Phase 2 ( running from the weather)
Well it had to happen, we were never going to get away with it. Yes we have finally had some rain, lots and lots of it, added to high winds and all of a sudden wifi and weather checks are important.
We spent several days at Tupeci, Croatia. partly for a bit of down time after 5500 miles and partly because it kept raining.
We had a couple of days on the beach, which was nice and we saw some dolphins swim by. Just remember if the town maps says the nudist beach is at one end of town and you go to the other don't be surprised if the locals have decided its the other way around, we did wonder why we were getting some funny looks and there were certainly some sights to be seen, but this part of the world really is an oasis and away from Dubrovnik and slightly out of season not too busy.
Just be careful with activities your not used to, I said lets go for a walk, yes I know walking is one of those activities most 5 year olds have mastered, but it would seem me, at 50 not so, lets say I had a little fall, ended up with several cuts and bruises and I thought I had broken my arm but luckly just bad bruising on my arm and back, Steph showed some real concern for all of 5 mins before rightly taking the mickey out of me, riding a bike is safe walking is not.
We had to move on and we booked a little place in Slunj, we were aware that it was going to rain so we rode upto to this little place to hunker down and wait out the rain.
It had some super reviews on that booking site and it looked good, however it was near a busy main road, had the worlds steepest set of stairs, no curtains upstairs and limited hot water, oh and it rained solid for 4 days straight, heavy heavy rain, it only stopped on the day we were due to leave.
Still the host family were good to us providing us with fresh eggs, sweets and small cakes, they even offered to put our bikes in their garage.
We moved on to Zagreb to meet up with a family friend the wonderful Bruno, he is a friend of our sons and he arranged for new tyres for our bikes, he sorted it all out, top man, he then invited us to his folk group where he takes part in traditional Croatian music and dancing.
It was wonderful to watch the senior group practice singing and dancing for their show and assessment, this is not well known to tourists, but it was wonderful to listen and watch a performance filled with joy and laughter, we were made to feel most welcome.
Our host in Zagreb was really helpful, sorting us out with underground secure parking, she let us the best apartment we have stayed in so far at a very very reasonable price, it was not in a tourist area and she was so pleased to have people from out of the city staying.
She spent ages showing us maps, telling what and where to eat, how to get about, made sure if we needed anything we could call her, she also left in the apartment, good quality coffee, beer, milk, orange juice and other bits. The apartment was so clean, it had really good wifi, satellite TV, heating and aircon and washing machine as well as a bath and shower, we felt spoilt after time in a tent.
Zagreb a city of contrasts, there was a wonderful park near to us and inside 5 mins you would not believe you were in a city.
This was a wonderful statue to the 1000 years of the Croatian states, with earth from every part of the country and artefacts buried underneath.
We had lunch with Bruno in Zagreb at the city Art museum, it was a really good meal, we then went for a wander with some recommendations from the local and of course it bounced down with rain, but what an interesting place apart from all the tourists with cameras of every sort who seem to hunt in very big packs.
Still we did manage to get a few shots of the city between downpours.
We really enjoyed our time in Croatia, which is a wonderful warm welcoming country where we found nothing but help and kindness, it has got under our skins, pretty much the same as Spain has, but part of travelling is the moving on, there is always somewhere else to see.
We decided to go and camp near lake Balaton in Hungary, if you think Lake Garda in Italy is big, Balaton is bigger, much bigger.
We were not expecting to see wonderful thatched roofs but there were several about and we had a very filling meal ( another plateful of meat) sat out in the rain, do we look hip
the lake is massive
How useful are those GS motorcycles
This was the one afternoon of sunshine we had and trying to sleep in a tent in 40 mph winds and driving rain this is not fun.
We made a call to move on so we loaded up that booking site and booked an apartment in Siofok.
What we did not realise, was its out of season, think Blackpool in December and the apartment turned out to be a room with broken furniture and bedding which may of been new in 1988.
Mini hulk had also been in the shared kitchen area with punch marks in the doors, no oven door, bare wires hanging out of the walls, still it was warm, out of the wind and the rain and the bikes were secure, I even managed to find the only open American diner that served hot dogs cold, It was sent back but still returned cold.
We then had a lovely walk in heavy rain and strong winds to get supplies and we had an offer to stay at someones place in Hungary whilst the storm passed, shame we had already booked a place in Slovakia the night before and paid for it.
We have been surprised by how many bikers have tried to help us along the way, including one guy who was chatting to Steph as we rode along a main highway in Zagreb, thanks for all the offers.
If anyone wants to get in contact or have a chat with us we are here to help, Bruno's folk group spent some time asking us about our trip and it was nice to share.
We are not big, brave, or better than anyone else , we just want to see what's out there.
Neil and Steph.