Day 53. Monday 23 July 1984
Lokve, Golski Kotar, Yugoslavia. (now Croatia) 48km. Total 3065km.
Try for an early start, so that we can get to Rijeka before the traffic, but we have to wait a long time to pay, and a long time to buy breakfast, which is a warm cheese pasty. Then had to go to the big town for a map, which are as rare as hen’s teeth.
In the town, the bustle of the queues is hard to enjoy, – women with dangerous elbows pushing me, surly demeanours, slow service, queues. We cycled a long, wrong way round the ring road to get out, and the road starts to climb.
Very steep. Very long. We come to an arguing point about how slowly I am going and in spite of myself, decide to continue although the mountain seems so hard. And steep.
Within a couple of hundred yards of us nearly turning back, the road begins to slope down, and shady pine trees replace the hot rocky scrub on the other side of the hill; trees that hold a layer of cold air beneath their needles.
There is a camp site by a lake, and we stop high above to view the restful panorama. This site is quiet, with friendly people and rudimentary washing facilities.