Next stop, Krk Island Croatia! After my overnight in Italy, I take the fast road back to where I was close to Rijeka, and aim for Krk Island. Two reasons… 1) it was recommended as an amazing place and 2) I put out my Horizons Unlimited request for advice in Croatia and one of the responses came from a person there.
Can I just tell you that picture above with the road sign exists, not because I wanted a picture of that road sign.. but because I desperately needed that concrete barrier to jump behind for a quick pit stop.. which is never quick for me because it takes for-freakin’-ever to remove twenty layers during a time that is long over due needing to do so… To be more specific, and to describe such a challenging part of my day, several times a day, every day!! I have to scan for a place that is suitable to hide. Once I find a place, can I park the bike there.. A lot of times, no.. no road shoulder and too steep embankment. So when I do find a place, I stop and turn off the bike. Disconnect the heated jacket and get off the bike. Take off the gloves, take off my glasses and attach to the bike. Take off my helmet and attach to the bike. Take the keys out of ignition so 1) nobody can take off with it, while I “step away from the vehicle”, and 2) so as I know exactly where my keys are if I attach them to the same place on my jacket every time by habit. Okay, now, take off big coat, buttons and zipper, then take off 2nd jacket, and then suspenders, etc etc with remaining layers.. that’s enough.. To add a visual, by this time I am usually dancing around like a little kid swinging jackets here and there needing to go so bad! Afterwards, another 5 minutes putting it back together again! Sorry.. I will divert myself back to more interesting things…. !!!
Not far past Rijeka, you take a very high bridge that connects to Krk Island. This can be a worry at this time of year, because it is common they close this bridge to ALL vehicles, not just vulnerable light motorcycles, due to high wind. It is late fall and Croatia has a natural yearly occurance called the Bura. It’s a very strong wind from the north-east, bringing clear skies, but cold air.
Lucky for me I have clear skies today, but no Bura… yay! Anyway, I aim for my Croatian motorcycle advisors house as they have asked me to come and stay the night in the small village of Punat.
It was a super easy day for me and I am on the island early.. which I wanted so I can ride around and explore. This time I had actually looked online and researched it a bit, so I had a fair idea of what I wanted to see. I know…. shock!
Krk is the main town, hence the name, and here I stopped at the marina for a little lunch.
Excited to see more, I go back out to the road and head south to Baska.
So so pretty, I really want to stay here a while.. a man notices me and walks up and starts asking questions. He is on holiday from the city of Zagreb, and speaks English fairly well. He had many many questions! But that is part of the fun for me. If I was just a woman on a jetty, you most likely wouldn’t get so much interest. This also answers the question to so many people who ask me why I chose to ride a motorcycle around the world, surely there is an easier way! Yes there is! Much easier! I have many answers to that, but in this scenario, as they ask if I get lonely, usually not! I am always meeting people, simply because they see a motorcycle with a foreign license plate!
However, it is getting late, and I must get back on the road to Punat to meet Nikola. Nikola had given me some good advice and mentioned their daughter also rides motorcycle. I felt comfortable talking on email. When I made my way to the house, a man comes out to greet me! I was expecting a woman!! It really threw me off for a moment.. I have a good friend from New Zealand who is a Nicola, and female!
It turns out Nikola is a common name here in Croatia.. for men.. ha!
So, again, I am surprised… it turns out that Nikola Mrakovcic is very well known in the motorcycle community as he has contributed his riding adventures and photos in several magazines! Right there is a great example again of how lucky I am to meet the most amazing people on this journey!
Have a look at his website… http://www.NMsite.com
Which I have only just seen now myself.. Because here, at Nikola’s house, is where my computer decides to die.
We were exchanging stories about our Russia adventures, and at the point he explains he had an accident on a dirt road in Russia near Gorno Altai, a place I recently visited, I hear him mention Mark! Remember Mark, the man in Novosibirsk who helped me so INCREDIBLY much!! Years ago, he helped Nikola too!! What a seriously SMALL world! I was only “delivered” to Mark’s house to stay in Russia after arriving his city at 11pm, never heard of him or knew where I was being taken. Who would have thought I would meet a man in Croatia who was helped by the same man in Russia, nearly 5000 km away!! Weirding me out.. here is a photo from Nikola’s site with Mark, third from the right in 2006
And here he is getting me an ice cream in Russia 2010!
Well, I wanted to show Nikola my photos from Russia, but my computer is not going to have that.
Oh well, I have had a fun day, and tomorrow, Nikola and his family want to show me around Krk before I continue my journey south.
Along the old town walls of Krk. These walls were first built in the first century B.C.!!! and they had their last major reconstruction in the 15th Century!! That is just mind boggling, but must remember this is where the Romans used to roam! Hey! That just dawned on me! Do you think the Romans were named because of their people who roam? Or is the word roam derived from the wandering culture of Rome??? 😉
Just under the bar where we have a drink, I go downstairs and see all this history piled up in the corridor.
I really enjoyed my time exploring Krk with Nikola and his family. He is a passionate motorcycle adventurer, so check out his website!
As for me, I know it’s time to make a move towards Zadar down the coast.