Groundhog Day

Omis, Croatia:  Hong Kong is a long way to go to get laundry done, but that’s what I did for some clean clothes and to take care of personal business.  Last night I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, reliving the same day over and over with a slight variation of the last.   For the third time in four months, I flew from Hong Kong to the Old World for this Eurocycle.  For the third time I said my goodbyes, which get increasingly harder, at home.   For the third time I faced the anxieties and pressures of hopping on the bike and starting anew.

They say the third time’s the charm.  They better be right.

Today I reconnected with my touring bike Bubba Too with a sharp and specific focus to arrive in Istanbul in just three weeks. Three flights and 24 hours after leaving my Hong Kong residence, I naturally but abruptly shifted from manic Hong Kong mode yesterday to Croatian cycling mode today.   Shortly after touching down in Split I began rolling once again,  this time on cobblestone streets. I didn’t even change out of the street clothes I wore from Hong Kong.   It is time to finish what I started in Lisbon on June 5.  Only six countries, 1,600 (or so) kilometers, the Balkan mountains and a weakened body from jet lag and a nasty cold stand in the way.

I suspect the last weeks of this journey across Europe will be perhaps the most interesting and dramatic, especially as I cycle through part of a country that is on the brink of economic implosion (Greece) and another country that is in the news for all the wrong reasons (Turkey).

Today has been a very long one, but today’s ride was short.  It was a cinch exiting Split, Croatia’s second largest city.  In less than 45 minutes I was on coastal route 8, with the Adriatic on my right, a mountain on my left, and a feisty headwind in my face.  I cruised along to Omis, a very pretty seaside town with a good vibe and a castle to boot.  Last week Patrick and I had visited Omis by car so I knew the lay of the land.   I rolled up to the Hotel Plaza and checked in, the cycling routines very familiar by now.  It’s a clean and modern hotel and just what I need on this first night back on the road.

For dinner I revisited a restaurant Patrick and I dined at last week, ordering grilled calamari and veggies.  I was starving.  My last hot meal had been a crappy breakfast served by Lufthansa somewhere over Russia at 4:30am local time.  Tonight I was the restaurant’s first customer and it’s a slow evening.  I ate my calamari as the elderly and heavyset restaurant owner sat at a table near me looking at porn on his laptop.

It’s good to be back in Croatia and rolling again.

Day 61:  Split — Omis, Croatia 

Distance:  27.04 kilometers

Ascent:  84 meters

Weather:  Headwind aside, perfect cycling weather.   It’s nearly 10 degrees centigrade cooler than it was last week.

TransEuropa 2011 Trip Summary:

Distance:  4,246.88 kilometers

Ascent:   29,972 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


About Todd

Around-the-world cycling, one continent at a time
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2 Responses to Groundhog Day

  1. Ellen says:

    Great picture of you, Todd, but where are your red sunglasses? Please don’t be in too much of a hurry–be safe–and remember, it’s the journey, not the destination!

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