The day has come for us to leave Pula and head to our next stop, Kraljevica. It may not be too soon either, as the thermometer has been dropping lower and lower every morning since we’ve been in Pula. Prior to packing the bike this morning I had to give a good wipe over as the dew had gotten under the cover. The coat bag was a whole lot heavier this morning with fruit and vege that we’re taking to the next stop. I can’t say I’m happy getting extra weight higher. It increases the lever effect whenever the bike leans so I have to be extra careful on corners or when turning at low speed. It’s probably a good thing to be leaving today as a road gang turned up this morning with a concrete saw and started digging up the road. I can’t say I’ll miss the family upstairs either. It sounded like every night was full moon with everyone juiced up on hard liquor and red cordial. However we loved the little unit. It had everything we needed and was close enough to walk to the shops and restaurants.
The fog was still low at 10 when we left the unit. Heading out through the countryside seeing little villages poking through the forest cloaked in fog fitted the picture in my minds eye that I had of this region. The winter colours of the forest in this area are interesting with a multi coloured blanket of reds yellows and greens. Some of the trees have taken on almost purple brown hue. If that’s at all possible. It was pretty shitty on the road with a slight misty rain falling. The cars and trucks were stirring up the mud on the road creating a fine brown mist. It was impossible to keep the helmet visor clean. Whenever I wiped the visor it just smeared. The only option was to find some space between vehicles and ride with the visor up whenever traffic got close.
Around Barban the misty rain eased off as we started heading up into the hills. As we came around a corner on one hill we noticed Tito written on the side of a hill on the opposite side of the ravine. Obviously all theses years after he died he still has some supporters in this region. Heading down towards Vozilići the fog was heavy. In the bottom of the valley a red and white striped smokestack poked through the fog reaching up into the blue skies above. It was pretty surreal.
The road wound around the edge of an inlet before rising up to the village of Plomin. Strangely enough it had a Wifi point on the side of the road so we stopped on the hill to take some photos overlooking the stack poking through fog.
Just up the road on a cliff overlooking the mouth of the inlet was the Hotel Flanona. It was perfectly located overlooking the coast, and offshore island but best of all it was bathed in glorious sunshine. The price of coffee was quite reasonable so we took a break. The cafe is beautifully decorated and probably a bit flash for a ruffian like myself. An awesome place to have a coffee with a fine travelling companion.
The run from Hotel Flanona along the coast was just beautiful. The 66 wound along the edge of the coast so there were views across to the islands, and the various bays in the distance. In some areas it wound around the cliffs so there were great views into the distance. It also wound around the edge of the bays so there were views of beaches and bays.
Michele had plans to stop in Opatijia, after reading a bit about it. However, on reaching it we found it to be a lot larger than we expected. Here were lots of beautiful big 19th century buildings, casinos,and brand name shops. It wasn’t what she’d expected at all.
A little further up the coast we found a nice little restaurant overlooking a bay. It seems Croatians love their meat so Michele ordered meat on skewers and I a mixed meat platter. The Istrian people speak a language which is a mix of Croatian and Italian which is really odd. I pick up the tone of the Italian words sort of like when listening to a radio and you recognise a tune. Then as I try to recognise the words a bunch of Croatian words get thrown in which sound like white noise. It’s so frustrating.
As we were eating lunch we looked out of the window and sure enough there was a guy swimming past. You fool don’t you know it’s winter!
The final leg of today’s ride was pretty easy and we arrived right on time. The neighbour greeted us and let us into the apartment. Michele was a bit surprised as the description was “a fisherman’s home, overlooking the sea”. Well actually there are views of the sea but off to the right is a big oil storage facility. However it’s a huge unit which is well set up. After stocking up a the local grocery store we are all set for a week. I sat down to write some blog posts but after 5 coffees today it was impossible to concentrate or tap the right keys. It took about four hours to wind down, oops. I may cut back a bit tomorrow when we pop over to the island of Krk (yes that’s how it’s spelt)