Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 17 (Slovenia/Croatia): Sezana - Crikvenice

today’s distance: 126km
total distance: 1569km
riding time: 6-7h

The day started well enough - Marko’s father was kind enough to fix breakfast and we had a great time again. My bags were also stuffed with delicious cakes and cookies and pastries which Marko’s mother had made. Absolutely gorgeous stuff … the good kind of calories.¬†

Then it was time to head out and just as I was about to pedal out, the rain started coming down. Whatever I thought and an hour and a few hills later, I was wet. Or so I thought, as it was going to get a lot worse. Marko had given me a nice quiet route, which I deviated slightly from and had my first go at offroad biking with the full load. All went well - the liquid sun doing ist magic as well. I arrived at the border thinking that this would be close to the top of the climb. Marko had called ahead (he works as a borderguard) and the guard went: “You want a stamp in your passport!” I was a bit puzzled, said yes and then he mentioned Marko calling. Funnily enough, he did not know what lay ahead. Said he’d never been there. This is what the external EU border looked like. No man’s land. Serious no man’s land. I happened upon the container in which the Croatian border guards were busy drinking coffee and shaking their heads about the biker coming through in the pouring rain. Next stamp in the passport. Thought I was at the top, but it was infuriating. Whenever it flattened out and looked like it would god down, it went up again and again. The rain which had been alright before was coming down in sheets now. This was on the uphill. On the downhill pinpricks started hitting my face. The only good thing was the temperature - which was a mild 11C. Not bad. Eventually my shoes gave in - despite booties the right one went first followed by the second one. I felt a bit desolate. It was raining, the first two places had only been ghost towns (small wonder as this is border land now, didn’t use to be that way).

Hardly a car passed. It was only when I hit the main road to Rijeka that things became a bit more lively. I had finally managed to drop some altitude - the high point was about 800m. Riding down into Rijeka was a welcome relief, the weather cleared up a bit and at least the rain stopped. Met Tim, a Californian who had biked with a broken rear rack from Athens to Rijeka. Nice guy and good fun to talk to.

Then I visited the Rijeka computer museum. First I dumped the water from my shoes though - it was sort of a glass full in each. Yikes!!! My real mission had been to find a computer to check some stuff out on the web, but this was amazing. Computers from the last 30 years and with Sveto as a great and enthusiastic guide, Peek and Poke was definitely worth a visit. Check them out when you get a chance. It just so happend that there was a reporter there when I lounged around drinking tea and from the souns of it, I will be appearing in a Croatian newspaper tomorrow. Wooohooo …

Heading out of Rijeka, I wanted to cover some more mileage getting further down the coast. Suffered¬† my first failure as my bike computer gave up. Seems like some of the wiring has come undone and for the time being I will have to guess distances and speeds. It was lots of ups and downs over the next 40km to Crikvenice and it seemed like an eternity. Not sure whether I could make it I had looked for good places to camp, but the road is hanging on the cliffs and there wasn’t much space to go for. It was seriously getting dark when I arrived and it started pouring again. I opted for a hotel instead, one or two being open right now. Finished the day off with a big plate of Cevapcici and fries. Can’t beat this after a long day of work and not much to eat.


1 Martin { 04.16.08 at 8:37 am }

Which newspaper in Croatia? I’ll ask my friend Maro if he can buy one for me ;)

2 Jess { 04.16.08 at 1:11 pm }

Hello there…just checking up on you. I’m glad things appear to be going well…Take more photos of yourself please. I need photographic evidence that you are happy & healthy. Helps me sleep at night ;)
Love you…

3 MOCK Michele { 04.16.08 at 3:08 pm }

Hello Markus,
I was in Rijeka for a meeting, 2 years ago, warm and sunny in june.
It is very nice to get news from you, I don’t know if you read the messages ?
keep doing well

4 sveto { 04.29.08 at 12:38 pm }

Hello Marcus. This is the link of oour newspaper “Novi List” All Peek And Poke wish you good luck and safely back to your home and visit us again :)

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