6,500 KM CYCLE; DAY 58, Blejski Kot to Novska

Day 58

Saturday July 28 1984

Novska, Yugoslavia. 80km. Total 3356km.

A lady waves to us from her wooden house as we wheel away from the rugby field with a view. We need bread but there is none in the shops or if they do have any, there are long queues outside the shop.

We sit on a wall, shaded by trees and beside a church with a silvery bulging spire, eating creamy yoghurt and biscuits. A quick coffee to follow, Turkish with so many grounds floating that I have to stir it with my key.

A long road with so many villages that it really seems like just one long village; wooden houses fitting between new brick ones. I am weary so we stop again for coffee, served this time in a copper container with a handle with a small china bowl to pour it into. We want to buy lunch but find it difficult.

The shops seem to have nothing we want and so little variety. Usually the shelves are practically empty, and if there is anything on them, it is all just one product. Soon we stop beside a bunch of trees to eat bread and cheese while ants eat us. We feel a bit tired and decide to cycle more slowly until we reach Novska.

A supermarket provides us with beer and we find the campsite, beside the motorway, no water, a ring of dirty mouldy caravans around us, the most unfriendly and bad tempered woman in Yugoslavia.

Spits of rain fall as we drink our beer and talk about feeling almost homesick but not enough to make us really want to return yet.   We feel that the novelty of the holiday has worn off simply because we have been away so long. It’s hard to feel as excited, and anticipation and eagerness to begin each day has worn off.

So here we are, a steady rumbling stream of traffic from Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria is passing the perimeter of the site, a few people turning up to camp now, we have decided to turn coastward tomorrow.

1984_07_28 plitvich

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