June 02, 2012 GMT

After the sun had gone down over the Adriatic, I went out like a light. Morning was still warm but clouds were threatening. I joined a long line of traffic leaving Croatia and we chugged on towards the border.

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I found this at the camp site... You first or me? I can't remember the polite way to do it

Croatia had been wondeful. Even the well trod tourist areas were brilliant. I am sure I will be back.

Into Slovenia then out of Slovenia. It was as quick as that. And that was the Balkans left behind. What a fantastic bunch of countries. All with their unique character. Some places were visually stunning, others, the total opposite, as If the war had ended yesterday.

The Dayton Accord, that stopped the fighting in 1995, was only meant to be a tempory measure. It was there to be replaced by a structure, politically worked, between all sides. That has not happened and It looks like all sides are polarising. 100 000 people died last time. I hope the rest of the world may do something before things get ugly.

So into Italy. Betty was loving it. She was born here. Lets hope she doesn't die here! Italian Autostradas are actually a lot better than, say a Croatian road. If a Croatian motorist would come across you on the road, he would more than likely try to nudge you off it. I've had dogs sniffing my arse from further away.

So it was head down, wind it on, because my bum was really hurting. The kms flew by and soon I was entering the fabulous Dolomite mountain range.

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Entering the Dolomites...

Tiny roads swichebacked up and down over 2000+ metre high passes, huge rockfaces, snowcapped peaks all came into view. Again another biking paradise. The roads were magic, but required absolute concentration. Over cook a corner, and you could be doing 'birdman' for a good few seconds before you hit the ground.

So past The Marmolada, the highest mountain in the region at 3300 metres or so. I was on top of it 8 years ago. Into Campitello di Fassa and the same campsite my friend Ian, and I had stopped at. Nothing much had changed. Except everything was super expensive! 4 Euros for a beer. I got a bigger one for 1.3 Euros in Sarajevo!

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Betty and the Marmolada...

Every second bike that rides past is a BMW GS adventure bike. They certainly are popular but, for me, just don't ring any kind of bell. Practical, I am sure, but I can't ever imagine it being really fun.

So dinner with a thundering river, views up to Sasso Lungo and a bottle of Merlot. Luckiest man in the world. Again! Saying that, my bum feels like George Michael's after a night of cruising. I have done almost 1000 kms in 2 days!

Posted by David Bailey at June 02, 2012 05:31 PM GMT

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