The path less travelled

Last night at dinner I heard a man laugh. I said to Tony, “He has an Aussie laugh”. Is there such a thing?  I became a sticky beak and listened to their conversation. Yes, he was Aussie as he discussed tv shows such as The Sullivans, Homicide and Neighbors! I said “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” and he reacted!

He and his wife were members of a much larger Aussie group doing a bus tour of Croatia. We sat with a few others during breakfast this morning. It was nearly three weeks since we had heard another Australian speaking.

When we were leaving some of the group wandered outside ready for their own adventures. I had my photo taken with three different groups, and here is the one we took.

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It was very foggy and cool as we left. In fact, it was 5.4 degrees Celcius and I had to spin those legs fast to warm them up.

One photo from Gospic, famous as the birth place of Nikolas Tesla. Sadly it has suffered badly with wars, WWII and the Croatian Independence War. Over 100 Serbians were rounded up and killed in the latter.

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Small church near our accommodation

The road was nice and flat and we motored along nicely despite the cool conditions.

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It’s been about a week now since we’ve seen a deer, but we keep looking.

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This was a sobering memorial to the Croatian Independence War from the early 1990’s.

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We noted many abandoned and seemingly destroyed homes and wondered if they had been damaged by war. The first one seems not to bad, but is abandoned. The second one is totally stuffed! There were hundreds of homes like this today.

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After 30 km of easy cruising, we stopped here to grab a coffee. The lady spoke some English and I asked her about the houses. She told me they were all damaged from the 1990’s war. How sad.

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It was still foggy but serene.

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Another destroyed and abandoned home. I later read that the Croatians also destroyed homes owned by Serbians. So the conflict was not all Croatia vs the Yugoslav’s but also against Serbs living within Croatia.

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Just as we were about to commence our biggest climb for the day, the fog started to lift revealing a mountain range.

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We crossed this cute creek, swollen somewhat from yesterday’s deluge.

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I lost count of how many of these memorials we rode past today. They are all in remembrance of soldiers killed during the Independence War with dates of death ranging from 1991-1995.

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We started to climb and I was somewhat ‘surprised’ to see gravel! There was also a sign indicating 18 km worth! Now gravel is not my strong cycling point on the flat, let alone climbing and descending. We were at 600 m.a.s.l and due to climb to 1,051 m.a.s.l. Ooh it was going to be a slow trudge.

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About half way up the climb there was a lookout tower providing expansive views.

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Below us, we noticed these circles of stone we assume were used to contain sheep once upon a time versus sacrificial usage!

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Yet another destroyed home. Homes were few and far between on this ride. on the climb we only found a couple, and not one vehicle. This photo is at the top, where it was flat for one or two km meandering around.

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So many of these memorials to dead soldiers up on the mountain top.

The views from the top were outstanding.

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This sign shocked me to the core. We were in an area of undetonated landmines! Woah! No sneaking off behind a bush up here for a nature break. I had no idea about this aspect of the area. I have since googled to learn that after the war, the Croatian Government spent many years identifying and removing many, but the job is not finished, and they have stopped. Instead, warning signs are placed. Over 1900 people have lost their lives due to land mines.

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It was hard to pick the photos to use for today, but here are a selection.

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I really like this one. Has a Dolomite feel to it. I am going very slowly on this descent. I’d be lucky if I was doing 10 kmh.

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Why was this wall built? So out of place and seemingly superfluous ?

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Perhaps the wall was something to do with this? In the 1960’s the area was used as a film set for a movie and tv series about North American Indians. Seems logical…go to Croatia rather than the home of the North American Indian!

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Another memorial with an outstanding view looking towards Zadar.

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We had numerous breaks on the descent as our hands were aching so badly from squeezing the brakes so heavily. This one is at the little chapel.

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We heard a motor noise and looked down to see these beach buggies hooning up…they were flooring it and having a ball. We were glad to be off the road as they flew past.

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Here we have a new church being built, I dare say another war memorial as obviously there was a mass loss of life on these mountains. Hard to picture the tanks rolling up and down these hills and the many thousands of men. It is such a serene place today.

