The weather is not perfect, we also have some technical issues as many of the others competitors but as we meet so many interesting and friendly people we do not really care about issues and we continue to follow our compass to the east direction, but I would like to stop here and tell you more about the very nice people we met.
The first contact we had with Croatian population was not very nice, especially the evening before where the owner of the room we rent was about to kick us outside because we had put the bikes in the kitchen. So when we stop for a break and saw few members of a family coming back from their garden to their house without any look or word for us we started to question ourselves about Croatian hospitality but that was just for a minute. When the father came back at home he looked at us, try to talk in German and finally invite us at his table. Afterward the others members of the family came and as Croatian people speak a good English from 9 it was easy to communicate with them, the child and teenagers were translating for them parents. We ate, a lot, and the father gave us some wood toys he did as a present.
10:00, the weather was cloudy so we stop at the first sky break. We opened the second solar panel and from this moment 3 guys came to look at the bike. One was speaking English so he translated for his friends. Seeing they were quite good with mechanical stuff I asked them if they had a hammer in their car to fix my front chain wheel. They hadn’t but they invited us to do 10 more kilometers to their houses where they had all the material. We met them at the meeting point, a bus station middle of nowhere. They were there and they manage to fix my bike perfectly. It was almost 12:00 and so far we had done only 30 km so we said no for a second beer.
Emilie’s bike derailed, so we had to stop. Did 20m after her to avoid to block the traffic but unluckily a car was coming back at home and I had to move again. I started to do it but the woman opened her windows and started to talk to me in French. She was born in Arras and she moved in Croatia when she was younger. She was going to a restaurant to drink a coffee with her husband so they invited us to follow them to the restaurant to be able to continue to discuss. We went there. We ate roasted pork (quite famous in Croatia). We discussed about France for the woman’s memory and war in Yugoslavia because we want to understand more deeply what’s happened here at less than 1500 km from home. Not very productive day, but we did not care because meet people is always more interesting than just ride straight.
As you read the beginning of the day was not very efficient so we decided to ride and ride during the afternoon. After Sisak, we decided to do 30 more kilometers to reach Kutina but a car stopped us and two people went out to see the bikes. We talked with them for 15 minutes afterward we told them that we should continue our way to reach a place to sleep for the night. They told us that they were no places like this on our road and they offer us to sleep under the roof of their workshop, which was a kind of luxurious proposal for us. We went there, we worked with them on our bikes to fix minor technical issues and we had great conversations. Basically Ivan is only 17 years old but he is very mature and smart, he likes to do practical stuff. For example with his father they build a quadricycle able to carry a big lightning box where you can put your advertisement (there dream is to sell it so if you are interested do not hesitate to contact me). On the morning we had to leave and do 200km during the day, but we would have stay a little bit more with this very welcoming family.
When we ask our way many people tell us that this city is too far to be reach in a day or it is too complicated to guide us correctly. This postman met after Sisak was different he took the time to analyze our plans and to give us the best directions possible. This guy helped us to avoid mountain and to get very good roads, better than in Italy for sure but also better than in France, with his advices we were able to do 211 km in a day.
Maja is one of my Erasmus friends living in Croatia. Even if we don’t talk a lot to each other we stay in touch so when she saw that I was travelling in Croatia she invited me at her parent’s home. Our plan was to take rest there and it was perfect:
– Maja’s mother cooks well and was very careful with us.
– Maja’s father is producing is own sausage, we very proud to see us liked it, especially because Maja eats almost just chocolate
– Maja’s friends are very friendly. One of her friend is working at a radio and asked to record our point of view about the entrance of Croatia in Schengen area the 1st of July. The others friends were very talkative and we had very good discussion
– Maja herself was a perfect host, managing our day to help us to rest and talking a lot, especially with Mimi about Croatian history and culture.