So, from now it will be mostly pavement all the way to the home. First order of business is ride toward Ivanjica
Nice, wide and twisty road trough dense forest. Road is severely lacking in straights department, with turns just flowing one into another. This is first proper pavement section in last couple of days and I'm enjoying it. Time to blow some steam out of the system and get adrenalin pumping. Right hairpin, I'm going slowly, no input on brakes or the throttle. Front end decides it's time for me to get up-close and personal with surface so it skids sideways underneath me. By pure magic bike stays upright, with me in the saddle. Two things I'm sure about
: my foot never came of the footrest and I had some mild pain in shin area for next couple of minutes. I turn around, wanting to know what caused wheel to slide. There are no oil marks, no gravel, nothing. Going back downhill I tried rear brake. Wheel is blocked instantly and bike almost kept same speed. Slippery as ice... Warning came at cheap price, I take it seriously :)
Little further on there is a large fair, right beside the road. OK, now that would explain all those cars and girls in high heels in middle of the forest... These are not kind of places I like to visit so I just cruise along, Note to self: drunk drivers alert, set to high.
Still cruising, regular left turn, no oil, no gravel. Front end goes sideways, rear follows. This time foot came to the rescue and once again bike stays upright. WTF...
Once off the mountain road goes trough some villages but it's still enjoyable for riding. Turn after turn after turn after... For some time it goes trough a canyon, following a river.
town I turn off the main road, it's time to go to Zlatibor
mountain. Locals confirm direction, one glance at a map confirms that destination is only few centimeters away
For some reason I never bother looking at actual distances. Road is as close to perfect as possible. No traffic, no straights, good scenery all-around. Pure joy
After some time little worm of suspicion slipped into my mind. Those few centimeters on the map sure translate into a lot of riding. By that time I wasn't eve sure I was following right road. This time I take a proper look at a map and it turns out that this road is much longer than planned.
Pavement ends in Visoka
village. It's some 15 km of excellent gravel until it rejoins pavement on the other side. Locals drinking beers in front of a store ask me to join them for a drink. Unfortunately there is no time for that now. It's already clear that I'll be pitching my tent after the sunset. Another stupid tip-over doesn't help my nerves :)
Even thou wheels are facing uphill I easily manage to pick the bike up. Almost... Like it would be sinfull if I could just do it on first attempt
Of course, that didn't help me feel any better.
I'm happy to be back on pavement. First intersection and I take a wrong turn. At next intersection that becomes clear but I decide to press on. I mean, who likes to backtrack 5 km on perfect new twisty road anyway? Road signs on next intersection make mo sense at all. Obviously there are more roads in reality than on my map.
I give in, it's time to ask locals about directions. They point me onto a nice narrow, one lane, paved road.
"Turn right at first intersection and then just follow the road."
Hm, sounds familiar...
First intersection comes and I do turn right. Less than a kilometer and road ends after passing through a village. OK, back to main road. Next intersection proves to be right one and, believe it or not, I really just had to follow the main road after that.
It was close to sunset time by now and finally some common sense prevailed. I decided not to take off-road route, mostly because I wasn't sure where it starts and it's to late to wonder around.
Road from Zlatibor
mountain toward Tara
mountain is major one. Heavy traffic with loads of trucks make for unpleasant ride. That shock of traffic after few days of mostly seeing nobody on the road... Luckily for me, that section is rather short and fast and I was soon on nice, almost deserted road.
Road to lake Zaovinsko
is awesome. Once again, lack of any sort of straights is very evident. Smell of pine forest... Perfect way to end a day. Oh, and next time I'll go slowly, to enjoy the scenery
As I'm approaching the lake all I want is to see anybody else camping there. Lake is located in National Park and there are no organized campsites so I had some concerns. Major relief after seeing few tents, right at the top of the dam. I don't think that would be possible in "developed" countries :)
Just as I finished pitching my tent there is a sound of approaching bike and sure enough they choose spot close to me. After introduction we realize that we know each other from local biking forum. Always cool to meet somebody in person... Gathering of driftwood from lake shore, camp fire and tea from freshly picked plants in great company. How can anybody ask for more???
Random thought about tea: when ever I'm drinking it back home it tastes mostly like shit without liberal amount of sugar. But when I take time and effort to pick up the plants (mint and Wild Thyme mostly), find wood for a fire and use available water it tastes heavenly, every time. And it's sugar-free