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We are now looking back up at where we had ridden

When we finally hit solid road, it was such a relief. All the way down to near sea level, the land mine warning signs continued. Below we are looking back up at part of the range.

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These might look like lakes, but they are not. They are inlets from the Adriatic Sea.

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This is the Maslenica Bridge built in 2005 after the original bridge was destroyed in 1991

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Our last few views before undertaking our death defying ride into Zadar.

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The last 30 km was hair raising. The cars were fast and there was a series of rolling hills to overcome. We just put our heads down, concentrated hard on white line on the road edge as there was no verge. Speed limits do not seem to be a consideration as whether the sign said, 40,50, 80… they all do far faster.

We found our accommodation and were relieved to arrive intact!

We enjoyed our walk around Zadar, another city also destroyed by the two wars. This first picture is looking out our bedroom window to the Zadar Cathedral of St Anastasia ( left hand side). The church origins date back to a basilica built in the 4th century. much of the current structure is 12th and 13th century. The bombing of Zadar damaged part of the church in 1943.

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Next door, is the Church of St Donatus, construction commencing in the 9th century. The bell tower is part of the cathedral.

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The various plinths and partial columns are from Roman times, part of the Forum, constructed by the Emperor Augustus. Zadar was a Roman colony from 48 BC until the 5th Century.

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Down to the water front looking out to the various islands.

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I wanted to listen to the unique sea organ. Alas it was impossible due to a running festival setting up that had very loud ‘duff duff’ music blaring. We intend to try again in the morning, swinging past before we head south to Split.

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After dinner, we headed back to the water front for sunset. What a glorious sunset.

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Then a few more shots as we headed home.

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Am extraordinary day. Beautiful weather, a ride through an area not many venture that is incredibly beautiful with such a sad and sobering past.

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We have two days left in Croatia.  Next we ride to Split, around 150 km south from here. Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day as we catch the overnight ferry to Italy. Unfortunately there are bad weather warnings out for Sunday and early next week including eastern Italy, but I hope it sorts itself out tomorrow!!

Thanks for reading

Ooroo

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Weather Gods

Our three day run of good weather came to a halt!

I had slept restlessly listening to the rain on the roof and trying to think how I could reconfigure the route. The route today was one of those key, lynchpin ones, tying up with the final two days on the eastern side of the Adriatic. I knew there were no possible Plan B’s.

I arose early to look at various meteorological forecast. I tried multiples sites and could not find a positive one! The forecast was for rain all day. Heavy rain, headwinds with the possibility of lightening. Temperature? Cold.

Awesome… not.

The accommodation host, Soly, tried to persuade us to stay an extra night, but being a key leg, that would not work. We have a ferry to catch from Split on Sunday night. The bikes are ready to go, just need to refuel first.

We pop down stairs…all 4 levels to find our breakfast. The waitress has worked here for 10 years. She is a chain smoker. She sits outside smoking and pops in if she needs to do something. During our breakfast she had 5 cigarettes…we know this as she sat outside our window. I do hate the smoking here as it rattles my asthmatic lungs badly.

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Our host Soly is an interesting chap. Whilst he was born in Croatia, his parents are Albanian and refugees from Kosovo. They live in the building together, seemingly all occupying a different floor.

Our last views of Bakar, with the weather looking out beyond the port looking a bit yucky. Our direction, of course!

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We took very few photos for the first 80 km of the ride as it rained, and rained and rained. Occasionally it would ease a tad and we grabbed a couple. The weird thing today was that the sky never matched what was being dumped on us.

There are some rain spots on the lens in some of the photos. One of two reasons we don’t stop during rain events. The second is you get too cold.

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The island you can see is Krk

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We were on the road below for quite some time. Not one car came in either direction. It was extraordinarily barren and no sign of human activity, bar piles of rocks and occasional cow dung. On a nice sunny day, the view would be extraordinary. Great place for a quiet shack.

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Here I come wet and bedraggled.

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Right on 1 pm the rain stopped, just like that. We thought, excellent! There were many big puddles and localized flooding.

