Day 16: Rogoznica to Split, Croatia
Jack Richards, August 14, 2011
Yesterday I had my second rest day. Though I still had 60km to ride, 20km in the morning and 40km in the evening split the day very well. Combined with my 90 kilometres the previous day, the overall mileage is 150km in 48 hrs, so essentially one day off.
From Rogonzica I pedalled slowly along to Seget Vranjica where I was to meet by Ivi and Pete, with whom I was to spend the day and stay with that night. Seget Vranjica is a small village on the coast with an awesome beach. Our rendezvous worked as planned and we spent the day on the beach snorkelling, fishing, chatting, eating and soaking in the sun. Having spent so much of the last few days cycling past numerous idillic beaches, it was great to be finally making good use of one of them. Fantastic too to be able to chat away in English, a real plus after 16 days on the road alone.
After our day on the beach I rode the 40km over to Split where Ivi and Pete live. Lethargic from my lazy day, I took a while to get into my stride but the kilometres flew by so I could relax once more and focus on rest.
That night we ate at an excellent fish restaurant, a huge platter of the day’s catch being served up. Finally I was eating the fish I had regrettably not sampled the previous night from the catch at Rogoznica. I was then guided around the city, seeing the amazing Roman palace and bustling city streets.
Being a Saturday, the night was buzzing and once we had seen some of the tourist hot spots, I was taken to where the locals drink! Narrow stepped streets with bars along their side, and crammed with people. Not a word of English could be heard over the intense Croatian chat and even the awesome music being played had native vocals (Note: No cheesy English pop here). We drank mojitos in the relative cool of the night, enclosed by the narrow Roman streets that amplified the atmosphere.
Split is a cool town and aside from the obvious tourist appeal, it has a really fun character. A super relaxed atmosphere and in such a magnificent setting. The modern day city makes full use of the splendid palace built my Diocletian, the Roman Emperor.
Returning to sleep in bed (!), the first time not under canvas for me on the trip, I slept like a baby. A real luxury! This morning with clothes washed, feeling relaxed, and rested I am heading on my way.
A massive thanks to Ivi, Pete and their two kids, Alice and Goran who have been awesome hosts. Hvala!
Having quizzed my hosts on where to go next and sought advice from their local friends, I am heading to Korcula. I type from the ferry, my penultimate of this adventure. My original plan was to ride the length of Hvar but the advice I received was that Hvar is pretty touristy and the Korcula and Pekjesac double is where it’s at! Looking at the map they both have some big hills, as high as 961m, so I will have to dust off my climbing legs.
I am aware that this blog is now turning into a tale of a chilled beach life and is lacking the extremes experienced in the Alps and Dolomites. I aim to fix this in the next few days. With just another 3 days riding after today, it’s time to step it up a notch and crack on for Podgorica, hopefully gaining enough slack for a detour into Montenegros’s black mountains.
But for now it’s time for a coffee!