A night in a proper bed sees us well-rested and up early. Fully ready to continue our trip, which today should take us past Ljubljana and into Croatia, near the Plitvice lakes.
The first part we make good progress along nice snaking back roads with some pretty amazing views thrown in.
By 10:30 we’re up for a break and this road side hut seems to be as good a place as any.
It seems we were not the only ones to pick this spot for some R&R. This little fella is either totally hypnotized by the flash or has ambitions to get on the cover of National Geographic. He didn’t move from this spot for over a minute. Didn’t even flinch when the camera was pushed right in his face to get a closer shot.
Afterwards we ride on to Crnomlj where we decide to look for some shelter for what looks like a brooding thunderstorm. At an ice cream parlor we get a cup of coffee and a huge chunk of chocolate cake. Waiting for the rain to pass while the horizon is lit up by lightning.
The rain passes, but the dark clouds linger. We take no chances and dig out the rain gear. It’s around 2PM when we arrive at the Croatian border. The roads are still wet, but we more or less keep it dry. The border crossing is fast and easy.
At this time Croatia was not part of the EU yet, but they would be soon. And they were well prepared, the yellow stars sign was already in place for the big day to arrive. I’m not convinced they know what they’re signing up for though.
We’re entering Croatia away from the coast, and away for the usual tourist areas. The villages here look poorer than what you tend to see at the coast. There’s more remnants of the war in the 90ies still everywhere around.
In one of the small villages along the route we come across an older man that is clearly well intoxicated, but he’s friendly enough. He starts talking to us, probably telling his whole life story, but we don’t understand a word. After a while we figure out he wants to know here were going. We give him the name of the next village on our map and he gives us a big smile while pointing us in the right direction. While we ride away, he keeps yelling stuff and I see him waving in my mirrors until we go around the corner.
Meanwhile a light drizzle has turned into a more steady rain. Our pace is pretty slow on the wet roads. We take it easy after the incident in Slovenia yesterday, but we don’t stop anymore so we still get some mileage under the wheels.
After a while it becomes apparent there aren’t many houses in this region. And most of the ones that are here look rather new but unfinished. We pass many ruins of older houses and you can’t miss the bullet holes which are everywhere. Outside the villages, spread out along the road are clusters of crosses and tombstones. Usually 3 to 4 at a time. And also a few signs marking possible mine locations.
We pass through Slunj, which looks like a ghost town with about 70% of the houses not fully (re)built yet.
Were nearing the Plitvice lakes and start looking for a camp site not too far from Entrance 1. Eventually we end up where most of the tourists around here seem to end up: Autokamp Korana. This is a huge camping resort, with room for over 500 guests, a shop, big restaurant en ATM machine. Not the place we’d usually look for, but it is well located for a visit to the lakes, offers a free bus service to get there and at this time of the year there’s a lot of free space to put up the tent.