Wow factors

There are many things that we can saw “Wow” about. It can be used in both a positive and negative way. Today was one of those day’s where the word was used both ways.

We lined up early for the 7 am breakfast, surrounded by a  large bunch from USA doing a Rick Stein 3 week bus tour. Amazingly, I think they ate more than us!

We left on the 8 am ferry and this was our last look of Rovinj.


This is one of about 19 archipelago islands off the coast in the area. I would quite like to acquire the little one thank you.


We were on the road by 8.45 am, and the day was looking ok weather wise.  There was a breeze in our face as we commenced what would be a 38 km steady climb.

Another picture perfect village on a hill

This intrigued me, it is a paddock of fence posts planted almost like a cemetery. No signage to indicate what and why.


That distant mountain was to be a feature for much of the day, as we would end up riding around the base of it. It looks so far away in this photo.


Lots of grape growing again.



You just never get sick of these views! What a great looking village at the top of this climb. The village is Plomin.


But…like any country, there are ugly aspects. You could hardly miss this coal processing plant. That chimney is exceedingly tall. To the left of the coal pile is a conveyor belt that brings the coal down from the wharf and stockpiles it.


Here we are a bit closer to the village that we now realize overlooks the coal driven power plant.


It also overlooks this amazing inlet….including the conveyor belt and wharf.


Following the ridge along you could see it open into the Adriatic Sea.


#2 for Ali and Lord Glover is he is reading!


Typical housing in this region.


This is about where our wow, wow, wow’s started.


The next few are taken from an extremely well placed restaurant (on a hairpin bend) overlooking a magnificent view, including the large island of Cres.



One of the best rides ever occurred next as we followed the coastline, gradually declining with the most incredible views.  My only concern was that the drop off was steep and long, and only a few patches, here and there of roadside barriers! We stopped at a barrier to look.


Now we are quite close to sea level and there is a small beach. Most of the beaches have been pebbly.


Traffic started to get a bit hairy some 35 km from our destination. We stopped for an ice cream.



We climbed up and down a few more times.


Then we hit Rijeka! The negative wow’s now with possible other adjectives thrown in!

Now I have ridden from one end of Paris to the other, right through London in different directions and both were far preferable to our experience in Rijeka.

Crazy driving, no cycling infrastructure meant we were forced onto the footpath where cars tended to park, using our bike like a scooter.

Progress was slow and hampered.  At one point we were on a road climbing 15 percent with crazies around and the regular drains we had been avoiding had the grates spun around the ‘wrong’ way for cyclists.  The gaps were wider than our tyres and would be very ugly if we accidentally rode over one on these narrow roads.

There are no photos of Riejka. Sorry. We were just concentration 100 percent. If there is a nice part, we missed it!

We made a few executive decisions to alter our route and try and hug the coast a bit more to get to our destination of Bakar.

We descended steeply into a very deep water bay with huge ships there for maintenance. Needed to climb up but the road actually had a verge larger than 6 inches!

Eventually at the top of the hill we saw Bakar. It was a nice descent and Tony snapped this riding the descent. I would be a goner for sure if I tried that!

Note the modern highway bridge high above the town.


Bakar is a ‘quaint’ village. Fairly quiet where the locals seem to sit outside the various bars cigarettes in one hand, beer the other.

It used to house an industrial plant including a coal factory, which produced considerable pollution. The factory closed in 1995 and the areas pollution has subsided significantly. Reminds me of Burnie,s industrial story.

During WW1 there was a ‘militarily irrelevant’ naval raid on the town by the Italians, aimed at raising the spirits of the Italian public.

After WWI the town became a major point of entry for thousands of Russian refugees.

During WWII there was a concentration camp here for Croats’, Serbs and Ljubljana people.



This interested me. It is restored, but it is Perolo, a cultural and historical local monument. It was a site for washing clothes, with fresh water fed from the adjacent spring pond.


A closer look at the highway structure. Looks so out of place above the old village.



Today this is the route we followed for our 118 km ride, and our hilly ascent chart.

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Tomorrow is a bigger day both km and climbing wise. The weather forecast is rain and cold. I hope they are wrong and that it turns out like today, weather wise!!

Thanks for reading,





4 thoughts on “Wow factors

  1. David Hutchinson

    Thanks for the blog. Makes for very interesting reading, and viewing! As a person who is fairly new to bike touring, I am always keen to pick up the odd tip here and there. I was wondering if you could tell me why you chose the luggage setup you have on the bikes, as opposed to just having panniers on the back? Thanks in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

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