Crowded House sang ,”Four seasons in one day”……….well move over Melbourne I think we had six in Croatia. What a day, after packing the bike we set off in bright sunshine with the old lady who looked after the apartment, waving us goodbye. She was a lovely host who really made us feel at home. We decided to not wear boot covers because the weather was so nice and put them on if the weather changed. Within minutes of leaving as we passed Plitvice Lakes light rain began falling and it just wouldn’t let up. I was hoping to get at least a third of the way to Zadar before our first break but I wondered how Michele was handling the rain on the back.
About forty km’s down the road the rain got heavier and heavier before it started to snow. I was kicking myself that I didn’t stop at the last town to get the boot covers on because there sure as hell was nowhere to stop. It was pretty bleak riding. We’d see a group of houses in the distance and get excited anticipating a bar or somewhere to warm up only to find places with the shutters down.
We started to wonder if we’d missed the turn off in the snow and now were heading miles off track into a frozen wasteland. Seeing the sign to Lovrinac we took the off ramp and parked up under the bridge. Climbing off the bike a huge buildup of water just poured off me as if I just emptied a bucket.
Taking a break under the bridge gave us a chance to have something to eat, check the satnav, get the boot covers on and take stock of the situation. We were faced with a few options head to Lovrinac to look for a room, head back towards Plitvice Lakes or keep going whilst monitoring the weather. Meanwhile light snow kept falling just outside the shelter of the bridge. It looked like the forecast we’d rejected was the only one that got it right. One said snow whilst the three others said only rain.
The snow looked fairly light as I tried to take a photo but as soon as we got back on the highway I was wondering if we’d made the right decision to press on. As we passed through the barriers on the toll road the snow started hammering down. Michele was a bit worried but there was nowhere to go just push on and hopefully get out of the snow once we got a little closer to the coast. Worst case scenario we’d just turn around and head back.
The next 50 km’s were spent riding one handed whilst wiping the snow off my visor as it came thick and fast. All the countryside was covered in white and we knew there was no turning back as the snow started building up on the road. I kept the speed steady riding in the track left by the car ahead of us. Pretty soon the front of the bike was covered in snow and it would build up on the mirrors before falling off in big clumps. My gloves were covered in snow but surprisingly my hands weren’t too cold.
To top off our day of all sorts of weather conditions it started hailing. The hail was bouncing off our helmets and we wondered how long we’d have to put up with it. We then entered five km’s of tunnel which passes from the interior to the coast. It was just so good to be out of the weather. It was amazing the contrast between the interior and coast. Snow on one side and sunshine on the other.
A service station loomed into sight and what a welcome sight it was. A nice hot cup of coffee to wrap the fingers around and warm up a bit.
Once we’d defrosted we headed down to catch up with some friends near Nin. We’d met last time we were in Zadar and they’d invited us to visit them at home. It was great to get out of our wet gear and warm up with the heaters cranked up on full. In true Croatian tradition we were given some Rakija to warm up with and a huge platter of foods including home made salami and olives was brought out. We spent the afternoon catching up and Michael took me for a tour around the local area where he pointed out some of the history of the place.
Before we knew it the sun started going down and we said our goodbyes before hurrying towards the apartment. Our booking had been stuffed up and when we arrived the lady was surprised to see us. However, she offered us room and even made us park the bike up on the patio out of the weather. The bura hit with all it’s force and we were glad to have the bike sheltered from the winds. After a quick run to the shops we settled in for the night. Tomorrow we head to Split so hopefully the wind will be gone, but most of all we’re so glad that the snow has gone. We’re sick of this four seasons in one day.