Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 25 (Bosnia-Herzegovina/Croatia): Neum - somewhere behind Cilipi

today’s distance: 86km
total distance: 2301km
riding time: 6h

This is what I was going to write: See yesterday’s entry.

Then the day changed in more ways than one. Wind and rain - not quite as bad when I woke up and so I set out with a determined look on my face thinking that this will be doable. Left Neum in good spirits and then the pummeling that I got yesterday started all over again. For the first km things were alright - crossed into Croatia again and something clearly hit the fan. And I mean big time. Wind coming from all front angles, rain beating down hard. Crossed the border, the power of the small man in that a border guard waved me over beaten as I must have looked and just before I pulled out teh passport as he had told me to do waved me over to his colleagues. Not a good start into the day peoplewise. The rest is quickly told. More of the same. I became stoic and just took the beating as it happened. When it got too much I took cover and then started anew. Eventually I passed Dubrovnik without seeing much of it. Didn’t feel like stopping and so wanted to move on to Cavtat. Passed the now closed and bombed out hotel where I stayed as an 8-year old kiddo and just before pulling up the hill to get to Cavtat I met Marko. Another Marko. It had stopped raining now - I was happier again. He asked what I was doing in this weather on a bike. Where I had biked from. Turns out he used to work in Germany and now is back in Croatia. Worked in Heidenheim and told me all about it. Then he invited me for tea into his place which was a few km further on. Figured what the hey and went along. Great family, three kids - one daugher speaks good German from watching cartoons on German channels that I had never heard of. Sunshine by now. Then Marko said, we will find a place for you. We went all over, turned up empty. Fully booked, not wanting someone for one night or completely out of price range. Mostly a good combination of 2 and 3. Marko was distraught … said that the whole area had become insane and that all you can afford these days was a birdcage. Went back and had wonderful homemade salami and meats, pickled peppers and other good stuff. More phone calls and more running around … still nothing. I opted to bike a few more and am happily writing this in a dry tent in a not-yet-dry meadow a few klicks behind Cilipi. This means that the idea of visiting Dubrovnik had to be discarded. Pictures on the web abound though.

Marko made all the difference in the world. Thanks a million. It’s people like him that make the trip what it is.


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