Wednesday, September 16, 2009
How quickly Croatia came and left us. We are happy and tan and have learned many things about this rugged land. The most important thing to know about this country is that the South coast and the islands are the places to be. We immensely enjoyed our time here sleeping on beaches, riding through vineyards on coastal highways and jumping from island to island on impressive ferry boats. We first explored the island of Peljesac and then Korcula. The weather was perfect and camping was easy. Needless to say we took are time getting to the end of each. From the town of Vela Luka we caught a ferry to Split, on the mainland, and quickly realized the island vibe was for us. It was at the dock in Split that we found out the only ferry heading to our next destination was leaving in 36 hours from a port town 170 kilometers to the north. So naturally we threw down a 10 hour day of riding, camped in some industrial lot near the docks, and were back on a boat headed to the island chain of Losinj, Cres, and Krk. We had ambitious plans of lounging and maxing heavily at some pristine beach but as we rolled North the weather began to frown and forced us to trade in the swim suits for riding gear and long sleeves. So it goes.
We arrived at the mainland city of Rijeka, Croatia a few days ago. We used the time to clean everything, most importantly our clothes which had not been washed since Belgrade, Serbia, and loosely plan the rest of the trip. It was good night to have accommodations in the hostel because there was a hellish rain storm that we were forced to bike through in order to retrieve our clean clothing on the other side of town. It is all part of journey. We have opted to avoid Oktoberfest for a few different reasons, mainly because everything about it would be wicked expensive. It is also hard to party like a rock star downtown Munich when we would be needing to find our camp site by dark. So we decided to focus our energies on Prague. We hope to find a lovely couch surfing friend or friends and maybe stay in the city for awhile in order to really get the feel, and also heal from all this riding. It no longer seems strange spending 6 or 7 hours a day on the bikes.
We are currently in Ljubljana, Slovenia while it drizzles outside. We have about 1.5 hours before we have to start looking for camping. Brett is nobly requesting couches in the Czech Republic while I work on the blog. We should be in Austria by tomorrow were we will stop at the airport, find the Swiss Air counter, and demand information about our return flights. Both of our itineraries have been changed to unknown degrees. So it goes. The climate has cooled and leaves fall from the trees as we pedal. The stores and products are more familiar and western while bikes, for the first time on the trip, are perceived and respected as a acceptable form of transportation. Hurray for bike lanes. We cross our fingers that the sun will fill the sky soon. Oh how the weather plays with our emotions and plans. It seems the only reasonable thing to do is have not plans or expectations, only an empty space to be filled with whatever will come. Best wishes. Steven and Brett.