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Beautiful forests

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Alas we were out of luck. It turned out to be the calm before the storm and it started to really bucket down big time, far heavier than earlier. We both got quite cold as the head wind chilled us.  We had been climbing most of the ride and having started at sea level were now over 800 meters above sea level and had already climbed 1200 meters.

Worse than the rain, the temperature had dropped to a mere 4 degrees and we were potentially in a spot of bother and risk of hypothermia.

On short descents we were both spinning our legs trying to generate some body heat. We had not passed through any villages for 30 km or so. The last one we saw we grabbed coffee and supplies.

Out of the blue, in the middle of nowhere, at an intersection was a pub!

I went in dripping water all over the tiled floor. Patrons all stopped to turn and look at me as I guess my wet attire was not a common site, particularly in such crazy weather.

I asked if they had hot soup. Yes! So we had a hot coffee and a bowl of hot veggie soup. Never had soup tasted so good. Tony held his for a long time trying to warm his hands up,

We got into all of our remaining winter cycling clothes. For me, full legs and my yak wool body shirt and snood were pulled out.

Unbeknown to us, we were being watched by a guy who asked where we were headed. Gospic. He threw me the keys to his car and said check it out, I will take you!

I asked where he was from – Switzerland, and he was heading to Zadar. I asked a few questions trying to get a quick gut feel, and his responses were not open. Hmm I thought.

His offer seemed almost too good to be true, and it was, as he had a sports Jaguar! Nice car but two bikes were not going in there. He insisted we break down the bikes and try but we knew it would not work. Then he cracked the shits with us and got stroppy.

That confused us and we both thanked him for his kindness and he indicated to both of us he was pissed off we were not traveling with him……hmmm…..Wolf Creek came to mind!

So he stormed off in his lovely Jag as we headed out into the rain. We discussed him a fair bit thereafter.

Our goal had changed to making it to the 90 km mark ( a further 18 km) and we would grab accommodation at that town.

The weather Gods must have decided that they  had given us enough of a hard time for one day, as it stopped raining perhaps 5 minutes after hitting the road.  The wind stopped blowing and the temperature rose to 8 degrees!

Our km rate picked up as we had done most of the climbing and the road flattened somewhat, and we got to the 90 km town quite quickly. We both felt quite comfortable and decided to kick on to our original destination.

A few photos after the rains.

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Then a miracle happened. Can you see it? Blue sky!!!! That really lifted our spirits.

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You can tell I have warmed up….my rain jacket is flapping! The sky…and the temperature kept increasing up to 12 degrees! A bit further on I needed to remove my snood and red jacket ( under my rain jacket) as I started to sweat on the climbs.

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In the far distance you can see some snow on distant peaks.

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This is the Lika River we crossed shortly before arriving in Gospic.

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We were so pleased to arrive in one piece. It was a tougher ride today at 138 km in length, and just over 2000 meters ascent. We had started at sea level this morning but now just under 600 meters above.

When you look at the graph below you can see why it was tough to have the rain, wind and low temperature for the first 70 km.

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The lady at reception at our hotel in Gospic, said that they had been worried about us as the weather had been awful in town. They had a great spot ready for the bikes.

A few minutes after we got to our room, there was a knock at our door. The receptionist had a bowl of what she called ‘sweet Croatian treats’ for us. They looked so much like the Dutch Oliebollen’s. I was so touched by this generous act. They were so nice as we were famished.

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Today was a day that tested mental tenacity. It would be easy to give up, but we did not despite the weather gods. They eventually came good!

The route we rode today would be awesome to do again, in brilliant weather! Croatia is certainly a beautiful country and we have two more days riding here, plus a day in Split before our ferry across the Adriatic to Ancona (Italy).

Thanks for reading,

Ooroo

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lots of grape growing again.

 

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Typical housing in this region.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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We climbed up and down a few more times.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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,

Ooroo

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Shades of Tuscany

This is the alleyway our bedroom window looked out into.  A funky part of Trieste. Our bikes were stored in the linen room, located up a different alley. It is easy to get lost with the plethora of similar looking alleys.

