Sept 22, 2022
Stage 16 of 36, day 18 of 43: 48.2 km, 425m climb, 2:03 Moving, 2:55 Total, 55.7 kph max
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||78.7||818|
Today was a super mellow ride, scenic and nice. For the first time on the tour though, it was actually not warm at breakfast.
By the time we started riding at 8, everyone was standing around carefully in the sun, and no one was in short sleeves. I even brought out my full-fingered gloves for the first part of the day.
After cruising through town for a while, we slowly climbed a bit, then had a fun descent to a deep, shadowed valley. It was cool, definitely below 10C. We were on a sort of main road to Mostar but the traffic was light. Around 20 km we turned off and headed up some side roads, warmer. We had seen that it was an out-and-back to something but didn’t know what. Then I saw a sign “Dervish House 2 km”.
Sure enough, we rolled up to Tekija u Blagaju which is an old monastery-type place built under a giant overhanging limestone cliff. We paid the entry fee even though so far in Bosnia, the satisfaction to entry fee ratio has been low. They had a nice souvenir shop and bathroom, but weren’t allowed in the house itself (our shorts were too short). We took some photos, but the angle was much better below in the free zone.
We rolled away soon, now dressed in short sleeves and fingerless gloves. Good thing too since Rob’s route soon had us taking a detour up a pretty steep climb on a tiny “road” that measured 19.2% at the steepest. That will warm you up. Then a nice descent and we were getting close to Mostar.
We arrived in town at the hotel before noon and Bike Dreams had set up lunch outside, across the street. We ate, relaxed a few minutes then checked in. The hotel is new and nice. We had showers, then somehow we both fell fast asleep for a while. After a nap we worked out a plan with the rest of the “Craft Beer Lovers” WhatsApp group to meet at a local craft beer garden at 3pm. We headed over and the place was great.
All in all it was a really great day and I’m looking forward to more riding tomorrow. We still have two more days of good weather predicted. Good night!