Today we stayed in Dubrovnik with Jo arriving by bus from up North which pleased Steve. We had a great day wondering the streets of Dubrovnik which has amazing history with Roman, Turkish and various other cultures “taking charge” throughout the years!
You wil see from the pictures that many of the tiled roofs are newish that is unfortunately due to the war that devistated many parts of Croatia back in the mid 90’s. I must say if you Google images of how it was and how wonderful the place looks now, a great job of restoring has been done!
We have a couple of days in Dubrovnik which will allow us to relax and take in the surroundings.
Today was a rest day before Jo and Steve’s arrival tomorrow. AirB&B was a great way to arrange great accomodation by the way!
Dubrovick certainly lives up to its reputation of being the amazing Dalmation town it is. I managed to walk the old city walls which gives a great view of the scale of the fortification (up to 6m thick walls).
There has also been significant work to bring the city back to its former glory following the recent war with Serbia.
I also took some time to work on the bike as the support for one of the pannier boxes was looking worse for ware. Due to the age and heavy load the rubber was starting to split. I managed to find a broken skate board that I robbed a wheel from to repair the bike which worked a treat as you can see from the photo’s. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.
Steve and Jo are making their way down the coast, with Jo arriving last thing today and Steve will arrive tomorrow.
After a good chat catching up on what each of us had been doing while part over the past days it was time to get out and explore the lakes. The entry to the park area was only a short walk away as we were staying at one of many local hotels. Plitvica is Croatia’s mist popular tourist destinations.
The walk we chose was approx 4km in length and, as with most the walks it was undulating as we made our way on a set route throughout the forest. The stand out points were the amazing waterfalls, crystal clear water and lush green vegetation complimented by millions of fish at varying degrees of maturity.
Temps were up near 30deg C and humidity was high so we certainly knew we had done the walk. Jo and Steve carried on to see another lake with I went back to the hotel to to do a but of downloading of data from the GoPro and digital camera.
At the end of the day I had decided to move on towards Dubronick and Steve and Jo had another day in the lakes together.
The ride down to Debrovick was just over 450km’s and took in the Dalmation Coast which was breathtaking as I watched the sun set to my right as I headed South. The weather was clear, making the ride down fantastic. I find riding at night great (provided I am feeling alert).
Today was the day I had to leave the “In Laws” and ride to meet back up with Steve and his wife Jo in Pitvica Lakes (they had made their way there from Venice). It is always sad to say good by to the Croatian family as they treat you so special and life is so relaxed. I decided to take the back roads via Bosnia to Plitvica thinking it would be scenic.
Bosnia was a pretty sad sight most of the way, with rubbish and part stripped cars not an uncommon view. The interesting thing was the huge number of abandoned half built properties (residential and commercial) everywhere I went. It was as though things were going well for the country and suddenly someone cut the funding overnight.
I will say the North West corner heading towards Plitvica was much nicer with fast running crystal clear water and properties that were better looked after. Oh, I came across many speed camera’s as well!
I arrived at approx 6:00pm to meet up with Steve and Jo and I must say it was good to have the Mad Ride Team back together. Tomorrow we walk the lakes.
Today is the last day with the In Laws. The day was a struggle due to the loss of my mate Ken. Thanks to technology I managed to have a FaceTime call with the wife that certainly gave me the opportunity to “let go” and move on to get through the day.
I made my way to Osijek, which was approx 50km’s away to visit other in laws. I wasn’t much fun but we had a lovely walk along the river and lunch at a popular local Cevapi Restaurant followed by ice cream at a local cafe. A nice relaxed day to spend the day.
When preparing to ride home I noticed a broken indicator which was clearly a turning point for our Mad Ride with our first mechanical failure! Luckily I had a handy family member on the ride home, so a quick stop off at Stephan’s for a Turkish coffee while he insisted on fixing the problem for me. Bit like a “pitt stop” really!
The evening has been spent saying my good bye’s to family and friends who have all been so lovely to me during my brief visit.
Steve and Jo have spent the day traveling to Senj, Croatia as tomorrow we meet up again in Plitvica National Park. Looking forward to being back together.
Today was another day spent with the Croatian In Laws and time to get a bit of maintenance done, except this was maintenance I needed in the form of a hair cut. Describing how you want your hair cut to a person who does not understand a word I am saying certainly ups the stakes! Ha
steve and Jo spent time floating around Venice in a gondola today and no doubt enjoying the time together.
I just oust realised today was the first day I have managed not to consume any alcohol since the start of our trip. I almost celebrated with a beer however!
Life is simple in regional Croatia, something we in big cities could learn a thing or two from. As you pass people (including teenagers) in the street they say good day, neighbours take turns of cutting the grass and running erands for the old people around them and exchange home grown food. When was the last time “us city people” even thought about the people around us?
I have just received the extremely sad news from Australia that my best mate Ken Bacon has passed away today (3:30pm Sydney time).
Many of you would have read about Ken’s 7yr battle with cancer via the giving page on this website. I thank all those who have donated as we need to find a cure for this terrible disease as soon as possible.
Ken was a wonderful person, someone I am immensely proud to have called a friend.
You will be missed and may the new adventure you are now on, be one hell of a ride!