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Here is my bike, all packed up and ready to roll. This old fountain has been disabled from use.

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The first 5 km getting out of Trieste was a nightmare. Crazy Italian car drivers, pedestrians, motor scooters and an occasional cyclist heading every which way.

Disorganised and chaotic, yet everyone survives. They may be crazy but they are also quite tolerant.

A few km later and we have found a bike trail. Every now and then you just have to lift your bike and luggage over stuff!

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Today would be a three country day. What’s more, within 22 km of riding, we would have been in 3.

Here I am, on a bike path, leaving Italy and entering Slovenia.

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A few views of Slovenia, or is Italy?

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This is Slovenia and you can see that the vegetation is really starting to change from the first two weeks. It is taking on a decided Tuscan twist, with olives and grapes being the only crops we saw all day.

Within 20 km we had crossed the border into Croatia, requiring two more passport checks. Within a few days we have collected 6 passport stamps from Slovenia and Croatia!

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We passed numerous hilltop towns, also reminding me of Tuscany.

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In the photo below, you can see a whisp of smoke on the right hand side. As we were climbing, we rode through a thick patch, courtesy of a farmer doing a burn off.

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This old cottage is cute! Renovator required.

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This photo is by special request from my friend Ali, in England. This is continuing my New Zealand theme.

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Another renovators delight.

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Another beautiful hilltop town.

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Now this abode is for sale! I can confirm it comes with a great view!

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More great vistas.

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Towns ahead are well signposted with what is available. Crosses all languages, and a great idea!

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Views after views.

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With only 25 km to go out of todays 100 km, we stopped at a small cafe. Whilst we had no Croatian currency yet, they kindly agreed to take Euro.

We had two wonderful chicken, cheese and bacon burger, a large bottle of frizzante…all for 11 Euro.

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The next 20 km were fantastic. We descended through a gorge. At the top you could just see the water reminding me of some waterways north of Sydney.

There were a series of pop up shops selling their local wares.

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Nice colourful sign, no idea what it is about.

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The last few km into Rovinj were hairy. Impatient drivers!

We needed to get the ferry as tonight we are staying on St Katarina Island, off the Rovinj Coast, with lovely Adriatic waters surrounding us.

After some mucking around on the bikes trying to find where we were meant to be, we made a few phone calls.

At last we were on the boat heading away from the crowds. Rounding the rocky promontory reveals the best facades of the old town.

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We have been for a walk around ‘our’ island. Here are some of the views of the island and looking from the island.

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These gulls are particularly large (perhaps twice the size of our common seagulls at home) and nesting. They are as silly as plovers with some of their nest locations, but far more placid.

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The waters off the island are so crystal clear.

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Todays route and elevation profile.

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Well I must get some beauty sleep so I can continue the journey tomorrow.

A few last shots to show you of tonight’s Adriatic sunset.

Ooroo 😊💪🚴

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Do you have a kangaroo in your bag?

It was drizzling when we awoke. We knew it would be as we had been spending a bit of time checking various meteorological forecasts last night.  The next few days were not looking great, and in particular tomorrow was looking dismal.

We had capitulated between heading to Zagreb (capital of Croatia)  or Maribor (Slovenia, near the Austrian border).

We decided on Maribor for a few reasons. Firstly, the route looked safer for bikes and secondly it lined up with Ljubljana and Trieste, with safe card options available.

We had a brilliant breakfast with lots of foods we had not seen or tried before.

It was very cool (8 degrees C)  and lightly drizzling as we left Verazdin.

This village was about 10 km into our ride.

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We were amazed by the art work on the egg.

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This lovely lady ventured along with a lantern to place at the base of the statue. She told us a lengthy story in Slovakian about the lamp and statue, however not speaking Slovakian, we failed to understand one word.

We smiled. That seemed to suffice.

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I think the countryside is often lovelier with rain. Most of our photos today have a rainy haze.

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Upon closer inspection, that is a graveyard directly below the church, on a reasonable slope.

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We bid Croatia farewell for a few days. In the photo below I am waiting my turn to handover my passport to Croatian border control.

