Up until now we hadn’t really been sure we would make it to Montenegro in time for the HUBB meeting near Kolasin. Looking at the maps while planning this trip it seemed like it would be doable to fit it in our time frame and the others things we wanted to do, but we weren’t quite sure. The last thing we want to do while on the road is stress out, so we tend to be flexible with our plans. You know, the hang loose, everything goes attitude. Now that we’re this close to the border with Bosnia i Herzegovina it dawns on us that we shouldn’t have any problems getting to the meeting, even at a relaxed pace and some sight-seeing detours. Happy campers!
While I walk to the camp site store for some provisions, Sofie packs up our sleeping gear. We’re ready to roll by 9:30. It takes less than 30 minutes to get to the border. This will be the first border crossing where there’s a proper check of the bike’s paperwork, but everything seems in order. And apparently we’re not yet known as enemies of the state, spies or terrorists. It al goes pretty smooth.
Speed limits are a bit of a let down though. 80kph? Are these guys kidding?
Less than 5 minutes in it is already pretty clear that you’re in a different country. A bit weird considering this was all just one country under Tito. But we hadn’t spotted any mosques in Croatia and at least in this part of BIH they are a pretty common sight.
We ride into Bihac to pull some Bosnian Marks from an ATM and fill up on fuel. Bihac seems to be a commercial hub for car wash shops. The city is filled with them in all sizes. Smaller villages around clearly focus more on tyre shops and vulcanizers. In every little hamlet, no matter how small, there seem to be at least 3 of them. I guess it says something about the general state of the roads.
For lunch we stop in a small bar on the side of the road in some non-descript village. While we’re parking the bikes a group of young kids across the street are waving and gesturing that we should twist the throttle a little. The Tenere’s single with stock pipes does not seem to impress them too much though. But 14000RPM on the FZ6 gets some properly excited.
English, German or French don’t get us very far with placing an order, but some sign language and the few words of Russian we know get the job done. Although the waiter is still looking at us like we just stepped out of a UFO. While we’re waiting for the food we watch life pass by on the main road through the village. Volkswagen Golfs appear to be all the rage, as about one in three cars that pass are of that persuasion. Most of them a couple of generations old though. We’ll be having a lot of fun “Golf-spotting” for the rest of our trip through the country.
People seem to be a bit more reserved here than in Croatia. But when we get up to leave after a very tasty lunch the owner of the place comes over gesturing we should wait. He’s dragging what looks to be his grand daughter behind him. Apparently she’s the only one around that knows a few words in English. He wants her to wish us a good trip through Bosnia and dragged her over from god knows where just to tell us that. I could not imagine any bar owner doing such a thing back home. So the reserved attitude of the people should definitely not be confused with unfriendliness.
While we continue our trip we’re in for another little surprise. On the map the road between Bosanska Krupa and Bosanska Petrovac looked like a pretty major road. On the ground it looks a little different.
We were expecting to come across some gravel roads, but not really on this stretch. The poor FZ isn’t really made for this kind of terrain. Sofie tries to pretend it is her DRZ, but the suspension doesn’t cope that well with all the potholes so she’s glad when we hit tarmac again after about 30km.
Closing in on Kljuc we’re intriged by the landscape. It doesn’t really dawn on us at first.
But this does not quite look natural.
We roll into Jajce a little after 4PM. According to the map there should be a camp site around so we decide to look for it. It’s not that hard, it’s signposted. The camp site is basic but the pitches are nice, it’s clean, the price is pretty reasonable and there’s a restaurant.
Dinner is a 20m walk away, and there’s Wifi! We couldn’t ask for more. Except for the nice piece of meat with an absolutely divine smoked paprika sauce. Afterwards we hit the sack pretty early.