Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I didn't turn away a free ride from the race director from Lublijana to Croatia. My first night was spent just outside the city of Riyeka, on a presipice, ten feet from the crashing waves. In the morning I rode to the island of Krk (yeah, Croatians don't feel the same need for vowels as the rest of us). Getting advice from two people on how to get a ferry to the next island, I chose the wrong one and ended up back tracking 20 miles in the dusk, leading me to another campsite, again, ten feet from the crashing waves. In the morning I biked from sea level to nearly 5,000 feet, through the fall colors, limestone and oaktrees (there were none on the islands since the Venitians took them to build Venice).

I biked and camped for the next two nights in the mountains. Things I learned - just because a lumberjack sees you coming, doesn't mean that he won't fall a tree directly in your path, seconds in front of you. And, sausage can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner and dessert.

Split - beautiful. Met a 89 year-old man with a stronger grip than me (that doesn't say much). He told me about biking through Italy after the second world war for three years and six days. Our meeting ended with me loosing an arm wrestling match.

I caught the boat from Split to Ancona, Italy overnight. I cooked pasta on the outskirts of town at 9am at the edge of a roundabout: best breakfast ever. It took two days to ride to the small, hill-top town of Casperia where my friend Ben's uncle owns an appartment. My instructions on how to get to the appartment were "go up the hill, veer left, number 24." In response, my instructions on where to find me: "arriving sunday afternoon. i'll be in the plaza drinking beer." I won. Ben found me around sunset on sunday with a pint in my hand, talking Spitalian to a young couple from Rome and their Venezuelan friend.

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