You may recall that when we left Slovenia and entered Croatia yesterday that both border patrol men were devoid of a personality.

Today was different. I handed my passport through the window, the guy flicked it open and smiled and said “Australian!” I smiled and nodded.  He then said laughing, “Do you have a kangaroo in your bag?”. I laughed and crossed my head.  He wanted to know where we’d been, where we were headed.

As I rolled forward on my bike, it was ground hog day, as he asked Tony the same thing. 😂😂😂.

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Some 100 metres ahead, we then went through the Slovakian checkpoint.  No chatter but I got a smile.

Here we are then, back in Slovakia. It is such a pretty country.

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We were on some really quiet roads now.

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Lots of forest everywhere.

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We came to a red light as the road was reduced to one lane.  Looking back you can see a massive crane and an old castle like building. Not sure what was going on there.

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We crossed the Drava River. It is quite shallow here, and you can still see the castle and crane, and Tony’s bike.

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The view looking on the other side of the bridge.

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As with many European countries, every village has at least one shrine.

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We have been quite amazed at the stork nests. As we watched these two, I was convinced they we’re statues as they did not move.

However, the town air raid siren started its awful sound and scared the living daylights out of us, and the birds moved ever so slightly.

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Another village shrine.

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We had ridden through so many quiet villages. Neat as a pin, and all had a penchant for growing grapes. This is a typical size and structure.

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Cutting through farmland I realised I had not seen any canola today!

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We then crossed a dam over the Drava, that retained most water in a large lake, and streamed into a feeder canal.

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The lower side of the dam wall
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The higher or lake side of the dam wall
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The lake
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The canal

We rode around the lake…

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Crossed over this bridge.

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We arrived at the very scenic town of Ptuj. We decided to have lunch here at a riverside restaurant.

A fantastic meal of mushroom soup and entree sized beef stew. Just the thing to warm you up on a cold day, as the temperature had not yet reached 10 degrees.

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On the outskirts of Pjut was this highly decorated church. The white is not paint, but a plaster like product.

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The next 20 km was like this. Pure magic.

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We had a couple of short steep pinches. 19 degrees pulled me up though…bit tough with the gear on the bike. 14-15 percent with gear is my maximum, for a short pinch.

So here we are now looking over the river at the old town section of  Maribor.

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We choofed off to the railway station as we made the decision during lunch (again studying the meteorological reports and weather warnings) to not ride tomorrow and play it safe.

We will train the 120 km section to Ljubljana.  However, we could not buy a ticket! Only one train per day allows bikes! Tickets are purchased ready for the 11.45 express service tomorrow.

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We are staying in a very trendy apartment in the Old Town. Our bikes are with us (cleaned them up first) on the balcony.  Very nifty electrically louvres to open or shut. They are shut to keep our bikes dry.

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We had a brilliant dinner. Dogs are allowed in this restaurant. The table opposite has a little pooch taking up a seat. It was an incredibly pampered dog! You can just see the little dog in the photo and on the floor is its pink water bowl.

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A brief walk around town after our meal….brief because it was really cold and I am wearing  dress…bare legs…brrrrr.

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Our route today.

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Today was what I love best about cycle touring. The scenery was magnificent, the roads quiet (except the very slow crawl with start and finish towns), lots of laughs and soaking in the countryside ambience.

A shorter ride of 80 km was welcomed after 320 km in the previous two days.

Until tomorrow, thankyou for reading.

Ooroo 😊💪🚴

 

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Three countries, four seasons

We awoke to a glorious sunrise from our cottage in Tihany. Certainly the position of the cottage provided a wonderful panoramic vista. 2DFCA488-5DCC-49C7-8665-01BAB66BDF14

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We were awake early as the ‘bed’ was not optimal. It was a fold out couch. When I booked this place we were upstairs, but the owner put us downstairs because ‘we had bikes’. I guess I assumed there would be a bed.

There was no breakfast provided here, no local shops opened offering food until 9 am, amd we had a 180 km ride ahead of us,

I had one sachet of powdered chocolate drink in my pack, so we shared that.

