know?”
Half an hour later, and having grown tired of screaming “No!” and grabbing pebbles from Mila’s mouth after she attempted to eat the entire beach in a pebble eating frenzy, we leave the beach. We join Mr & Mrs Tomato and together travel in a convoy to this sacred, secluded paradise. Mr Tomato is of course leading the convoy as only he knows the secret path to the secret beach.
Twenty minutes later and Mr Tomato leads us off the main road in to a busy secret car-park. We get out of our cars.
“The secret beach is this way.” says an enthusiastic Mr Tomato, pointing in the direction of a row of beach front shops selling Croatia hats, mugs and flags.
We follow Mr Tomato past the busy secret shops, via several busy secret beach front bars, meandering our way through the hoards and throngs of sweaty beach dwellers who must have heard about this secret paradise via hushed whispers in secret corners of Brela. A few minutes later and we arrive at ‘The Beach’. True to his word there are no bite-sized pebbles for Mila to munch on. Instead the ground is covered in fist sized, jagged rocks. Hmmm.
We hurl our pop-up tent next to a jet ski rental hut. The sun is beating down on us and there’s a severe lack of shade on the beach/quarry but I’m determined to make the most of it. I pop my snorkel on and head to the water. Mr Tomato sees me, shakes his head and then points to my feet.
“Make sure you wear shoes in the water. It’s full of hedgehogs!” he says.
“Huh?” I reply.
“Hedgehogs! Sea hedgehogs!”
“Those spikey ball things!”
I’m wondering if Mr Tomato is suffering from sun-stroke, but pop the snorkel on and stick my face under the water to humour him. Sea urchins. Super sharp, super spikey sea urchins as far as the eye can see. Sea urchins looking for a lovely human shaped pin cushion to house their many pins. I resurface.
“So let me get this straight.” I say. “We’re at this secret, idyllic beach, surrounded by beach dwellers, next to a jet ski rental hut, precariously perched on a bed of jagged rocks, melting in the sun without shade and we can’t walk in the water without puncturing our feet on a…er…sea hedgehog?”
“Yes. We like it.” replies Mr Tomato.
I make a mental note to never accept a beach recommendation from a man named after a fruit or vegetable again, and return to my baking hot tent on the jagged rocks. I sit down in the sweltering heat and turn to by beautiful wife. She returns my gaze, and smiles sweetly. Suddenly I feel contented. She leans in to whisper sweet nothings into my ear.
"Honey. I think Mila's done a massive poop. It's your turn to change her?" she softly says.
Oh, my beautiful holiday paradise.