Sept 21, 2022
Stage 15 of 36, day 17 of 43: 66.5 km, 793m climb, 3:18 Moving, 6:12 Total, 63.8 kph max
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||30.5||393|
I slept pretty well, considering. There are jackals on this island and at times in the night, one would start howling and that would set off the whole pack. They sound a little like coyotes on some drug that makes them crazier than usual. We had breakfast at the usual time and again, had the joy of packing up bone dry tents. We left before 8am and had a 2 km ride down to the ferry terminal.
On the mainland, we rode off, heading south for a while, then up a hill on a tiny road with no traffic. Then inland and pretty soon to a border crossing. But we turned north right at it, not quite leaving Croatia. We headed up a valley for a while then spotted the lunch truck at 36 km. We had a tasty lunch, and noticed our border crossing was just 100m ahead. We set out and the formalities were minor and the next thing we knew we were riding through Bosnia and Herzegovina – I’ll just call it Bosnia from now on.
We had our choice again today: gravel or regular. I opted for gravel because it’s shorter by 10 km and because it’s gravel. A while after the border the routes split but came together at Kravica Waterfall. Bob and I were riding together and decided to pay the entry fee and ride in. It was 20 convertible Bosnian marks (km) each, euros and kuna not accepted. So I waved my credit card and made it happen, not knowing how much we were paying [turned out $10.13 each]. We rode in, down a hill, locked the bikes and hiked down to a pretty lagoon where people were swimming and looking at many waterfalls, all in the same area.
We rode back up, then about 20 km more to camp. The route was up and down, mostly all on deserted roads. At one point we rode over a giant ultra-modern looking motorway, which looked really weird with no cars on it in either direction. Finally we saw one. I wonder what the story is there.
Anyway, we rode through the town of Međugorje, Bob nearly crashed, then we made it to camp. It was so nice to arrive early and not sweaty at all. The temperature is about 18-19C, sunny and nice. I set some things charging in the truck, set up my tent in the spacious area that seemed to be just for us, then had some delicious soup and several other snacks plus a lot of orange juice. The showers were cold but Bike Dreams had evidently paid for us to use a small hotel next door. When I went over to find the place, a woman grabbed me and pulled me into a garage, “Please help us here.” Two very scruffy guys were in there with an ancient, dirty and crappy mountain bike. She points to one side of the shock, “Oil goes in here, true or false?” I said, “True on most shocks but I don’t know this one. We have an excellent mechanic who can help.” Then she gave me a hotel room with a tiny but hot shower. I washed my clothes and myself and came out very happy.
We have working WiFi all through camp and my phone works perfectly in Bosnia so far too. I wrote this up and chatted with Katie while she drove to the pool at 6am at home. While we do have a bunch of very challenging looking rides coming up, I checked tomorrow’s and it looks dead easy, to a hotel in Mostar, Bosnia. Then there’s a gravel option for the day after that reduces the ride to Dubrovnik to 147 km. Bring it on!
Later in the afternoon, I took a nap, read a little, then went to the bathroom and got locked in. Sigi got a real laugh when I stood on the toilet, just tall enough to see out the thin crack above the door, “Sigi, come over here for a minute please.” No inside door knob…he rescued me, then Henk made a warning sign for that door. Then we had a great dinner at 6:30 and for the first time on the whole trip it was actually a little chilly. I wore pants and socks with my flip-flops! Joop gave a really nice Marmot presentation, talking about seeing cultural differences through cycling. He concluded that he needed more research so we have to give him the marmot sometime near the end of the tour.