Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 27 (Montenegro): somewhere before Kotor - Njegusi

today’s distance: 38km
total distance: 2416km
riding time: 3h

Not an entirely restful night. I woke up sweating a couple of times, coughing quite strongly and with a good amount of clogging in my nose. So much for that. Easy morning I decided and enjoyed the scenery from outside my little apartment. Breathtaking. Clear blue skies. Very slow start and not sure where I would end up today. Headed for Kotor again, roughly 10km and stopped all over to take in the scenery. I was glad to have cycled back since I now have seen the brooding atmosphere in Kotor Bay as well as the sunny side. Both have their own very appealing characteristic I must say.

In Kotor I just wandered around for a while, bike included. Not so simple in the little alleys and certainly not as free as one would like to be.

Eventually decided to have a bite to eat and chatted it up with an American couple. They thought their hotel might be helpful and so I went to the Hotel Rendez Vous (their spelling). I asked whether they would have a place for the bike for a couple of hours and they did. So off I went to visit the fortress towering above the city. What a great climb. Still feeling sort of not 100%, but it was worth the climb I think. Great views of the Bay and of Kotor itself. Or so I thought. Met the couple again before heading out of Kotor and thanked them for their suggestion. Great guys.

So … then came something different. I had been in touch with Montenegro Travel before the trip and Kirsi had suggested to not go to Podgorica via the coastal route, but instead use the inland route through Njegusi and Cetinje. So followed her advice and I knew it was going to be uphill for a bit.

Remember yesterday I told you about the cliffs falling straight into the sea? Well, today I went the other way, straight up into the sky. At first I thought the road was looping around the other side of the mountain. I had seen a couple of light reflections up on the mountain, thought they must have been some local traffic of sorts. That was not to be. Turned the corner and saw this:

(clicking on the picture will let you enlarge it, you can see the road better)

Yep, the road. Kirsi, what have you gotten me into??? I thought I was sick and shouldn’t do this. But it was not steep and so far I had felt good. I also thought that I had covered a good deal of it already. I was so wrong. Up and up it went, not steep but without a break. The views however got more and more spectacular. It was simply amazing and exhilarating. I pedaled and climbed slowly - a good number of cars beeping their horn in encouragement (except for one guy who was not pleased at all to have me on the road). When you look up halfway through the climb, you see the road pretty much straight above you. But thankfully the road remains at a constant relatively low grade. Good stuff.

I arrived at the top and just took in the view. Coming down on the other side, the scenery was yet again totally different. A high altitude (I was at 1000m now, starting at sea level) valley lay in front of me, the sun was just about to disappear behind the mountains. I could have moved on to Cetinje, but my guidebook said there wasn’t much in the way of accommodation there any way. So I decided to stay where I was. Asked in the local bar and the owner said, just pitch on my ground. Feeling alright (sort of again) and hopefully without much of a fuss during the night.

Falling asleep was sort of a classic - the movie they had watched in the bar was Cocktail featuring Mr. T. Cruise and the music was positively the same age: INXS - beautiful girl, Soul Asylum - Runaway Train, The Clash - Rock the Cassbah, you get the drift …

This time, there are many more pictures on the flickr site.


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