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Tony getting ready for the day

We hit the road about 6.15 am. There are many benefits at that hour, the biggest is that no one else is up! Cars were infrequent.

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Once off the peninsula where Tihany is located on Lake Balaton we turned left, and could just still see the lake.

An interesting note re the lake. One of my cycling friends from near Prague, Milos, wrote on my strava feed that Lake Balaton was one of the few places that Czechs were allowed to travel to during the Czech communist era.

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At the 25 km point we found a little village supermarket open. Another advantage of being up early is that all their fresh breads and pastries had just arrived.

Here we have more hi tech Hungarian military items.

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This one took my fancy
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Then I thought maybe one of these in the front yard could send a clear message to pesky uninvited door knockers?

Still the roads were quiet and we really enjoyed the first 64 km of our ride into Kesethely, on the southern shores of the lake.

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It is easy for guys to have a pee when cycling, but for girls it is harder. I needed to pee and thought I found an ideal spot. Think again Sharron! I have never, ever seen such a sign!

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Moving right along……I stopped about one km up up the road, no signs around!

Flags flying on this castle. I imagine there would be a wonderful view of Lake Balaton.

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We were becoming increasingly concerned about the clouds on our left.

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I was never going to get a clear shot of this sign as there was a school group there, selfies galore happening. They had luggage to one side, and I did wonder if there might be a ferry service operating from the nearby pier.

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Our last Lake Balaton views.

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We spent over an hour checking out Keszthely including visiting some local bike shops.

Time to hit the road, as we still had 116 km to ride.

Heading out of town the headwind greeted us. Progress became quite slow. The clouds were not giving us optimism either.

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We stopped at a supermarket for food, and this new bike appeared, all set for touring. Cardboard box and rope does it!

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An old guy came out and filled that box with chicken sections he had purchased. He looked at our bikes and pointed to the clouds, telling us what we were hoping would disappear! “Rain”.

Yes….we started spinning those wheels and stopped here to don the rain jacket.  The wind was whipping into our faces fiercely and it had become considerably colder.

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At the next town after this photo, it was pouring and we pulled over into a bus shelter to throw our weather proof overboots on.

We sat….and we sat. We saw the worst of the rain off under shelter. We still had 84 km to ride so we needed to get back to spinning the wheels.

The wind had ceased! We were riding through beautiful forests. We had another deer run across the road.

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Another village, with an unusual building. I think this was the local civic centre equivalent.

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More canola, because you just cannot grow enough it seems.

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Deer warning sign…

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These are our last Hungarian photos about 8 km before we crossed the border.

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No farewell from Hungary signs only this one Slovenia! That pulled me up as when I had originally mapped the ride to Verazdin CROATIA, Slovenia was not on the route.

Tony had remapped it and his version went through Slovenia. Ok….so we needed to ride through a wedge of Slovenia.

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There were some guards at the border crossing checking out a very dodgy looking caravan. We got waved through to a toll booth for the autobahn.  Straight through again.

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Here is our first Slovenian town.

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25 -30 km in Slovenia was enough for today and we arrived at a very serious border crossing needed to see our passports…..two control points. One for leaving Slovenia, the second for arriving in Croatia. Two scary looking dudes too.

Crossing the Drava river for a second time we have our first views of Croatia.

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We are now in Verazdin, Croatia. A long day but satisfying 180 km with lots of undulations, and plenty of weather challenges.

Car driver speed  has increased significantly since Hungary. Many are fast overtaking inappropriately.

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I decreased our route size here so you can see we are bearing down on the Adriatic region.

After showering and washing our clothes, we walked around town and were immediately impressed by the car free spaciousness.

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We enjoyed a lovely and very reasonably priced Italian meal next door to our hotel. Our hotel has a wonderful king size bed! A proper bed!

We will be rejiggimg our next few days plans due to bad weather forecasts in the region. 20 mm rain forecast and I think Sunday will not be rideable ( in a safe and enjoyable way).

Ooroo, time for me to grab some breakfast and hit the road!

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