Slovenia - in the north, very "Sound of Music" , only with snow........ and no nuns. At picturesque Lake Bohinj (yet another mountain pass to get there - I'm a bit mountain-pass'd out now) we got more strange looks off the skiers as we head up the steep hill to see the waterfall at Slap Savica - a word to the wise - don't climb up hundreds of steps in motorcycle gear and Tech 8 boots. It's not big and it's not clever. It is however, very sweaty. And it amused the girl in the ticket office highly. Still, once at the top we decided it's called Slap because i wanted to slap Henry by the time I got there.
The gushing torrent promised in the picture postcards was a mere trickle, awiting the spring melt. Never mind, it was very pretty and at least I gave someone a laugh.
Onto beautiful Lake Bled a short distance away, with the island in the middle shrouded in mist, very ethereal. H insisted on rowing us to the island in manly fashion to see the church and ring the bell for luck. Again my boots made their presence felt as I made a very ungainly entrance and exit to our little boat, mostly on my hands and knees, but I was determined not to go swimming! Not easy with a wet surface and lots of bird poo.
Next stop Ljubljana, after finding a great campsite (20 per cent discount for bikers, bargain!) just outside the city, and getting excited about having the laundry done properly,,,,in a machine!! If you ever go travelling don't take anything white. It's all now a grubby grey - mmm, attractive! Anway, a visit to the city, frankly disappointing , (loved the Dragon Bridge) but we caught the funicular up to the castle , which was a bit dull and not very good value after seeing the stunning Basilica in Venice for 4 euros.
Highlight of the day was me offering to wipe ketchup off H's face , only to find ketchup had squirted out of the bottom of my hotdog all over the jumper I was wearing, and then been spread around by my bag . H has never let me live it down since .
Trieste next to visit Alberto & Maria from the Club Tenere Italia website. Too expensive to stay in Trieste so we got a room in Koper, Slovenia, about 20km away and squeezed together on H's bike for our firts proper "night out" since we left the UK. Most of the time we're in bed early, both knackered. Met up with Alberto and friends who were all lovely , his wife Maria was sadly in bed with the flu, and between us we made ourselves understood. Alberto's English was very good which made things easier. They showed us round their stunning city, and it was interesting to note that by midnight, even though the place was crawling with people drinking outside all the bars, there were NO drunken idiots, NO brawling, and NO slappers!! Oh and not a policeman in sight! How IS Liverpool's Capital of Culture getting along, anway??!
Škocjan Caves the next day gave H's poor old knees a hammering, but al least I remembered to take jeans and walking boots to change into this time.
Monday 3rd March - CROATIA!!!! The border guard rolled her eyes as we both excitedly asked for our passports to be stamped. And we got some very odd looks from the queue of traffic leaving customs as we took piccies under the 'Welcome to Croatia' sign. Down to Pula to see the enormous Roman Amphitheatre , 100ft tall and mostly intact. Then along the coast to find digs, preferably a campsite. Pity they're all closed till April. Still, we found one, closed, but with workmen. Using our powers of persuasion (ask if we can stay anyway) one of them jumped into his car to fetch the boss from the pub . 5 minutes later and we're the only residents of an empty campsite, with use of the showers, hot water and soft loo paper (always welcome!). A lovely cosy warm night in the tent, then woke up to the pitter patter of raindrops. Ah well, I suppose it was too good to last, almost 7 weeks without rain.
A lull in the rain let us pack up our gear and bikes, then it started again with a vengeance as we got dressed in the showers.
Brekkie at a nearby cafe, we made our way along the Adriatic coast with the lady cafe owner's words ringing in my ears "it's raining and very windy, not good for moto". She wasn't wrong. A few (very few) miles later after being blown almost into the path of an oncoming coach I pulled off into a truckstop and sat shaking like a leaf. H was shouting at me to park the bike but I was waiting for the wind to drop enough to get at least one foot off the floor so I could park it without getting blown off it! After 2 hours of H's coaxing , and sympathetic looks off the customers, we decided to head back to the nearest town to find digs. The wind was a bit lighter in the town so we thought we'd get as far as we could towards Split. We ended up on a motorway inland, but as I got blown off the road onto the hard shoulder and we could see the police up ahead stopping the trucks from going any further we pulled off the nearest junction into a small town called Čavle and a lovely old man put me in his car and took me to some digs nearby. And that's where we are now. The wind's still blowing and it's now snowing !!!!
So, hope everyone's ok , hopefully the sun'll come out tomorrow, tomorrow........!!!
Love Kirst xxx
We are now in Mostar and finally the realisation we are getting somewhere hit's us. It's been solid adventure and delays for the last few days.
We left Rijeka having been warned the roads south may still be shut- we went anyway. Sure enough 50 odd kliks later the road is barracaded and the "BURA" (a vicous unpredictable wind" warning signs are up, as eveyone else was ignoring them so did we. We got as far as Senj before i rounded a left hand curve and the bike vitually stopped dead as the BURA hit. I was just lucky it hit head on. I pulled the bike into a pension carpark, parked up and turned around to find Kirst 100 mtrs away pinned to the armco by the wind. As she rounded the bend, the wind took her and the bike and though not able to stop the drift she was able to choose were she docked and safely parked the bike. I walked back to her and found a nice policeman fighting to stay on his feet, wondering how he was going to rescue her. I arrived- he buggered off sharpish- and we maneouvered Kirst and the bike to the safety of the car park. After 3 days delay in Rijeka i was eager to press on, but no. We stopped the night.
Next morning was glorious and we carried on to Sibernik and the Moto Pub. The pubs owner Miro was a diamond, finding us digs nearby and after a good drink Saturday night, escorting us around the area on his Africa Twin on the Sunday.
Monday we carried on south along the spectacular coastline. Superlatives just keep on coming as around everycorner is a picture postcard scene of quaint villages (for now), rugged mountains and a sea the colours and clarity i've never seen before.
The weather has been fantastic and although it's been great i don't think i'd be too keen on the trip in high summer.
On reaching the border we were shafted for Bosnian Insurance- English Insurance not acceptable mister- 22 quid each for a week, and on - in the pitch black by this time - to Mostar.
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