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Old 05-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #51
GuiltyParty OP
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: London
Oddometer: 318
Enter the Balkans

We finished off Rome and got the classic shot (to the Mario theme song)

And headed south to Pompei

The sort of stuff you read about in school and just need to see for yourself. I've already done Italy so this leg of the trip was more for Patty than I so while she looked at petrified bodies I minded the bike outside.

Then up to Venice via the east coast.

It's as you imagined, lots of water and boats and not enough motorbikes

Enough boats (gondoles) to cause a traffic jam

But they had possibly the best combination of carbs with chips

Enough of the lovey dovey stuff and onto the fun stuff...the BALKANS! With a yelp into my helmet and a tingle in my man region we shot down through Slovenia. I was already loving this - rolling green hills and no agriculture in sight. After seeing endless rape seed plantations (not daffodils - thanks Adam) all through France it was refreshing to see nothing but untouched rolling green hills and trees

But like most we didn't stop too long, only enough to take this one photo as we had bigger goals in mind.

We exited Slovenia, then back in again as I shot passed the border guards and had to u-turn back to them. For some reason I had in my mind that Croatia was part of the EU (it's not, but will be as of 1 July 2013) so I wasn't expecting a border and thought it was a toll. Only when I looked in my rear view and there was a guy unholstering his pistol (not really, but I have that image in my head) did I notice the border guards. With a bit of a wise crack from the guard about Australia not having borders and only having the ocean as our border that he thought was absolutely hilarious we were on our way.

We set a good pace down the coast between Rejika and Zadar along the Adriatic Road on possibly the best sealed road I have ever ridden. Endless turns with no loose gravel and well sign posted, little traffic (at this time of year, would be very busy from June onwards I imagine), and great scenery to boot.

Motorbike made from horse shoes at a cafe we stopped for lunch

Patty had done her research about the land mine situation in the region, so when I ducked off the main road onto a dirt track looking for a camp site which had a sign at its entrance saying ZABRANJENO ODLAGANJE OTPADA we got a little nervous and decided not to go down it. We later googled it and found out it says Prohibited Waste Disposal This isn't the last time language or local code will make us question our route. Instead we found a little camping spot by the water in Selce which a guy had recommended at the local grocers that we chatted too.

As I mentioned Patty had done her research about the land mines that had been dropped during the Yugoslav war, predominantly in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. It's a terrifying number with huge numbers of them still undetected and maiming people so she was naturally pretty nervous about camping. I'll elaborate more about this when I get to Bosnia. Camping has already been a pretty hot topic between us as she's not particularly enjoying the wild camping experience, preferring organised camp grounds and hotels with showers instead. There aren't many girls that would do what she's doing, and I say this with benefit of hindsight after doing some pretty gnarly offroad through Bosnia and Albania and completely out of her comfort zone. We're trying to strike a happy medium. So it was to be organised camp grounds in Croatia and Bosnia.

It's late and right now we're on the Albanian Serb border. Tomorrow I'll delve into the amazing Bosnia where the offroading last!
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Walkabout in Russia and Central Asia
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