Day 29. 97km. Koper – Vrsar

Posted: October 11, 2014 in Croatia, Cycling, Slovenia
Tags: , , , ,

Croatia is the country of smells. Intense, varied and beautiful. It started at the border. Croatia is the country of challenging cycle paths. I pushed my bike for the first time. And now, in October, it is the country of closed camping grounds. 🙂


It was amazing. At the border the cycle path left the car road and rose into the hills. Then it started. The smells. Fragrances that could be used in saunas. Beautiful exotic plants that I don’t recognize. Then pine. Then fennel. Burning wood. Every 100m it changed – the smell.
At first I meandered along breathing in deeply. It was a dirt path but fine to cycle along.


Then the rocks on the road got more numerous. Big rocks in ruts to be avoided, and small rocks that slip under the wheel. Try to accelerate on them and the wheel skids. And then it got steep. Drahtesel slid out from beneath me as I slid into a rut. Then uphill I had no chance. Drahesel was pushed just as some strollers walked past. My failure was witnessed. And this was on the official istria tourist cycle path. I’m not tough enough apparently. Once I saw the asphalt road, I stuck to it.


Istria is clearly the tourist drag. Villages bursting with places to eat and places to stay. Lots of ‘apps’ – not for smart phones but for staying overnight. 🙂 And, of course, the villages are cute.


I read a blog of a young cyclist that has cycled around the world. He listed some things that he learnt in his trip. He said how he learnt to sleep anywhere. A park, a field, a forest, wherever. I haven’t learnt that lesson yet. As it gets later in the afternoon I feel the stress increase. Where am I going to stay? Camping ground? If there’s none, a cheap hotel. I am now at the only open camping ground on the Istrian peninsula. Everything is closing or already closed. The day is approaching where I will sleep out there somewhere. It will be exciting and scary. And after a while, it’ll be nothing. But that day is in the future. Today I’m sitting in a restaurant with people who are staying in apps, drinking wine as they watch the sea lap on the shore.


I don’t look like the other diners here. Hairy and unkept, with sharp tan lines. I am leaving civilization as the winter falls. I feel alive!


  1. AndrewGills says:

    I also am not at learning to sleep anywhere stage yet. Finding a place to stay is my biggest challenge on my ride also. Perhaps we will also learn to sleep anywhere like the other blogger has

    • Yes. It’s one of the things yet to be learnt. How is your trip coming along!

      • AndrewGills says:

        My trip is amazing. Am in Korea this month. It is perfect for cycle touring. I will go home for 3 weeks from 27 October then I am off to Java in Indonesia for a month of motorcycle touring (no sense cycling where it will be stressful to do so when I also love motorcycle touring)

      • Sounds fun. I’ve had a lot of warm shower guests staying over from Korea. Lovely people. Enjoy!

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