Day 47, 09/10/22 Better safe than sorry

I woke up in Ravni Dabar on my mattress on the floor of a mountain hut. The night was hot, as the oven was running throughout the night. However, I much preferred that to the freezing temperatures outside. During breakfast I spoke to the Croatian mountain climbers. Some were astounded, that I came to Ravni Dabar, out of all places, with a bike!

After I said my farewells, I went back to the section, where my gps said “short section of hike a bike”. It was a trample path, leading up a mountain. I was determined though, to keep going towards Gospic. Another option would have been to go back to the coast towards Karlobag.

One problem, I was facing was, the lack of reception, which made it impossible to check the weather – the last time I was able look at the weather, rain was predicted for the day after. But today the clouds hung low on the mountain peaks and during breakfast, I even felt some drops of rain. Another worrying point was, I was running low on supplies of food – rice and oats, that was pretty much all I had – no vegetables, no fat, no protein, no sugar. I was hoping to restock at Gospic.

Hike a bike

So up the mountain I went. First I grabbed the two back panniers to carry them half way up the mountain. Out of breath, I returned to my bike. Now it was time to get the bike up there. Metre by metre, was I pushing it up. Lifting it over breaches, leafs, rocks. Trying to find my balance, on really steep sections. After catching my breath, I carried the bike bags up the next half. Then again the bike – at some incredible steep sections – I needed to drag the bike up sideways. I set down in disbelief, thinking: so this is the “path”.

When I finally made it up there, I started cycling on a single track path, leading me into the forest. It was mysterious and beautiful, but also overgrown and looked like nobody has been there, in a long time. Trunks were lying over the paths – again lifting my bike over it. Then the path was leading down the mountain again. Most sections were impossible for me to ride. I was frustrated and already exhausted, but simultaneously I knew, that there was no way back. So I kept on going, deeper and deeper into the woods, into more remote sections, not knowing, if it will storm or where the next town will be.

Then I finally made it to a gravel road. Once again dragging the bike sideways up, out of the woods onto the road. I was happy, having reached a road – now I just wanted to get out of there. However, the gravel road, was leading myself upwards and upwards and updwars, towards the peak of the mountain. I looked at the clouds hanging low on the peaks and was wondering, if there will be a whiteout at the top. But my path lead me higher and higher to the top of the mountain. There was no way back. I just needed to keep on going, closer and closer to the dark and heavy clouds. At this stage my body was exhausted. I had pushed myself the last few days climbing the mountain, camping in the cold, not eating the right food. I knew a rest day was overdue. While I was going up I realised, not only my body was weak, but also my will. I pushed long sections, to give myself a break. Every bit of blue sky gave me hope, for the weather to last. Then I could see the peak right in front of me. Hopefully it would go down hill now, I thought. When I cycled around the corner, I came to an intersection. I checked the map and thought, one will get me out of here. My gps said to turn left – I turned right instead – I had enough – I wanted to go back to the coast, back to reception, food and safety. When I arrived at a hostel, still up in the mountains, I finally had reception – I saw that it had about 23degrees at the coast. This gave me the last push, to leave the mountains behind. When I cycled down the mountain, the gusts of wind were so strong, that I needed to ride slow and carefully. Often the wind was so strong, that I didn’t move, even though I was going downhill.

Not happy
Up and up I go
Will there be a white out at the top?

When I finally was down I Karlobag, I was shocked about the events of the morning, I knew this Weill be a learning lesson to prepare myself better for remote parts of my trip. I bought myself a big pack of chips and a strudel and wondered how to move forward. One option was to cycle north to reach a ferry, that would get me to the island Pag.

When I checked the wind however, the direction was north east. So I decided to take the road along the coast south, until I will reach a suitable camp spot.

The road was windy. Every time the road curved into a bay, I was hit by strong gusts of wind. I needed to be very careful, to not get blown into on coming traffic or too close to the edge of the cliff.

Back towards warmth

I had a look out for a campsite and was lucky to find an abundant house, in between villages. Next to it was a flat green patch and also a small swimming area. I went for a swim washed the day and it’s scary events off. And thought of my old boss Frank – preparation is everything.

I had a beer and cooked dinner, before I went so sleep.

So long – dovidenja from Lucovo Sugarje!

3 responses to “Day 47, 09/10/22 Better safe than sorry”

  1. Meredic Hallett Avatar
    Meredic Hallett

    Wow! That’s a tough day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I was getting anxious for your safety while I was reading about your trek up and down that path and that you were low on food. So glad you changed your route! Phew!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Karen Johanna Meyer Avatar
    Karen Johanna Meyer

    Chapeau chapeau chapeau🙏🏼❤️ Thank you againagainagain you brave one to report from these struggles of bringing yourself to the edge of strength and even willpower in these remote parts of Croatia. Isn’t it remarkable that we humans just love to hear tales about bravery and struggling. Although we resist the suffering we’re drawn to it simultaneously. I feel very fortunate to follow you step by step… because it’s exiting and unpredictable and at the same time relatable. What spectacular adventure❤️ I wish you all the best of fortune on the continuation of this quest of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

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