During the night the wind had picked up again and by sunrise it became clear that the weather would be taking a turn for the worse again. So we set down again to discuss our further plans. The routes we had planned to Tara NP, Srebrenica and then through eastern BiH would be slow going and take us right into some bad weather forecasts. From past experience we know that weather is usually a bit better along the coast and finding comfortable camp sites will definitely be a lot easier there than further inland. With more rain coming in we prefer the option that ensures us a nice hot shower every evening. So we aim for the Croatian coast.
The mountains in BiH remain an impressive sight though.
First target for today is Mostar, where there’s ample choice of good restaurants for lunch. Along the way we also pass one of the less attractive areas of Bosnia, Gacko power plant.
The skies are overcast, but we arrive in Mostar without getting wet and just before lunch time. Unlike last year the guy on the old bridge has raised enough cash from the continuous stream of tourists to dive into the water below.
We’re just too late to take a picture mid-fall. But it was a bit anti-climactic anyway. We were expecting a gracious swan dive, but in stead were treated to an uncontrolled limb-flapping fall. You can just about make out the splash behind the tree as he hits the water.
When we are getting ready to leave again a drizzle sets in. Even before we reach the Croatian border we’re in the middle of a full-on downpour. The rumble of distant thunder is closing in as well. It briefly seems to ease up as we are getting closer to the coast. But after a short break at a highway rest stop we ride into the mother of all thunderstorms. Lightning, thunder, strong gusts of side wind and heavy rain turning into hail. The occasional tunnels provide brief periods of calm in between incessant bombardments, but only until we ride into the mouth of hell again. In places the wind is blowing so hard it is difficult not to get blown into the hard shoulder. We’re lucky the Croatian toll motorways are usually pretty deserted.
Once we’ve passed Split the worst is over. We feel so sorry for the bikers in coming from the opposite direction in jeans and t-shirts. We’re luckier, when approaching Biograd na Moru it is drying up again. But by the time we’ve pitched our tent on one of the camp sites near the city center a new thunderstorm is moving in. So we hit town, which turns out to be a very cozy little fisherman’s town, looking for some shelter and some food. Seafood, obviously.