Day 67 – 10 August 2018
Treviso (Carbonera) to Precenicco, Italy
Transport: Bikes 85.13km at 22.6km/hour pace
If at first you don’t succeed try, try again: Today we woke in the lovely Vania’s apartment at about 7.30am. We all shares breakfast together comprising of oats, nutella and Italian crispbread. Of course coffee was involved (it appears all Italian’s love coffee woohoo!!). Vania is a social worker and left for work soon after breakfast. We had such a lovely time with her and we look forward to her Australia visit in the future!! We got our belongings together and set off in the Italian heat wave. Pretty hot flat riding so we stopped to literally pour bottles of water all over us a fair few times. We went with gnocchi for lunch with pesto- we can’t get enough of this it appears lol. Delicious of course!! We clocked about 80km through the countryside and then stopped at our favourite Discounter Lidl for dinner supplies. Ended up with yoghurt and oats but didn’t eat this for dinner and this is why..
After hitting the grocery store we thought we would try to see if some locals would allow us to camp. We had 3 rejections until we saw three young boys playing soccer in their garden area. The father Federico came out and after consultation with his wife Stéphanie they opened the gates for us to camp on their beautiful property. Their three sons Joseph, Julien and Victor have excellent english as a third language 😮 and they are all such gentlemen at only 14, 12 and 7 years old. These boys have a good future ahead of them. It was great to be able to communicate with us so as they put it – they knew we weren’t serial killers lol. We placed our tent in their yard and they quickly insisted we eat pasta with them and take a shower. How could we say no!? What kindness and wonderful generosity to complete strangers – we are so greatful. Luckily we were stocked up with some Italian sweat treats that we could share with the boys Joseph, Julien and Victor. We had pasta with tomato and mozzarella cheese and watermelon from the garden- yum! Really hit the spot! We chatted at dinner about the Italian economy, soccer and travel- just an all round great evening which was unexpected!! We thank the whole family for taking us in and treating us like one of your own family.
Day 68 – 11 August 2018
Precenicco, Italy to Petrinje, Slovenia
Transport: Bikes 94.16km at 20.1km per hour speed, 688m elevation gain
Riding in a sauna: we had a decent nights sleep in Frederico and Stéphanie’s backyard with only one midnight wake up due to some ants getting in the tent as I had left the door partially open 🙄. We wolfed down some bowls of oats, yogurt and fruit and it was great having Stèphanie for company during breakfast (the boys had stayed up most of the night being on holidays and were unlikely to rise until mid afternoon…hey I’m not judging I did the exact same thing up until I started full time work 😂). We got going around 9.30am and bid farewell to Stéphanie and Frederico.
The hot and humid conditions made what was meant to be a relatively easy spin towards Triest a difficult ride. The temp odometer was clocking near 37 degrees and by my reckoning the humidity was right up round 100% when I called a much needed pit stop due to the large lunch we had recently ingested 💩. During my absence a humanitarian by the name of Marco snuck up on Emm with 2 cold bottles of water for us 😍.
Marco is a local near Triest and does a fair bit of cycling himself. We had a brief yet very informative chat about our planned route towards Croatia. Marco provided advice to go via the town Kozina in Slovenia rather than going through Triest as this would save us a few hundred meters of climbing for roughly the same distance. Needless to say we took Marco’s advice and made for Kozina. There was some crap off-road sections which we can thank maps.me for but overall it was a pretty easy cruise as promised.
We got some dinner supplies then made for a wild camp in Slovenia as we had read although not allowed it was widely practiced and tolerated.
We found a place just off our route and had a appetiser of oats and yogurt and gnocchi pesto for mains 🤔. Weird combo but definitely satisfying. We both went to sleep with high excitement levels as tomorrow we are set to hook up with my big sis and her partner who are currently in Croatia. Making Croatia by the 12th of August has been a goal pump ours this whole trip and has led us to set and achieve sometimes some very ambitious rides.
#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from the 8th August
– B (edited by E)
Day 69 – 12 August 2018
Petrinje, Slovenia to Lovran, Croatia
Transport: 59km, average speed: 19.1km/hr
We woke up in Slovenian shrubs lols..
Today would be the day we make it to Croatia where we would meet up with my sister Christina and her partner Goran for a much needed short term break off the bikes. We woke bright eyed and pretty excited to get going.
We had a relatively short spin on the cards with 59km plus about 900m overall elevation gain. The ride going from Slovenia into Croatia via some quite mountain roads was pretty good. It reminded us both of riding in the Jindabyne region in Australia.
The crossing between countries did have border control but seeing tourers on bicycles mustn’t be high on the risk profile as the border police just waved us through ahead of a growing line of cars and campers. This worked out well as it provided a bottle neck for the cars and allowed us a more relaxing ride as we didn’t have to worry as much about cars up our klackers. It was a real brake burner descent losing elevation all the way into the seaside town of Opatija. From here we had a pretty short but somewhat stressful dash along the coastal road (which is narrow and does not have a shoulder to cycle on – ie riding alongside some crazy Cro drivers 😬) to the smaller seaside town of Lovran and from here we had our final ascent up to the place where Tina and Goran where staying.
We were definitely on cloud 9 seeing both Goran and Tina (G&T) face to face. We spent the arvo catching up and trading stories of each other’s trips (G&T have been in Europe for the better part of 2 months on an extended holiday spending time with both family and friends who have happened to be in Croatia at the same time as well as putting some serious mileage into a rental car going cross country across Europe). For dinner we decided to walk to this locally famous pizza joint not far from Lovran – well that is how Goran sold it to us…20000 steps later 😂. We were all getting pretty hungry and hangry when we made the pizza joint at 10.30pm but the staff informed us the oven was closed for the night ☹️. I was fearing the worst contemplating the ill effects of starvation when we stumbled across a burger joint which was nearing the point of closing its doors. We raced in and fortunately the cooks had not yet closed the kitchen so we were able to place an order.
The burger was very delicious and is the first burger I have eaten since being os. Overall, I give it a 4/5 on #BeausChilliScale and would definitely recommend it for anyone travelling through the area and looking for a gourmet burger fix. We cruised back home shortly after and called it a night.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post making Croatia has been a big intermediate goal for us this trip. We were so stoked to make it here on schedule as doing so enables us to spend more time with G&T before they head back to Aus. The schedule for the next 10+ days will mainly consist of hanging out with G&T and the partaking in some much needed beachside R&R (when in Croatia you head to the beach 🏖 😝).
-B edited by E