05 Oct
Day 23 - Croatian Delights!

Today’s stats: 

63 miles and 6 hours and 11 minutes in the saddle

Total miles 1250

As we were staying at a little apartment last night, my day started with a cup of tea in bed - oh my what a luxury! Made by HOO from an Earl Grey tea bag from the various booty collection I have made from our hotels along the way! No milk but I’m not fussy! The only thing missing was Radio 4 and a snuggly spaniel (don’t tell the Labs!).

After that start, we had breakfast omelettes from the previous night’s restaurant and what a way to begin another cloudless blue sky Croatian morning.

Our first 30 miles was through the wine and olive growing district, so very agricultural and with a good road surface and easy cycling, the miles passed by easily and with pleasure. Wonderful local sights as we travelled like the one toothed tractor driver giving us a gummy grin and eager wave, strings of garlic for sale hanging outside houses, alongside jars of pickled onions or peppers. All very rural and rustic.

Coming upon the Krka Falls by chance was an added  bonus and although we didn’t see the falls themselves, we saw the beautiful lake where they began and cycled over this and up a huge climb, to be able to see the marina below. Quite stunning. 

As things often do, our easier day soon had its challenges. A tunnel we were heading for suddenly presented us with a no bicycle sign and so we had to detour through the city of Sibenik, which resulted in a stint along a hugely busy dual carriage way and a close encounter with a coach that made me have a sense of humour failure! Poor HOO - as head of routes he gets the stick and yet he is as much in the dark as to what is around the next corner - a thankless task and a responsible one he takes very seriously. A regroup and re look at directions in the huge shopping centre plus a cold drink, sent us on our way again, in a calmer state and off onto a quieter road and one that was intended, one also we could remain on for the rest of the day.

We had a delightful pit stop to chat to my class live on a video call - so lovely to see the whole of the year group - Hello Year 4, we loved seeing you today! - before fighting our way through easily 10 miles of up, but culminating in the most amazing descent into Trogir.

Our hotel tonight is by the sea, we have walked along the front to find a restaurant and had a delicious supper and have celebrated going over 1200 miles - our own personal target as that was how many miles we cycled when we cycled to Rome. So we have beaten our record!

Our bikes are making some interesting noises and our bodies have some interesting but only occasional aches but we are getting there. Croatia has given us some delights as well as dilemmas today but we are both feeling we are able to cope with whatever each day brings and just hope and pray that continues as we are getting closer to our goal.

Our friend Will is joining us at the end of this week for a few days in Montenegro and Albania. We can’t wait to see you, Will. Your young legs, light bike and small rucksack are going to make us feel like snails but how refreshing it will be to have some young blood beside us.

 Sending our love to you all and until tomorrow with yet more tales I am sure P and J XX

An after thought - this is my approach to cycling up trickhills: 

Brain engage, hill mode, breathing steady, legs find rhythm, look at tarmac not ahead, except occasionally, watch white line at side if there is one, hold handle bars tight if traffic coming past, keep breathing, into rhythm again, chat to Maddy, suddenly notice going downhill!

Omelette breakfast 

Pomegranate Tree

Inland rural Croatia

The start of the Kyka Falls

See the road ahead in the background- it was a long climb

Room with a sunset view tonight

We can scrub up well after 63 miles

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