Day 47 Schnapps?

Start point: Jadranovo, Croatia

End point: Prizna, Croatia

Miles: 63

Key words: roasted pig, beetles, bee sting, close call, Julian, video games

With Bora officially gone we were eager to be back on the bikes and melting some miles, even if we melted in the process. As one local told us, “Bora will leave after two days, and then comes the heat”. We hit the road with our sights set on the small coastal town of Prizna. No longer clinging to guardrails for dear life, we could once again appreciate the incredible beauty around us.

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Beautiful start to the day

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Botanical curiosity

Not long after entering Croatia we became aware that a whole roasted pig over a spit was kind of their thing. Sometimes it was a banner, a sign, or the spinning pig itself posted up on the roadside to lure in hungry passers by. We were waiting for the right moment to give it a try.

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Pig on a stick

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Beautiful dock of sorts

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Cycling through beautiful backdrop after beautiful backdrop

It was on this day we started encountering shiny, jade green beetles that liked to fly up to close to us to get a better look. Sometimes they flew alongside us on our bikes. This one touched down to say hello.

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I only wear the finest jewelry

As harmless as the beetles were, Jess had an unfortunate encounter with something worse. We had just hopped on our bikes after a wilderness bathroom break when I heard Jess shout “ouch!” Not a word said out loud very often while cycling (even if we think it sometimes) I pulled off the road. Pour Jess had been stung by a wasp or a bee in the stomach. Not a fun place for that! We joked it was a Hoffman thing because her brother had been stung by a bee in the face the one day he cycled with us on our US trip.

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Ouch!

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Lunch stop in the town of Senj

After lunch we were off again, making our way up some hot inclines and coasting joyfully down the other sides. At one bend Hector pulled over and pointed up to a short trail leading to a hilltop cross and viewpoint. Sometimes it feels great to use your muscles in new ways after hours of cycling, so we slung our handlebar bags over our shoulders and scampered to the top.

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Not a bad view

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Happy to be on top of stuff

Back on the road we were making our way up a long, hot, gradual incline when a white passenger vehicle decided to pass a car going the opposite direction around a bend. He sped so close to me I gasped some instinctual expletive and froze while I screamed past. That had been a close call. An icy shot of adrenaline jetted down my spine. I pulled off at the top of the hill to let my heart rate steady.

It was at this stop that Hector realized he had a flat tire. We were all prepared for this scenario with spare tubes and tools of the trade so Hector got to work.

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Hector tackling the flat

Meanwhile I struck up a conversation with two Hungarian guys who were doing a short motorcycle tour. They had also been caught in the Bora winds. The same day we made our emergency stop on Jadranovo they came across an camper trailer that had been tossed upside down by the wind. They showed me a photo to prove it. I felt really good about our decision to wait out Bora when we had. If Bora could flip a camper, she could definitely flip a bike!

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Hungarian motorcyclists

Hector’s tire change was largely a success, but the tire bulged slightly along the rim. He tried a second tube but the problem persisted. We pumped the tire to below full and we hoped it would hold for the time being. There were absolutely no bike shops in this desolate neck of the woods.

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Dalmatia

We turned off the highway towards Prizna and coasted down sharp turns to the small inhabited neighborhood below. It took a bit of searching, but we finally found our apartment and met our host Julian (Yoo-lee-an). A big, shirtless man with a white beard and twinkle of mischief in his eye we soon learned that his knowledge of English consisted of movie stars, and he continually compared us to them. Thankfully he also spoke some German so Hector was communicator in chief most of the evening. Julian offered us a seat and started with the most important question in his mind: “Schnapps?” He asked, while bringing out bottles of his home made concoctions.

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Schnapps

After a nip of the darkest schnapps and way too much of the cold cuts (to include some sort of cured lard) that materialized we managed to get to our apartment and get changed for a swim. The sun was still shining and we wanted to try out the water. Julien instructed a young Croatian guy to show us the path to the water, and he spoke surprisingly natural, slang-heavy English. “Where did you learn your English from?” One of us asked out of curiosity. “From video games”, he said, without hesitation. Wow, I thought, finally a positive side effect of video games!

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Incredibly beautiful

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A blogger’s work is never done

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When love birds steal your camera

As there weren’t many dining options in the town of Prizna, Julian offered to make us dinner. It was a very German dad-meal of sausages, bread, and the delicious local sauce called “Ajver”. Serbian in its origin, ajver is made from roasted peppers, eggplant, and garlic. It is addictively good. True to form Julian had made this batch of ajver himself.

imageThe sun sets in Prizna

Total miles so far: 1,839

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