Monday 29 August 2011

Three small bears

A giant Rex
I was merrily making my way through the rolling hills of southern Slovenia feeling somewhat exhausted and depleated from a couple of long days riding when I thought, 'that looks remarkably like a small bear grazing in that field. Continuing on my way I came closer and thought, boy, that really does look like three small bears and low and behold when mamma bear stood up behind the three cubs, I thought, thats not a small bear, nay, thats a big bugger, looking my direction in much the same stance that my parents took on through a town in central BC this time last earth cycle. Think, mum and dad, middle of a busy street with hands held up beneth a giant wood carving of a Grizzly bear and you start to get the idea. I begged them not to, alas they insisted.

St Marks in Zagreb, Croatia
Moving on from the bears in the field I had another sighting as I was setting up my tent some kms down the road. Like the bear itself I took off and found a better place to rest ones head for the night. I guess the people were wrong that suggested it is unlikely I will see a bear at camp where I was. Maybe it is a Sloven game to watch the tourist run away from a big hairy animal late in the evening. This certainly would give a reason why girls run away from me when i try to talk with them. I dirgress.

Man eating Catfish
Doris and Me getting Buff(er)

I apologise if this update seems somewhat disjointed as I have been distracted twice now. Let me start at the beginning. I was lying on a bench in the shade watching the practice starts at the 2011 world rowing champs in Bled as any normal nomad would do when I was approached by Maja and her mother. Her brother in Nz was enough to warrant trying to chat with the chap with the silver fern on his bike and so we chatted then as luck would have it I bumped into these chalming folk again as they had stopped for lunch. Long story not so long, I got directions to their house in the rural hills outside the capital and have been here for three days. Apart from the normal things, a shave, a shower, paragliding with her brother, drinking with her brothers father in law and being nursed all day from the rediculous hangover from the horrid Rajkia, it has been a pleasnt and quiet stop on the journey.
Self Explanatory, I hope

So as you can see I have had things to do. Add to this the incessant need to mother me with food, BBqs, Pivo (beer) and trinkets for which I have learnt to make and drink Turkish coffee out of I am set for another adventure tomorrow.

Whoa Bear
I spent a couple of nights in Zagrab where I met with Vladimir and his possy and swapped a couple of travelling hats for a nights accomodation and a couple of tshirts as I was running bare on both. We played 5 a side footy at the school before getting some pivo and sitting beneath a million stars in a field chatting about life. As the temperatures have remained in the high 30s for the last week we went to the lake for a swim. What the lads failed to tell this trusting biker is that the lake, man made as it was, is home to a man eating cat fish. Being that I am writing this and therefore not catfish poo leads us to a couple of conclusions. One, the guys are full of shit and there is infact not large man eating cat fish or I am not in fact not a man and thus do not float in the menu line of the Fishy. The jurry is out on this one. I was called the youngest 28 year old he had ever met so perhaps there is some truth to my boyish innocence remaining in tact.
Gettin er done

The pass
As you can see Doris and I did a bit of a work out in the sun and the cheeky Vlad snapped a piccy just as I was finishing my 82nd rep so my form was in the early stages of failure. Not unlike I might add the 9km 14% (I hope you can appreciate that Steff) that took me over the Vrsic pass (1600m). What a push, I was absolutely done by the time I made the trip up the beautiful smooth new road to the pass. Even better was the potholed and terrible road in the other side. Not only this, but the other side only desended to 800m before I was in the valley. Should have seen that coming.

Maja and I
I have had the pleasure of driving around Slovenia as the two ladies dont drive but they have access to a car so I was driving with their driections and completely at their beck and call. But it was good to see how close I could getto the cyclists then honk my horn and scare them. What a luxary.

floating through life
I have been asked a few questions so I thought the next blog I would have a go at answering some of them. If you have any send em to me and I will see what I can do. A big shout out to my good friend Jack Bauer who is doing it tough on the professional racing circuit in Europe. He should be so lucky to have shuch pleasurable riding days as I do. Go hard Jack.

I was given the club tshirt after I glided and it has on it some words to live by.
 "it is better to live one day as a Raven, than your whole life as a lizard"


  1. Hi Bennie. You made me laugh when you talked about that dreadful photo of Rex and I with that carved bear in Hope. Just imagine it was almost this time last year we were Canmore. Do bears create as much fuss in Slovenia as they do in Canada? Rex wants to know why u ran away from the bear?Rex wasn't too sure about you calling him an egg!!!! I have been looking at the background shots of the rowing world cup to see the sort of place you were in. I can't believe you found a restaurant called Doris! Rex collected one of his chooks from the Reserve yesterday. Manawatu is going to win the rugby competition next week. Is it becos u look lost that people seem to take u under their wing. The people who take you into their homes do they have families, how do they earn their money, what about transport do they all have vege gardens they seem to raid just for u?
    Take care, love Ang

  2. Hey Ben,
    I think the reason for your friendly encounters is probably more to do with an open "I am friendly and have some cool stories" face than one in need. Cool to see Doris can hold her own weight I dont know many chicks who can do that - not sexist, but true. Where is the picture of the baby bears, or did you have to peddle off in a hurry? Love Pip