Ljubljana – Dubrovnik Expedition / Part 3: Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia
The Croatian coast is a jewel resting on the Adriatic Sea. It offers the visitors a wide variety of attractions, whether they are interested in sailing, cycling, parties, or just chilling out on the beach.
The Croatian coast is a jewel resting on the Adriatic Sea. It offers the visitors a wide variety of attractions, whether they are interested in sailing, cycling, parties, or just chilling out on the beach. I came to that conclusion in the course of the trip. It is an excellent option for those looking for Sport and Adventure Travel. As mentioned in the last post I had arrived at the Island of Hvar. After five consecutive days of cycling, I could not wait to take a day of rest to recover my muscles. I could not have chosen a better place: Hvar Town. The city is cozy; beaches are beautiful, varied options for boat tours and cycling, a spectacular view from Hvar Fortress among other attractions. The weather that did not cooperate, collapsing a thunderstorm afternoon. At least I was not on the road facing the storm. It would have been such a challenge! Next day it was time to face what it appeared to be the most challenging stage. I would cross the entire island of Hvar, riding 80 km through the mountains (despite being an island, were 1.808m of cumulative altitude gain) from Hvar Town to Sucuraj, where I would cross the ferry back to the mainland. Then take a transfer to Neum (the only coastal town in Bosnia-Herzegovina).
Crossing the Island of Hvar
The initial idea was to take a ferry from Hvar to Korcula, but I had to adapt myself to the situation because there was no ferry due to the high season end. Only catamarans, which do not allow to transport bike. Without a doubt was the hardest stage. It's funny, however, how life can be contradictory; it was the coolest one. The island is beautiful, with several bays of turquoise water, and the road after Stari Grad was empty. I passed the wineries area with its vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields (which was not the season).
With the completion of the previous stage, I entered the final stretch of my tourist expedition. I left Neum with good weather and went to Ston to visit the famous city wall. Later headed to Slano where would be the last night before heading to Dubrovnik. Upon reaching the small town, I was on the hill looking for the inn when an inhabitant, realizing that I was lost, offered me help and a glass of wine of his local production. It was exactly what I needed, a glass of wine! This stage was 49 km long and 1.099m of altitude gain.
Finally, I've reached the last stage! I was completely excited and motivated to complete my solitary adventure. And scared, though! The weather had turned again. It was not raining too heavy, but the wind was very strong. The driver who took me from Sucuraj to Neum warned me: "careful on the road on Saturday because a storm is forecasted." I thought, "Oh no! I cannot give up now. Lack little... Less than 40 km". In fact, it lacked 36.8 km and 1.060m accumulated elevation gain. I took a deep breath and hit the road.
Fighting ghosts and "Yugo"
I had to hold the handlebar hard not to lose control of the bike due to strong gusts of wind against and sideways. I had to also keep a mind control, no point in looking forward wanting to come soon. Patience! Even downhill I could not gain much speed because the wind held me. And so I was, fighting the ghosts inside my head and against the "Yugo" (the strong southeast wind) to the fantastic city of Dubrovnik, "The Pearl of the Adriatic"!
The Expedition Ljubljana - Dubrovnik has been successfully completed. It was a total of 549 km with a total accumulated altitude gain of 8.063m in nine days, eight days riding and a day off.