Saturday 21st September Leaving Ljubljana & Pedalling to Postojna - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 3 - CycleBlaze

September 21, 2019

Saturday 21st September Leaving Ljubljana & Pedalling to Postojna

It’s cold but clear. The sun is up but in the shade it’s only 9 degrees. After breakfast and a brief listen to the Beeb’s latest assessment of the Brexit drama and what the ABs chances of beating SA are, we retrieve our bikes from the garage, check tyre pressures, load up and we’re on our way. We need to find the start of the 409 Road, sometimes called the ‘Slovenian Route 66’, because of its popularity with motorcyclists. Most traffic takes the A1 - the motorway, or so we hope. 

Leaving town on the 409.
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Ann has it pretty much sorted, and soon we find the signs for Koper and Vrhnika. It’s interesting that the two pieces of information of benefit to the cycle tourer are : HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF TOWN and WHAT IS THE ROUTE LIKE? Both of these were pretty much DIY efforts. The wonderful thing about 409 that nobody could tell us, nor did I read it in any publicity, is that the road has a cycle path, to Vrhnika, at least, and from there the shoulder continues to give some protection almost all the way to Postojna. In addition, there is very little traffic though there are some bikers.

It’s a wonderful day for cycling. The sky is perfectly clear and there is little breeze. The kilometres fall away from the plain to Vrhnika to the fairly gentle climb before Postojna- what a difference a few more switchbacks and a gentle gradient make. 

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A ski run waiting for winter.
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A sheltered spot at Paninna. Usually we keep out of the sun, but needed its warmth today, as we stopped for lunch.
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In Postojna’s main square we stop to organise accommodation and come across some Kiwis from Wanaka who are doing a tour that has bikes provided and a route map and accommodation organised. It’s pleasant to chat about mundane matters like the rugby and how to dry your underwear en route.

Caving poster in Postojna square.
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We select Rooms Grils - a little out of town at Rakitnik on a busy road 6 with no shoulder, but what a good choice. It’s a new place, with terrace for the last of the day’s sun, and we can use the breakfast room to have our dinner (from the Ljubljana market), and for cups of tea. 

The son of the family is attentive and welcoming, bringing us a local liqueur as we catch the last warm rays. He has a cochlear implant, and speaks English very well. 

As we have our picnic meal, we chat to a Romanian couple returning from an Italian tour. They’re not so enamoured of Romania’s position, regarding themselves “colonised” by the EU. “Austria owns our forests”. However their children are still in the country and satisfied with their lot, so maybe the benefits will come for the next generation. The man’s father had been to NZ to buy sheep for breeding, and our commentator had taken a tour group there in 2007. He thought Auckland was “tough” but Christchurch was relaxed. 

Relaxation is what we need, so it’s lights out by 8.30. 

Today's ride: 62 km (39 miles)
Total: 2,415 km (1,500 miles)

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