milder day: wild camp to wild camp-19 km beyond Knin. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

December 6, 2013

milder day: wild camp to wild camp-19 km beyond Knin.

It is a mild morning due to threatening dark clouds having moved in during the night. Though there's breaks around the edges where occasional shafts of sun beam through.

8 AM: Photo taken from where I re-joined the road.
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The road ahead approaches a hideous barrage of a mountain range, meaning without a doubt a pass ahead. I have some Pepsi left from the day before and I remember there's still half a packet of muesli biscuits somewhere in the pannier, so I pull into a truck park shortly after nine to breakfast. The cloud has cleared somewhat and the sun is cheering as I sit on the curb eating.

The next place Gracac, consists of a petrol station and a road house. But the main town centre is off on the right; right from a roundabout; at which, route 1 goes round and left and follows the valley along the bottom of the aforementioned mountains. The next town is Knin, fifty-four kilometres away. The valley continues for a bit but, then comes the inevitable climb when the road meets a wall of mountain and swings sharp right, going up for many kilometres.

The view back from the side of the 8% gradient.
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The cloud has closed in again and its become cold and wintery as the road crests the final incline and begins a long descend. A gritting truck passes. The spinner on the back spreading salt. The road clings to the mountainside and the mountains ahead are dark and the cold chill penetrates my rain-jacket.

I'm descending for quite a long way, passing from Winter to Spring when the road finally bottoms out and crosses over a viaduct. The cloud is breaking up and the sun's shining. The viaduct reminds me of Spain: all the European Union money gone into road-building with viaducts replacing the former old road descend to the valley floor and torturous climb up the other side.

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Shortly before one I begin the descent to Knin which is a surprising big town filling the valley below on the left. On entering, it looks rough and dinghy with grey high-rise blocks. There are many junctions and roads to various locations. I turn left at one set of lights, then right at the next lights, following the sign for route 1: Split and Dubrovnik. There's also a Lidl 700m supermarket sign, following in the same direction. Timely as it's lunchtime.

The thing about Lidl is, there's too much of a choice of biscuits/cookies. And not much in the way of fruit and veg. They have that horrible policy of pre-rapping: big nets of onions and two kilo bags of apples; meaning, it's not possible to buy one. You know what I mean. Amongst my shop when I come out are a baguette and salami which, I sit down on the curb and make a sandwich for lunch. I also have some apple Strudel biscuits, looking good in the picture upon the box, but are nothing like the picture. Instead they look and taste industrial. I bought a Swiss roll cake too. That's industrial grade. But I'm glad of this sweet junke, as I'm hungry and I've enough junk to last me to Split.

The town looks nicer on the side I leave. There are nice houses with large gardens and rows of vines and vegetables therein. It's one-hundred and two kilometres to Split and I aim to reduce that distance as much as possible before dark in order to reach split early tomorrow.

About 5 km after leaving Knin: a turnoff down into the valley.
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Today's ride: 91 km (57 miles)
Total: 8,290 km (5,148 miles)

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