02 Oct
Day 20 - It’s all ups and downs!

Today’s stats: 

60 miles
5 hours 55 mins in the saddle.

Covered 3 countries!
It was dry! And almost sunny!
Total miles 1066 - that’s a memorable number for any historian!

After leaving our hotel this morning in brilliant sunshine - hurrah - we were at the Slovenian border within 10 minutes. Passports at the ready - no one there again so they were still untouched by official hands!

The road through Slovenia was very beautiful. Soft hills in the background, tree lined roads, great surface and little traffic. The only issue was it was slow cycling as there were low slow climbs and gentle descents but with an oncoming wind so it seemed to take an age to get to our first pit stop - lovely coffee and strudel!

It was only 20 miles across Slovenia - two highlights were blankets of walnuts lying out to dry in the sun on someone’s front lawn and a little road side stall selling mushrooms. It was also refreshing to be in the countryside again after the hubbub of the busy Italian roads. But before we knew it we were at the much busier border with Croatia and guess what? They looked and stamped our passports and were a little bit grumpy too - we got the full official treatment - hurrah!

Our next 40 miles was a slog. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, the coast road had some fantastic views and some ghastly surfaces! Some hairy drops and cities to fight our way through. It seemed a long afternoon but here we are, with a beach view and full tummies! And of course the best shower in the world!

We are now in Croatia for 6 nights, a new country for me so I am looking forward to seeing some of its sights. We met a lovely German couple at a lay-by on our way here tonight - thank you both for taking our photo so I didn’t have to struggle with a selfie and for showing so much interest in Maddy’s Mark.

We also want to thank our wonderful church family, for thinking of us daily in your thoughts and prayers and mentioning us in church this morning at home. Your warmth and faith encourage us when we flounder. In my times of struggle on this trip (and in times of excitement too!) I also talk to Maddy and feel her saying, ‘Come on, Neen, you can do this.’

So now to sleep to rest our weary bones - new sights and a new day awaits - how lucky we are.

With our love P and J XX

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