Sorry No Change And Being Chased By Crazy Guys On Bikes: Dubrovnik To Near Budva - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

January 8, 2014

Sorry No Change And Being Chased By Crazy Guys On Bikes: Dubrovnik To Near Budva

Similar to most Slavic languages, Serbo-Croatian is difficult. The only basic words I've picked up are "Da" yes, "Ne" no, "Dobri" good and "Moje (molin)" usually used when answering the phone.

So in the hostel breakfast room it is good to meet Gabriel an English speaking German woman. The conversation is about each of our travels within the region. I mentioned that I will be passing through Albania. Neither of us could be sure about the recent turbulent history of this small state. We knew it was an allie of China once and the collapse of the pyramid saving schemes in the nineties. Apart from that we knew very little. Gabriel preferred talking about Greece, mentioning the names of many islands. The only one I know is the big long one Crete.

Looking back at Dubrovnik from near the top of the climb back to the coastal highway.
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I eventually get on the road at nine fifteen. Its a sunny day and the thirty-five kilometres of coastal highway to the Montenegro border passes quickly. The Croatian border-guard is humourless, complaining it's time I get a new passport. It is still a bit wet around the edges after Sunday's rain, but it doesn't expire until next January. The Montenegro border post is a few kilometres more. There the guard is more smiling and light humoured, asking did I cycle all the way from Ireland. And I ask of him general information such as, how far to the next town, as I need currency.

Montenegro uses the Euro. Since when I don't know but the machine pays me out a one hundred Euro note. The woman at the check-out in the small supermarket is desperate to know how she'll make up ninety-three forty-seven in change. She looks at the notes and coins in the cash-box, bites her lip and nods, then asks the woman next in the queue to pay, providing the necessary change.

From that resort town where I get money and lunch, there's a big increase in traffic on the road ahead, with cars sounding there horn as they pass. I presume to let me know they're passing, but it become a touch irritating after a while.

The side is continuous house after house and village throughout the afternoon as the road skirts round a fjord, which I take a ferry across, saving much time in avoiding the long circuit round. Because of all the development, options for camping are not looking good approaching four.

At last as the road moves away from the water's edge, there's a stretch without any houses, but there's marsh on the right and a thicket of scrub on the left towards the hills, until I come to a track up off the road on that side.

It leads up to a promontory where upon there is a weather station and in along the boundary fence is an ideal place to camp, but then I spot trouble.

I count five teenage boys on BMXy-bikes riding hard towards me. They don't look to be coming in peace as they shout abruptly between themselves. So I'm back on the bike in an instant and ride down the hill and onto the road. I think they will not follow on the road, so I slow to a more normal pace until I hear their voices again from the road behind me, so I ride hard to lose them.

After a kilometre or so, I look back and they're gone.

I ride to within a few kilometres of the next town Budva, stopping a couple of times to look at potential campsites; neither are big enough. Then just as cars are starting to beam their headlights, as it's getting risky to cycle without lights, I come upon an area of what must've previously been landfill for construction rubble. It now has a thin cover of grass and weeds and clumps of pampa grass, behind which I pitch the tent.

Today's ride: 73 km (45 miles)
Total: 8,989 km (5,582 miles)

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