Hvar, Croatia: Last week I was cruising through the Italian Dolomites, sampling gelato, enjoying the ride. On Monday morning, at the start of my “workweek,” I crossed the frontier of the Euro Zone into Croatia and then, suddenly and seemingly, mild became wild in southeastern Europe. What a week this has been. Weather. Hardware stress. Wind. Many ups and many downs while surpassing the 4,000-km mark.
Still I got through it and I rolled into the beautiful town of Split, the objective of this week’s effort, a day ahead of Patrick. Patrick arrives tomorrow from Asia, carrying all kinds of supplies. My first request was to bring more granola bars. After my first flat I asked him to bring some spare tire tubes. After my second flat I asked him to bring more tire tubes. After my air pump broke I called and asked for some of those, too. I think I will be able to set up a mobile bike supply shop with all the stuff he is bringing.
I also appreciate all the wonderful moral support I have received throughout the week. Your sentiments help in getting through the rough parts. Thank you all. Dorinne reminded me that the worst day of cycling is better than most office days. Ellen, whom I admire for her perseverance in crossing the US, also reminded me after my #%*@! day that “if you liked today, you’re gonna love tomorrow,” a popular phrase from our American crossing. And Mark, whom I tried to keep up with across the US, encouraged me to keep rolling.
Since I arrived in Split with a day to spare, it seemed like a good day to go to the beach. After a week of riding along the coast, I hopped a catamaran to Hvar island, where I will spend this Saturday night. Hvar has an international reputation as a party island — the new Ibiza. We’ll see. If I can stay up past my 10pm bedtime.
It’s also been an internet-challenged week, but I finally found some bandwidth on Hvar. Here are some images from this week’s cycling along Croatia’s spectacular coast:
My arrival in Split on three lanes of madness — jostling for my share of the road with trucks and busses and cars — concludes the seventh stage of TransEuropa 2011. I am right on schedule to finish this Euro cycle by mid October. Here’s the score so far:
Day 58: Seget Donji – Split, Croatia
Distance: 32.59 kilometers
Ascent: 156 meters
Leg 7 Summary: Koper, Slovenia — Split, Croatia:
Highlights: Just keeping rolling despite all the obstacles
Best Sweet: NONE. No contenders in Croatia.
Prettiest church: None, but I did spot two interesting churches on the Croatian coast:
TransEuropa 2011 Trip Summary:
Distance: 4,219.84 kilometers
Ascent: 29,888 meters
Countries: 10: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia
Incidents: 4: flat tires on Days 45, 53 and 56; police reprimand on Day 2