It’s not sunny, but it’s not raining either….Hallelujah! Let’s Ride!!!!!!
It’s Croatia in the Mountains today… whew hew!! Meet Rakela, Ivan and you already met Anton, my host!
The day before this it was raining hard so I went into Split, just 20 km down the road to wander around the historic old city. When I was walking on the street I see a big BMW1200 on the sidewalk with heaps of worldly stickers on it! That bike has been places and where is it from? I see the registration in Croatia, and I’m like.. hmph! Then this tall man walks up to me and clearly his bike, I introduce myself. He enthusiastically asks many questions of which I tell him I am staying with Anton.. He says, I know that guy!! Why didn’t he call me to tell me you are here??!! “I don’t know!!” So he rings Anton straight away.. Anton apologizes for not putting out a Croatia wide post that Sherri Jo is in town, but we make a plan to ride together. Cool!
So this is the day we ride!
Good view of how curvy the roads are.. this is the same way it looks when riding along the coastal road, such tight twisty curves which usually stays right on the water.. which is cool, but usually I don’t have a bigger view of it like this.
I always feel good when all the bikes are together…
Close by, Ivan (pronounced eevon, not eyevan) shows me amongst the hills these little war bunkers. He points out a few of them within view. One thing that is always a part of my experience ever since I have been anywhere in Europe is war history. From Estonia to here. All countries have it, it just seems to really stand out to me in these particular countries, probably because there is so much of it! And of coarse here in Croatia, their last war was so recent in the 1990’s. But these bunkers are from WW2 if I remember correctly.
As we follow Ivan around, I remember thinking in my helmet that he is like a proper tour guide! He stops the bikes and explains and shows things. What a nice guy!! I didn’t realize it until later in the day when I asked, but Ivan is quite a tour guide… seriously! I knew he was a good friend of Anton, and that he had a motorcycle shop near Split, but I’m slow. I found he rents out motorcycles in the shop to tourists and can include Ivan as a tour guide if they choose! Here is his website if you might be interested in a motorcycle or any other holiday in croatia! http://www.visit-croatia.co.za Highly recommend it, especially if you want to explore away from the mad tourist route!!
So, our next stop is a water well. He was pretty sure I had never seen how the villages get their water, and he was right. That embankment is built for rain water to drain into the well, and the little house is where you’ll find the bucket when you need some water. Gee whiz, I have had it easy in my life! Regardless of the work involved, the water is clear and beautiful.
Rakela, whom I just met yesterday, is on the phone.. He finishes and comes over to tell me that he has organized a newspaper and television interview for me in Split.. Man on the job!! Heck! I can’t imagine! I feel a bit embarrassed and not particularly worthy of such interest… I’m just a girl on a bike, and not very good at it either…
We ride through many little mountain villages. With the gray clouds of winter and dead trees, it certainly adds to the character.
After a very fun morning both on road and off road, we pull up to this house. Off the bikes and Ivan asks, “You all hungry?” Well, actually, yes! But where are we??
Ivan, being the ultimate explorer on a motorcycle had found this house a few months ago by accident. He befriended the owner and knows he can whip up an excellent meal. Without notice, we are hoping we score a good meal today too.
Yes! He’s home and there is plenty of trout in the pond!
The stream water flows into and out of his own little catchment. With the net in one scoop, we have fresh fish. On to the floor where they get a knock on the head. (I couldn’t watch or photo that part..)
And then moments later, dinner in hand!!! (So sorry little guys, but thank you…)
Next surprise, I think we are just going into his house, but this is more like a pub/restaurant. We are in the middle of nowhere! There is not a sign outside, I would have never thought to stop here if I was riding on my own.. and it’s so cool!!!!!
He gives us a drink of his homemade brew… really strong, so I just had this tiny bit. I don’t drink while riding motorcycle, but in this case, it is special hand made and I don’t want to offend… Check out the walls!!!
The boys warming up by the fire… isn’t it romantic!!? ;-)) ha!
Food starts coming out, bread cheese and meat..
And then, the fish and potato!! Oh dear, they were so alive moments ago, but they look darn tasty now… finger lickin’ goooood…
I’m still amazed at what a fun restaurant is out here.. They have really put a lot of work into creating such a treasure, but who would know it’s here?? Understandly some of the locals would, but it’s far off the beaten track and wouldn’t be sustainable by any means.. But lucky for us, it was absolutely awesome..
Back on the bikes, and it has actually started raining again.. who cares, we are all so full and happy, and I didn’t know it at the time, but Ivan has a lot more he wants to show us!
To be continued…