Tuesday 9 August 2011

Diary Entries

View of the Adratic
3/8/11 Poljanak - Kapliuh 112km


Its an interesting feeling looking over miles of land and wondering if there are any mines lurking just under the surface. Bosnia has over four million land mines still in the ground, in old buildings and generally enough around the place that it makes me quite concerned whenever I leave the road. Having said that I am snuggled into a field quite close to a farm house trying to stay far enough from the road so the police wont see me as I have not registered and there may be fines and all that jazz.......

Some good looking bridge - Croatia
4/8/11 Kapliuh - Jajce 93km
As luck would have it, the torrential down pour happened while I was in a cafe all cozy and warm and as even better luck would have it the really really heavy rain fell as I was being fed in the upstairs loft of a house on the edge of town. After riding most of my ks before lunch I stopped in Jajce to look at the relatively impressive waterfalls beneath the citadel. It was here I found refuge from the thunder storm and when it let up I made a dash to find a camp. I past a spot which had some big trees and would have offered some better shelter for my weary tent and upon asking the land owner he invited me to use the unused upstairs. Just a big concrete room with childrens toys they left me to my own devices but for dinner on a tray followed by cheesecake and coffee..............
Sunset over the Adratiac

30/7/11 Pivoac - Prizina 126km
I must have a default look that says 'I am in need'. I dont look poor or impervished, Doris takes care of that, nor do I look unloved. Unshaven and unwashed certainly but not unloved. Yet people in this far away land (Croatia) seem to pass on a courisity reserved for people who need help.
Like Milford, but North
Having covered 70km in the morning I stopped next to a popular swimming beach right off the highway. After a swim and some lunch I leant right up against the bags on the back of Doris and had a nap. Nothing particularly unusual about this situation. I was in a half dosey state when I noticed an aging woman walking towards me with some purpose. In an area rife with tourists I assumed she had something to sell or I was being told off. Remaning still as if asleep I met her gaze through my sunnies when she said something in Croatian and handed me some grapes. I took the grapes thinking I was still going to pay when she took my free hand and placed in it a foil package and wandering off. The grapes were plump and juicy and the homemade cake in the foil was still warm from the oven. A delightful piece of fruity cake. I looked around but this apparation of a woman had whistfully come and gone as if she had never existed in the first instance.....

Mostar - Bosnia
2/8/11 Velika Kapela - Poljanak 104km
So it yurns out I wasnt on the mapped road at all. I deciphered some vague signs and found my way on to the road I intended to be on yesterday. After trying to fall asleep last night, the noises of the forest bacame too much for me and I could have sworn that a bear was outside my tent waiting to eat me. I got up and using the aid of my headlamp I once again tried to pick the lock on the wood shed (I found a cabbin in the woods) but only succeeded in opening the door after I pryed one far enough open to flick a secondary latch. I was not able to relock the door so I rode away this morning as fast as I could.
Front line in War. Bullet holes. Bosnia
Whilist I was asleep on the wooden bench I could hear a scratching and I thought for sure a bear was going through my stuff. After barricading myself in I have the nerves to shine my torch and saw a plump black eyed fluffy tailed squirrel staring back at me. My relief was short lived as I was shocked awake some time after when the little bastard jumped on my chest. I immeditely thought it was a bear but we retreted having both been given a hell of a fright.....

Turtles and a half naked kid

A cheeky swimming spot I found
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So the trip is still going well. Just on half way at the moment and already the nights are getting longer and although the day time temperatures are still around the high 30's it is dropping away in the evenings and well into the nights. Bring on the snows of winter. I hope I dont come to regreat that comment.


  1. I should have known you'd push the limits.
    Cross country cycling with a chance of land mines.

    Looks like a fantastic trip so far, great contrast between you sitting on the beach in NZ and then hey presto a mosque in Constantinople, sorry make that Istanbul.

    Safe Journeys.

    Tim Wise

  2. I passed the 45th parallel myself just over a week ago, but too quickly to take a photo of the sign. Such a fun thing! And I like the photo of the swimming spot....

    Hope the man-eating squirrels don't do you in.


  3. I loved the story of the fruit cake lady, and giggled picturing you being attacked by the squirrel. Guess you needed Sooty there after all! You spin a great yarn. *Happy Birthday*