Apologies this is a bit late, I haven’t been very productive this evening. The hot water for the shower took ages to heat up and it threw me off guard…
I was in a good mood when I woke up this morning; the weather – whilst cloudy – was looking dry and fairly warm. The first 5 kms flew by but as soon as I got back on the coast road the headwind returned with a vengeance.
It was a bit disappointing really and I spent the first 3 hours getting very frustrated. It was nice to see Dubrovnik though. I didn’t go through it, but the view from above was good and it lifted my mood a bit. It may be worth a trip back one summer..
It wasn’t a great morning really, and it was lucky I was heading towards a new country as it gave me something to set my mind on. The border crossing itself wasn’t totally uneventful.. as it turns out, there are two checkpoints, both of which you’re required to show your passport at. Upon arriving at the second, I was in the queue behind a car when the man in the little booth gestured to go to the adjacent lane – which looked shut. I managed to misinterpret these random arm movements as: ‘’go straight through, you’re ok’’. Turns out I was wrong and promptly shouted at. Anyway, no real issue and I got the first stamp in my passport. First of many I’m sure.
The difference between the countries was apparent pretty instantly. Montenegro was considerably more ‘’3rd world’’. (I am aware that’s fairly un-PC, but frankly I can’t think of a better way to put it). I still haven’t completely made my mind up about Montenegro so maybe I’ll share a few more thoughts tomorrow – although I’ll probably be more focussed on Albania. In short, it was a bit of a culture-shock and not one that I was expecting. It actually became more developed the further I moved into the country. As for the beautiful views; I didn’t really see any… it was all a bit cloudy. My prediction of blue skies and a tailwind could not have been more wrong.
The driving is also interesting. I’ve been informed that they don’t get many cyclists here and it’s fairly apparent. Not many of the cars knew how to deal with me. Some would wait behind unnecessarily and others would speed by within inches. Luckily there were only two instances where I had to actively avoid crashing.
Either way, the wind died down a bit and the new country kept me more than interested which meant the last few hours passed by quite easily. It ended up being a pretty good day; especially considering that may be the most climbing I’ll face on this leg.
Sad to leave Croatia, all the people were extremely friendly and the country had moments of brilliance. Definitely a place for a summer visit!
Wind and hills are my excuses:
Distance: 99.41miles / 161.3km
Riding Time: 7:58:16
Av. Speed: 12.5mph / 20.1kph
Elevation Gain: 1656m (not sure if thats right, it felt like more)