Daily Digest – Day 145 to 147 (Serbia & Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Day 145 – 26 October 2018
Petkovici Serbia to Kulina Bosnia

Transport: 70.4km , 15.6km/hour elevation gain 1130m

Berg country: we woke up and our gracious camp hosts turned in a bed with shower and dinner provided hosts had prepared a Serbian breakup for us 😍. I have said it before but will again, Serbian hospitality is unreal! Lalila had prepared some tempera like vegetable things with sides of salami, cold cuts, bread 🍞 and of course ajar (the paprika paste so popular in the Balkan’s).

After farewelling this great couple we got rolling towards the Serb/Bosnian border (only 2km away) and crossed into our 16th country for the trip 😆.

Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina! VIDEO

The ride took us along the river then into the mountains.

Climbing Bosnian Bergs VIDEO

It was a pretty long consistent climb but we eventually crested the berg in the late afternoon and decided it was time to find a camp. As we started rolling out the hills we came across a bunch of farm houses and decided to ask a farmer to camp. We didn’t want to chance wild camping anywhere in Bosnia as although the odds of hitting a land mine are extremely low they are still out there 😬 (a carry over from the war in the 90’s). The farmer we asked pointed us to camp anywhere on his property and after some google translate told us about some friends he had who were long term bike tourers like us (2fortrips). It was a very early night this night as the temps dropped very quickly as the wind picked up.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 24 Oct

Day 146 27 October 2018
Kulina to Sarajevo Bosnia

Transport: 70.9km , 17.6km/hour average speed, elevation gain 782m

A Hostel affair: we woke up to the sound of wind whipping our tent fly. There was a strong south easterly which unfortunately meant we were in for a day of headwinds once again 😪. We wanted to get going relatively quick so decided to grab breaky on the road. We stopped and grabbed some burek from the next village and during breaky made a new friend…Charlotte.

We rolled out of town and Charlotte decided to accompany us.

We were worried she would keep following us so we squeezed a downhill section and definitely felt bad as she started barking not being able to keep up. It’s difficult as if we were in the same situation in Aus I think we definitely would have tried to bring her home with us 😪. She did have a ear tag but we both think she was a stray dog looked after more by the community and hopefully she has a good life here in Bosnia.
The ride towards the capital was definitely a tedious affair as the wind buffeted is the whole way. We stopped at a small wooden Hut on the way and met up with the farmer (we had stayed with last night) and some of his close friends. He had told us to look him up on our way as he was in this area for the day and whilst with him I shared a pivo whisky emm pated the enormous mountain dogs his brother was raising on the property (these things are the size of small ponies and can be pretty dangerous if not tame – these ones were thankfully tame 😇).

We then cruised the final 5km to Sarajevo and up to the hostel we had organised to stay at (the doctors house hostel). Now this was a momentous stay in a way as it represented the first true hostel we have stayed at in our trip. We met up with Kat who runs the hostel and offers bike tourers a nights free accom as she is a stout supporter of bike tourism in Bosnia and wants to encourage it. We decided we would stay 2 nights to allow us to explore the beautiful and historic city which had vestiges of war from the 90’s Serbian/Bosnian conflict.
For dinner we ran scrambled eggs as we wanted to inject some healthy food back into our systems as the majority of our recent intakes have consisted mainly of deep fried dishes with a mixture of pastry and cheese thrown in for good measure 😳. Me and Emm reversed rolls and I was the one calling it at a super early time of 8pm whilst Emm stayed up well into the night.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 24 Oct

Day 147 – 28 October 2018
Sarajevo Bosnia

Sarajevo a turbulent city: today we woke and after cruising the local student pekara (ie cheap bakery) for Burek and bread we cruised to town to participate in the local free walking city tour. Our guide Neno was great and took us through the town showing the different types of building (Otoman -Turkish empire, Austrian/Hungarian and Jewish) and talking about the history of the city in a heavily summarised version.

I’ll try and give a even more summarised account here:
– city founded by Otoman empire in 15th century with Otomans ruling for over 400 years. Hence heavy Turkish influence on buildings, food and culture (today most of city are Muslim).
– Jewish settlers arrived shortly after after being exiled from Spain.
– Austrian/Hungarian empire ruled for 40 years up until end of First World War in 1918 (the war interestingly being triggered by the assumption of a duke of the Austrian empire).
– Yugoslavia formed after world war 1 ruled by a Serbian monarch based in Belgrade who sought asylum in London during the war.
– Communist Yugoslavia version 2 ruled was formed after world war 2 (who wants to support a monarch that flees in war? Kinda like a captain abandoning ship when passengers still on board). Under Tito’s rule the country prospered.
– 90’s saw the dissolve of Yugoslavia and war in 1992 in Bosnia probably due to the strong mix of different ethnic backgrounds – Serb Orthodox Christina’s (most wanting to stay unified), Bosnian Muslims (wanting to separate) and Croation Catholics.

Anyways it was a very very engaging tour and we tipped Neno as he does not get commission from the city for running these tours (he didn’t pressure or even mention this we just found out from our hostel that this was the case latter in the day). I would highly highly recommend attending the tour if you ever come to the city.
Afterwards we decided to try a recommended eat at Ćevabžinica Željo and ordered the Cevepi (Balkan sausages cooked over charcoal with bread, sour cream and onions).

Now this meal is simple at heart but is very very delicious. Washed down with some drinking yogurt and coming in at 12.50 Bosnian dollars (about $10AUD) meant this meal earned the coveted 5/5 on #beauschilliscale. Come here if in the area!!! Seriously amazing.
Afterwards we decided to cruise home and chill for the arvo/night as the rain was picking up and we have rides on end scheduled for the next few weeks.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 24 Oct

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