We get up early again, but we take our time breaking camp and have a nice chill breakfast at the camp site bar. By 9:20 were ready to get going again.
There’s some sightseeing on the menu today. We’re passing through Tolmin and it would be a shame not to miss out on the gorge. We follow the Soca valley to Bovec and then it’s on to Tolmin where we start looking for signs to point us to this natural wonder. Except we don’t find any, or at least not any that that we understand. Fortunately the friendly lady at the gas station where we fill up informs us we need to look for “korita” and explains us how to get there. It is only about 5km out of town, along a small snaking road.
When we get there it’s pretty quiet, the park site is almost deserted. It is getting pretty warm already, so we leave our stuff with the bikes and start walking.
For 4 EUR per person you get access, a little map and the advice to walk the route in the reverse direction with this weather. Meaning starting off with the long slow and warm descent while temps are still agreeable. Once we hit the riverbed it should be a lot cooler there.
It’s pretty deep.
So deep some stuff falling down doesn’t even make it all the way down.
The river water is as clear as any fancy expensive swimming pool’s. A tad colder maybe.
The entire walk supposedly takes about 1 hour, but we take a lot of pictures and try to soak it all up. A nice Slovenian girl offers to take our picture on one of the hang bridges.
By the time we get back to our bikes it’s noon. Time for a little snack at the bar, a pretty good ham and cheese sandwich.
After lunch our ride continues via Cerkno to Ziri through some nice valleys.
A bit further along our route we pass through the tail of a juicy summer thunderstorm. We don’t get wet ourselves, but the road is still damp from the rain that passed here only minutes ago. We’re gaining ground on the weather, as passed Ziri the roads are now really wet.
In a descent on one of the many hills, despite a rather sedate pace, I get this uncomfortable sensation. I can’t really pinpoint the reason, but something feels off. Instinctively I tap the rear brake slightly before going into the next corner. In a split second my rear wheel is all over the place. The Tenere does note have ABS, but reflexes from many hours of advanced riding courses kick in and I let go of the brake to softly start applying pressure again as soon as the sliding stops. The result is the same. By this time I’m slipping and sliding straight for the ditch on the other side of the road. It’s pretty clear I won’t be stopped before the roads runs out, so I go for broke, let go of the brake and turn in. With my heart racing at 200bpm I somehow make it through the corner unscathed. Luckily there wasn’t any oncoming traffic.
However, Sofie is still behind me. We had our intercoms on at this time and while I’m still wondering how I’m still upright I hear a lot of swearing and then the sound of scraping metal. Immediately I get off the bike and run back. By the time I reach her Sofie is already back on her feet and the FZ has parked itself nicely straight up against the wall of the ditch.
We quickly determine that both rider and bike are ok. And we also pretty quickly find out what caused all this mayhem. Even just walking around it is hard to stay upright. The road is as slick as ice.
A young women in a car has also stopped to check if everything is ok. She warns us -a bit redundant, after the fact- that this road is very dangerous and slippery when wet. As if that was not clear enough yet, every other car that tries to stop after that slides 1-2m before coming to a full stop.
We push the FZ out of the ditch and take stock. At first glance there’s not much (additional) damage. The hand guards, crash bungs and Magadan bags offered pretty good protection. The handle bars are slightly bent, but nothing major. Also the luggage rack is bent and the bike is full of mud. Sofie’s goretex suit doesn’t even have scratches. only a few teeth on the leg ventilation zipper have broken off.
After the adrenaline levels have settled we decide to ride on to Vrhnika and find a place to wash the bike. It’s easier to do a more thorough check for damage on a clean bike. We arrive around 4PM and quickly spot a car wash. The ride through isn’t really suited for bikes, but the attendant offers to hose the bike down on the parking lot. The luggage comes off and the FZ gets a nice little bath. We notice that the rear fender is loose on one side, but it will hold until we get home.
After a coke and a look around to find a camp site we finally decide to take a room in a hotel we passed earlier in the centre of town. After the events from today, a nice comfy bed and shower are most welcome.
With everything that happened we didn’t even remember to take any pictures after Ziri. But here’s our route from today: