The road from the Adriatic to Sarajevo climbs sometimes less , sometimes more, but steadily for over 100 km. It leads along the river Neretva, and its clear water with a greenish colour sometimes stretches between the white rocks forming the canyon paving his way, sometimes widely spreads, but the landscape invariably delights. These beautiful views are certainly a touch of consolation for peening pedal cyclist.
But, that this time I did not need any consolation – I was cycling just in the opposite direction :)!
In the evening just before approcaching the sea in Croatia, the road began to climb and I still could not find a place to stay. Egyptian darkness around, path lit only with lights from the cars passing by from time to time, but I was pushing further and higher - no, no other solution. After some time, the stomach began to demand fuel therefore stood at some bay biting bread with pate. It did not take long – before I have seen cars in the dark that showed up and parked near me, one, two ,three of them. Probably no one paid attention to me, but I decided to roll. Passing next to them saw the light of red candles. A lot of red candles illuminated the hillside and people lit their more. These candles saw the next day in many places, They lined the streets of Dubrovnik, and the square in a small village at the monument "To the victims of aggression Serbian - Montenegro invasion in the years 1991 - 1995 " formed an inscription - VUKOVAR. Vukovar is a town in northern Croatia, where during the last war took place mainly massacre of Croatian civilians, and now it is just sad this anniversary of these events. In these lands no nation, that would not have suffered losses and who would not have celebrated many sad anniversaries.
Before, even in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country which has suffered most in this conflict I see the devastation. I can not look more at abandoned, demolished, burnt houses, to which no one returns, sometimes whole villages that nobody rebuilds. Once even in such an environment night approached and this time I felt uncomfortable putting my tent. Heart hurts so much, I do not want even pull the camera, I do it maybe once or twice. An even greater contrast I see in a larger city which is Mostar. The banks of the river flowing through the city Neretva in Mostar for many centuries combined beautiful, high, white stone bridge. On one side of the river Muslims live, on the other Catholics. During the fighting in the 90's bridge was blown up, a few years ago, with assistance from UNESCO bridge rebuilt, However, just around the corner in his neighborhood as in the whole town demolished buildings scare your eyes 20 years riddled by bullets fired facades and interiors. And in all this, here and there were built modern luxury hotels, not completely congruent to what you see around . Somewhere on the side painted on the stone inscription "DO NOT FORGET" asks - "Do not forget".
A reach Ivanka's home in Dubrovnik on the southern strip of Croatia several hours before the storm. That's why I did not give myself more time in other places - wishing to take advantage of the beautiful autumn aura pushed further trying at all costs to get to the Adriatic, Although the places to see in the region a plethora of invitations and also.
People, and you know what – I did it! It closes a certain stage of my trip. Offer roadside stalls and orchards caused a smile on my face. How also mentions Wikipedia “Climate vegetation Mediterranean is formed by. olive trees, Citrus, eukaliptuses, Cypress, pistachios and vine trees” Everything is correct! I would add, that the landscape is dominated by the Adriatic Sea and white stone houses with red tiles.
Ivanka, friend of friend, that takes me at home and is like mother to me for three days I stay there, seeing my dismay, in response to the strength of the wind commented shortly "Jugo, I told you. When it blows, You can not make any decisions. Headache and nothing works. You have to wait, the rain comes after. After a few days it will be better".
So I waited three days barely going out of bed, Since arriving to Dubrovnik was such an effort (Eh, all these ups and downs). When the wind a bit ceases, I am strolling through Dubrovnik. Shining, like polished pavements, homes, palaces, churches with white stone surrounded by high walls of the fortress. This city is like a fairy tale. The walls surrounding the old city I remember well from previous visit – at the entrance I quarreled with my ex-boyfriend to that extent, that each of us went dirfferent direction – We met, therefore, while going from opposite directions in the middle of the route and then it was ok. .
When it gets the weather window I pack and leave, Entering Montenegro. The joy of pedaling, however, lasts just two days-when entering Montenegro-a tiny, the charming country, that bicycle I visit again I have no doubt, that it is impossible to go further. Jugo, the perpetrator of all this confusion, wind from North Africa, that changes in this part of Europe in a storm to end the rain again makes itself felt. My tent the day before bravely holding up, but I have a doubt, If I could make it to put it back. The previous day after unsuccessfully searching for a room in a closed seaside village I put my tent in a trees by seashore, some 100 metres from the street, as usual, so, nobody could see it. Slept through night safely, but the wind was raging at night does not set on the day of. Si I decided to stay, but in the evening I go to fetch water and something to eat. When I get there is still a bit bright, but this time I do not wait until all cars pass by as I ususally do, so nobody sees me (which is one of my main rules) and I make a turn where is my tent. I was still moving around for a while, and .. I can see somebody, man obviously , that is close to me and looks at. Gosh, It is not good. There is no doubt, he is moving around – passed between the bike and tent and again stood, did a few steps and again turns and looks. Finally went. I already know, in spite of the rain and need to get a night cutting collapse and I'm cursing myself for my stupidity. The batteries in the lantern went off, was complete darkness, sometimes just light from cars passing, near any light. Packed in throwing a lot of stuff in the bags look with tent and this time close to me is on the disabled car lights and these guy again, there is. Seriously, I do not know why would he stand there, there was another place to stop car nearby 100 m further and it was leading with a grading a stone path. Now I'm shaking with fear. I grab two bags go in the street without seeing even the path of praying, to the cars come. I'm starting to wave riding vehicles, wondering how do I go back after the rest of the bike in the dark forest. Maybe call the police, I think.
After some time I see with great relief, the car drives away, and I run after the rest of the luggage, grab my tent, bicycle, and I cycle on despite the darkness and the weather thanking God and Angels for help. I decided to break up the more people, while I ma not fond of asking in general.
Travel off-season has its pros positive and negative pros. fairly obvious - the lack of crowds of tourists, Queues, prices fall, on the road it is much quieter. There are also "pluses" negative.
I miss the most .. day!. I miss a few hours of light, and even two-three. Before I start in the morning between 9-10 this morning already about 16 that it's getting dark and you need to look for a place to sleep. But - is also continued logistical kinks. Well, because in a situation, that already somewhere will snap , What time is it 17ta, in a fit of 18th and sleep as much as I do not want. I also have such a rule, that is how I sleep in the wild is light I don't swich on light at all, that in Polish means: – what to do? I reflect, of course, until my head hurts, but as a bookworm usually I took still-book reader Kindle and tried to read while covering a sleeping bag, but .. unfortunately, to my despair I damaged the screen and nearly a month of war with the theme. It is no longer under warranty, fix in those countries where I can not be, buy another practice or not - do not even know what it. I already have a plan, but smuteczek not hide is large. Kindle - back!
I miss the evening lying in an open tent (Although then I wonder how the ehell spiders get in). Listening to the cicadas. I look at the blue-green sea water and regret, I can not jump to it. I pass the coastal towns, where everything is closed on all drains, sometimes it's hard to find a store. And so on.
But it would be a sin to complain. Night, during which spending the night in a tent took off my socks because I was too hot and did not have to cover as yet further (in addition to burying the feather sleeping bag) bicycle bag and jacket can be regarded as a breakthrough. But if someone thinks, that my cheeks warm breeze caresses it sadly mistaken coarsely. Heat long time has passed, the wind is quite sharp and cool, but the nights are much warmer.
Ewa, pedal faster, Come for Christmas, will borsch soup, dumplings, cheesecake, instead of carp fish I prepare octopus ha ha!- Iwona, living for years in Athens fellow schoolmate, I find on facebook which sends me an invitation. Iwonka, Thank you so much, very willingly because for two years I had no holidays and this is a special time. I have therefore next "deadline" - to Athens for the holidays. In the end, I have pledged to make dumplings and bake cheesecake, No excuse, have to come!
Let's just this Jugo go away.