When I reach Gradac, a smaller town, nothing is open except a supermarket. The next challenge is the big industrial port of Ploče, which I reach in the afternoon around 15:00. I think about swimming through the bay for a while, but decide against it, because there are also big cargo ships on the way, which don’t see me. So I go ashore to have a look at the situation from a higher point of view and then I walk towards Ploče, which is 3 kilometers away at the end of the bay. At some point a barbed wire comes up, under which I crawl through and enter a military base unnoticed. I notice this at the other end, where the barbed wire fence is equipped with clear signs. This makes it clear that I cannot take the same way back without being in need of an explanation.
Directly after the bay of Ploče begins the delta of the Neretva, which here flows ice-cold into the only knee-deep delta.
Where the river flows in, the current is so strong that I am driven far out into the open water and finally I get into the twilight. I swim to the small village of Blace, where I find an open bar, which unfortunately has no menu. The owner is sitting with friends at the next table having dinner and brings me a sheep’s head as a present. This is a very unusual food.
The next day I swim the direct way over, 5 kilometers to the village of Streser.
The following day I approach the construction site of the Pelješac bridge, which is being built here by China to bypass the passage through Bosnia to the enclave Dubrovnic. But first I have to get out of the water already after 6 kilometers, near Brijesta. During the last days I am constantly cold. Today especially. Here in the bay flow many cold rivers, but I think that the real reason is somewhere else. I haven’t eaten well for days and probably no more warming fat reserves.
At the construction site, which I slowly approach, they won’t let me swim through for the time being. The huge construction site is surrounded by bars, behind which the Chinese workers live. After long discussions, a worker accompanies me through the construction site.
After 2 days I reach Mali Ston, the narrowest part of the peninsula I want to cross here.
On the other side of the peninsula the water is a bit warmer again and I plan to cover 12 kilometers for the day. The first 6 kilometers go well. At noon I go ashore where there is a luxury restaurant where the sailors usually moor.
In the afternoon I set off to cross the bay. After 2 kilometers the wind freshens up so strongly that I have to swim and turn back. Back at the restaurant I am happily welcomed by the two owners Toni and Maja. I am invited for dinner and get an apartment to stay overnight.
The weather forecast for the next days is very bad. To Dubrovnic there are still 38-40 kilometers to go, but now I have to wait here until it gets a bit quieter.