Our plan for the first few days was to make good time through Slovenia and Croatia to allow us to make most of our time in the mountains of Bosnia, Montenegro and Albania. After that we’d evaluate our further plans based on the time we’d have left. So for the first part we stuck mostly to our planned routes over smaller paved roads and easy, fast gravel roads to make good time. Once in a while though re-routing is necessary, either through necessity or because of mistakes in navigation. Today we would see a lot of those. But it is all part of the fun.
It is easy to get into the rhythm of traveling. Whenever we’re on the road with our tent we usually hit the sack when it gets dark and are up with the birds in the morning. Today we’re all packed and suited up by 8 AM, which conveniently is also the time breakfast is served in the camp site restaurant. After stocking up on food in Postonja our route takes us via Cerknica to the border with Croatia. Not via the obvious main roads, but along a nice flowing gravel road. There’s a couple more slippery wet patches between the trees, but the riding is good.
The few larger roads did offer some nice opportunities to take a break.
We cross the border, and pick a larger road that would take us along the border for a while before we would turn off what looked like a small gravel road on Google earth while I was planning the routes. But when we get there a sign forbids access. We decide to play nice and quickly find a detour on the Freytag & Berndt map. Unfortunately, that particular road turns out to dead end outside of Čabar. There’s a parallel road across the border which would take us where we wanted to go, but the river that forms the border is a bit deep to cross. The only bridge we find is blocked on both sides of the river. The only option is to backtrack for a bit and pick another road going south. That turns out to be an absolute winner with some amazing twisties. And we come across a spring where we can fill up our water bladders and have a quick lunch of bread and cheese.
After lunch, while we’re just about to ride off again, a van with some local lumberjacks pulls in. It looks like they had the same idea as us and came there for their lunch break. We are already on our bikes, so we just give them a wave and hit the road. Past Delnice we’re back on the small single lane roads, but in Sunger we again come upon a sign forbidding us to continue on this road. There’s plenty of other roads around though, but it is a bit tricky to find one that will take us further south. After ending up on someone’s courtyard we do finally find our way out of the valley, over the hill and more or less southbound.
There’s not that many people in this region of Croatia, a big contrast to what you’d find on the coast. But the views are stunning and the riding is pretty nice as well. We end up on a small gravel road through a forest, in the direction of Plitviče. The shade provided by the trees is a welcome change. Out in the open the sun is making us work up a good sweat. Even though it doesn’t look to us like these roads are used often, they are well-maintained and there’s signs posted everywhere.
It is still a good idea not to wander too far off the road though.
We end the day’s ride at Autokamp Korana, not too far from the Plitviče lakes. Not cheap, but it is a pretty touristy area and it is a well equipped camp site with a lot of space to put up our tent.
And to top it all off there’s a very large restaurant with a great selection of local dishes. And of course.
Not to mention HUGE desserts. Yes, those are full-size plates.
Our route of the day: