Day 18: Trpanj to Župa dubrovačk, Croatia
Jack Richards, August 15, 2011
Camping Divna on Pelesac is a special spot. This morning I had breakfast on a deserted beach that looked out over the calm morning sea with green mountains around me. Ace.
When packing away my tent I noticed a film of grease on the surface – I had been sleeping under the canopy of an olive grove and my tent was coated in olive oil. I suppose that will add to its water repellency. Steve, the Kiwi camp owner is super nice guy and after chatting this morning he let me stay for free. If you ever get the chance, make the journey to camping Divna, just don’t expect it to be free!
The climb out the camp was brutal and despite my early start, the temperature was already high and I was immediately hot. I was anticipating the roads to be really hilly but I only had three 350 metre climbs. The climbs were still fun with fast descents all the way back to sea level in each case. Even though the climbs were not huge, the generally hilly terrain meant I racked up 3000m of climbing today.
I arrived in Ston sooner than I had anticipated so stopped for a coffee. A bakery sat to the side of the cafe – one great combination. Note: Ston has a fort on the hill with an impressive walled perimeter. Refuelled with awesome local patisserie goods and espresso, I rejoined the mainland coast road and pushed for Dubrovnik.
After 50km and a few draggy climbs I reached the city. The road took me in above the old town, I headed down to see the sights. The town is really impressive but seems to be one big tourist tatt shop. Far removed from normal city function, I felt like I was in disneyland, not a city centre. After walking the streets, peering down cool narrow alley ways and up magnificent white stoned buildings, I decided I had had enough of Dubrovnik. It doesn’t feel like the Croatia I have got to know in the last week.
I had ridden 115 km and the sun was now brutally hot. Combined with higher humidity than else where in Croatia, the result was very hard riding conditions. I rode another 14km until I came across a perfect little campsite. Enough, it was time for a swim.
So 129 hot km’s for the day. I am now in a good position to nip into Montenegro tomorrow.