Woke in Motel Kiwi to the sound of rolling thunder. Looking out the window at lightning strikes, the storm was only a couple of kays away. Big thunderstorm, all up in my locale – yay. The woman running the motel is very nice (I was worried about just letting myself into the room last night but no drama). I have an omelette breakfast and then find a market to restock for onward travel. It’s tipping down so I spend extra time wandering the market.
Oh, last night, back in Croatia? I was in a bad patch. I think I might’ve tried to sleep in a bus stop and had some crazy semi-conscious dream about orange, something orange, I don’t know but orange was important. I couldn’t work out if I was in the race or not, what I was meant to be doing, it was all very trippy. Michael Wacker came along and we rode together for a bit chatting about TABR and it took my mind off the weirdness – thanks dude. He split off for water and soon after I was cheered down by some locals at a bar who I thought were TCR fans. They immediately forced a beer onto me and when I insisted more beer was no good because I needed to stay awake, they went and raided the bar fridge and handed me loads of cans of juice! Legends! I didn’t get a pic for my ‘beer in every country’ mission though, sorry fans, it all happened a bit fast.
I continue to tap it out over Bosnia all day, quite enjoying the scenery – small roads, pleasant climbs (yeah I know, I’ve gone sick in the head) and nice views.
“Almost stacked descent just before. Bunny hop edge into loose Fun, not.”
“Finally caved and put Voltaren on my knees.”
“Cicadas, like being home. These ones have an odd accent though 😉”
“Trebinje. Fighting the wind!! Fire in town so heat and smoke in road, then car crash, then bought water.
Trebinje, the last town before Montenegro was on fire. Literally on fire. There was a big blaze in the town (lightning strikes seemed to have started some other fires in the hills) that was being whipped up by crazy strong winds. It was hundreds of metres away but the smoke over the road was too thick to see through and the heat! It was like I was standing right next to the fire! Damn! Lucky I got out of there quick.
I spotted a market (with a tiny little kitty outside) and refilled bottles after some confusion about currency (I’d basically lost track of which money worked in which country). Stupidly forgot to buy any food because I thought I was out of cash.
The climbing went on for ages. It was stunning but I’d run out of food and water and had no idea what was available near or over the border. There was a car parked at a lay-by with a woman and child standing next to it so I asked “are there any food places ahead?” as I rolled by, but she said she doesn’t travel this way normally and didn’t know. About 5-10 minutes later the same car drives alongside me and there’s now a guy driving. “Do you want some biscuits?” he says. “I’d love some, cheers” I reply, trying my hardest not to look too desperate but relieved to have some food for sure. He hands a packet of savoury biscuits through the window and drives off. “Awesome!” I think, scoffing half the packet. Shortly after, the border to Montenegro appears and I roll by the line of stationary cars. Noticing the car that gave me the biscuits, I swung a u-ey and asked the guy if he wanted money for the biccies, since I had loads of currencies on me. He said “no, no, no, it’s fine mate” or similar and I noticed his accent and asked where he was from. He says “Albania… but I live in London”. “London?! Whereabouts?” I ask. “Ealing Broadway” he replies. I crack up, “NO WAY! That’s where I live!” So, we have a chat about the coincidence and how he’s only on this route because his GPS was being funny and the fact that an Albanian guy who drinks in my local London pub has just handed an Australian some biscuits in Bosnia. He offers me some other stuff and I accept a refill of water and then wave them goodbye before crossing the border into another new country for me – Montenegro!