Balkan Stage 7 Pula to Labin, Croatia

Sept 12, 2022

Stage 7 of 36, day 8 of 43: 70.45 km, 918m climb, 3:16 Moving, 4:17 Total, 57.7 kph max


I slept pretty well – others said there was some middle of the night construction but I was out. We started up as normal, although I now notice it’s darker at 6am than it was a week ago. After breakfast and loading everyone hung out until 8am then we started together. There was a fair amount of traffic going 5 km back to Pula, Monday rush hour. We headed out on less and less travelled roads, with mellow climbs, going through nice little villages and farming country.

Croatian countryside

After about 30 km of this a bunch of us pulled over in the vowel-deprived small town of Krnica for drinks and snacks. The café gave us some grapes fresh off the vine.

Yes we stop for pastries, drinks and grapes

Refreshed, we continued up and down for another 14 km to a scenic ridge where Ype had set up the lunch van in a perfect spot. It was barely after 10:30 but somehow I had no trouble eating a full lunch. Ype had nice music going and all of us were enjoying life.

Early lunch spot
You can learn all about the region from this sign

We continued, past a WWII monument, then did a big descent back to sea level.

A tiny but sad part of the WWII monument

When you go down, you generally have to go up. We started the biggest climb of the day, about 280m, with sections up to 14%. It started in yet another vowel-deprived town, “Trget”. I don’t know why they need the “e” – “Trgt” would seem to be just as good.

Looking back down to Trget

It was only a couple more km from the top to “Camping Romantik”, just short of Labin. It’s a quiet, comfortable place, with plenty of space and no one else staying. I scored a great tent spot in the shade right next to a hammock. We were welcomed to pick grapes from the vines here too.

Living the rough life again

After some grapes and drinks, I had a nice shower, washed a couple of jerseys then Wilbert’s soup was ready. We’ll see how he does as our temporary cook for almost a week – Ellen’s shoes are big to fill. But the soup was definitely yummy.

The scene at camp

Now we have the rest of the afternoon and evening to relax in preparation for a harder day tomorrow: more than double the distance and more than double the climbing of today.

3 thoughts on “Balkan Stage 7 Pula to Labin, Croatia

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