As I exited Slovenia and crossed the border into Croatia I got my first taste of its brilliant twisty roads. I enjoyed these roads much more than the world renowned Glossglockner Pass in Austria, which cost me 22 euros, and was, in myopinion a complete waste of money, not that this alpine pass is generally rubbish but the day I rode it, the visibility up in the roof of Austria was reduced down to about 20 metres. The mountain mist completely obscurred the awesome views and seriously impeded my progress, making the roads especiall precarious. Furthermore, I think they were too technical for my skill level a the time. Conversely, my introduction to Croatian twisties were much better suited but still provided sufficient enough a challenge to make it exciting. Plus the weather was much nicer as I entered Croatia.
As soon as I could I headed straight for the Adriatic Coastal convinced that this would be an awesome ride. I switched the GPS over to avoid toll roads again and made my way to the sea. I wasn’t disappointed, the views are amazing. This was also the beginning of the hot hot hot weather that continues to plague me and the bike even now in Istanbul. Croatia, not surprisingly, is very much like Italy, and the coastal road is dotted with waterfront resorts offering various seaside activities. As I make my way down the coast my motorbiking skills are seriously improving, everything from my approach speed, gearing, observation point, road position and counter steering is all coming on leaps an bounds. I still have the occasional crazy rider or driver pass me but its generally me doing all the passing now.
The bike starts choking again as the petrol is low so I pull into a petrol station to fill up and for us both to cool down, assess the situation and figure out our next step. The riding has been tough going, more so than I expected. The heat makes it much tougher. The Sgt ‘comfort’ seat I got before I departed Blighty is ok but for the adventurous long distance rider it is anything but comfy. The problem with it is the piping that digs into your arse, its probably okay for regular sized hineys, but my phat rear end is feeling it. 350-400 miles is my limit. I have an inflatable camping pillow,which I am considering utilizing as a seat cushion? I digress, whilst I am at the station trying to programme a hostel into the GPS a woman comes upto me a informs me f a bikers party down the hill, only 1/2 a mile away at a local hotel.
I resolve to check it out, I can pay extra for a hotel if there’s a bikers party, they’re always a bloody good time. Besides, I might be able to blag the hotel fee. So I make my way down the hill and low and behold there are loads of bikers camping, I have a recce to see if there are any pitches left in the shade but they’re all taken. Then it hits me, its’s right next to the sea! I was so focused on the bikers I completely didn’t see the Adriatic. Bugger this I head over to the waters edge, park up and take in the view. I ponder for a moment and then decide to pitch upright here, next to the sea. Imagine the sunset and sunrise that I’ll be treated to. I realise that it’s going to be a noisy night but I have ear plugs and feel secure knowing that there are other bikers camping no less than 50 metres away. The site also has porta-loos and a makeshift shower unit- SORTED!
I pitch my tent, cook a nice little fry up of eggs, sausages, mushrooms and beans, which goes down very nicely. I then go for a little paddle in the sea and rinse out some of my sweaty clothes. falling down the jagged rocks i have a few cuts on my leg but I’ve had worse. The salt water will be good for my bite too. As the sun is setting I write in my journal, and fall asleep. I decide to give the party amiss, there’ll be others, especially in Russia. I wake up with a shock drenched in sweat unable to get back to sleep, even with the ear plugs. The music is loud but not bothersome, it’s the idiot sports bike riders revving the bollocks out of their bikes well beyond it’s limit point. It’s like they’re haveing a competition. I get out for some air and have a pee, whenI see a police riot van parked up next to my tent. Yep, no worries tonight, I have my own personal police protection squad. A theme that will repeat itself in Albania.