Travelling by Pedalling


Spring has arrived! 

Now that we are out of the mountains, the vegetation has completely changed again. Everywhere we see fields full of flowers! We have fewer cold nights and the sun is wonderfully warm.

Today we cycle with a target in sight. We are going to Krka national park. We have strong headwinds all day. Fortunately we only have 50 km to cycle so we don’t worry and make slow progress. We buy some fruit at a market stall along the road and a little later we take a break at a church to make breakfast and coffee. We start talking to a Serbian man. He talks about the war and you can see the pain in his eyes. We notice that we have little knowledge and feel a bit uncomfortable. The man is caring and talks about his family and where his family has ended up. One of his sons has moved to Australia. Maybe we’ll meet him some day 😉

We arrive at the campsite where we will sleep for two nights. Tomorrow we will go to the falls and explore the park by bicycle. At the campsite we meet a retired German couple. They waved enthusiastically to us this afternoon when we were still on our bicycles. We start talking and a moment later they walk by with apples and money. So special that you can receive so much from people after such a short contact!! Later they will mean even more to us.. because we forget our tablet at the campsite. They take the tablet with them to give it to us further down the road.

We also meet cyclists. A French couple (Françoise and Louise) who are cycling to Turkey. They follow roughly the same route as ours. We had nice contact with them for two evenings. We drank a beer together, played games, cooked and at together one evening and chatted a lot. Hopefully we’ll see them again in the future!

The first night at the campsite I (Nina) had a very bad night. I had an infection in my mouth and the pain in my tooth was so bad I couldn’t sleep. After hours of being awake I finally took a painkiller. Normally I don’t take painkillers but it helped and after that I still have a few hours of sleep. That day we went to Krka.. we are amazed and have a long day of cycling planned. I decided to go back to the campsite to sleep and give my body a rest. And Q sets off on his own. He had a great day and didn’t return until around 6 pm.

Fortunately, after that day the pain is less and every day it gets better and the inflammation slowly disappears.

The next stop is Primosten. We started cycling late in the day with. We cycle along the beautiful coastline on a stormy but sunny day. We arrive at the campsite where I went as a child. We take a look and start talking to one of the employees. The reception is already closed and he is about to leave. We were actually just planning to look for a wild camping spot somewhere. But he offers us to pitch our tent. “I haven’t seen you and you haven’t seen me,” he says. We pitch the tent, leave our things behind and decide to have a date night. We go to Primosten by bike, stroll around and eat delicious fish from the grill in a cozy restaurant.

Our next destination is Split. But before the city, there is a rural area along the coast, so we have to make choices. Continue cycling and take the boat to Vis and look for a camp spot there in the dark or stop early and go to Split the next day and take an earlier boat. We will eventually chose the last option. We stop at an idyllic bay and relax in the sun. A little later a Swiss man joins us. We start talking about cycling. He cycled from Switzerland to Croatia once. He has a holiday home nearby. He invites us to sit with him and his Croatian wife. We chat for a while and they invite us to sleep at there place that night. The apartment is located in the Unesco village of Trogir. It’s beautiful there. We eat a delicious bean soup with them and have fun and interesting conversations. They give us a bedroom with bathroom and kitchenette all to ourselves that evening. Another special meeting!!

It is overwhelming how many beautiful people we meet and how much we receive during our trip. Sometimes it can feel uncomfortable, we would like to give something back but what?! But we share our stories and people say they love it and I look forward to being just as generous to travelers in the future.

We have breakfast in the sun at the boulevard of Trogir and continue cycling towards Split. We go on a dirt road past the airport and the path becomes more and more impassable to cycle on. We get stuck in the mud. This is the second time and this time we don’t have a garden hose around. We grab some sticks and get to work removing as much mud as possible. Until there is some movement in the tires again and we continue cycling. We make a stop at a car wash to spray off the rest of the mud. You can always laugh about these kinds of situations afterwards! And actually already during the situation.. we were again rooting in the mud with our hands like two small children!

Not much later we meet two German guys on heavily packed bicycles. We cycle together towards Split and talk about our experiences. We have very nice contact. They cycle to Iran but have a tighter schedule than we have. We hope to meet them again but we don’t know if we will keep up with them 😉 Maybe see you someday Samuel and Raffi!

We do some shopping and first go to the 
harbour of split to arrange tickets for the ferry. After the tip to go to Hvar instead of Vis from the people we slept at, we decided to change our plans. Hvar it is! But the cheap boat leaves very soon and there is no time left to discover Split. That was Split then. A very large busy city with a lot of industry.  Not the nicest place to cycle through. We will visit the old town again sometime in the future. Because Q has never been there.

The town of Hvar is beautiful and exudes luxury. Cocktail bars in the square, the largest yachts and sailboats in the harbour. We take a moment to eat an apple but we have a race against the clock because we want to find a place to sleep before dark.

Not much later we find the perfect place! We have scheduled a rest day for tomorrow. The second real rest day with no kilometers on the counter and this time no work on the bikes but reading a book. We set up our tent on the coast at an indicated wild camping spot on my map and not much further is a beach with a now closed restaurant with a water tap and a terrace where we can sunbathe. We are thinking about staying another day tomorrow!

I’m writing this now on my airmat in the sun. Enjoying my life!