Thursday, August 14, 2008

Imprisoned in the Garden of Eden


The days after I arrived started to meld together. My destinations changed daily but my morning routine rarely varied:

Wake up
Light Breakfast
Sneak quietly out of the house.
Roll motorcycle down driveway
Start motorcycle
Drive Motorcycle
Buy beer (preferably Karlovacko)

Drive somewhere nice (preferably near the water)
Drink beer.
Ride somewhere random
Find way home between 1 and 2pm
Have lunch

I know what you're thinking. I'm leading a really tough life. This has to be the greatest vacation I have ever been on. I could not think of a better place to motorcycle than the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. After about a week of touring I started to figure out my boundaries based upon when I woke up and when I had to be home. This map shows roughly the area I could cover on any given day.

View Larger Map

That is a lot of land to cover, but the key word in the previous paragraph was 'boundaries'. It's funny how even the 'Garden of Eden' can start to become a prison after awhile. Don't misunderstand me I'm living the life of liesure. Motorcycle all morning, tan all afternoon, drink all evening. It truly doesn't get much better than that.

Actually, it does get better than that.

Did I mention we have a boat?

I digress. The point I was struggling to make is that after a week in the same place I was starting to get wanderlust. I decided that a trip was in order, but I had two obstacles in my way. Firstly, I really hadn't thought about where I would like to go and... secondly, my wife probably won't let me go anywhere. Oh well. One problem at a time. I'll ask her when we're drinking.

In the meantime, we made a few day trips together up to Zaton. What a beautiful ride that is. If I were to take the Autobahn I could be in Zaton in about 40 minutes with a passenger. On the low road it takes an hour and a half with a passenger. I say with a passenger because my times without one drop significantly. Thirty minutes on the toll road and 40 minutes on the low road by the sea.

Since I left Czech Republic, I have done everything in my power to not be on a major highway. Although the highways are superb here with three to four lanes in both directions and as straight as they could possibly make them, they are just so frickin' boring... and windy! They have to put warnings up at each bridge because the winds blow across the highway so hard that you have to lean as though you were cornering just to keep your tires underneath you. Needless to say, I'm not taking the highway unless I have to.

Motorcycle adventure travel on the way to Zaton

It's hard not to stop at every little town on the way from Sibenik to Zaton. Especially the ones that are right on the water. We make it past most, but we stop at a couple to have a beer on the water. Just quickly though. I have a few cold ones packed most of the time. Ten minutes at most to get our legs stretched and have a refreshment. Except in Biograd! What a beautiful town. We stop at a dive of a bar at the waterfront and have a drink. Izabel asks for the washroom and the bartender/waiter directs her through some doors. When she comes back she's all excited.

"Give me the camera!", she says,"quickly!"

I hand it to her. She goes to the washroom and returns with an upset look on her face. The camera was out of batteries and she wanted to take a picture of the washroom, or what passed for a washroom at this bar. Being curious, and having to go to the washroom myself I walked in to discover a hole in the ground with two spots for your feet. Oh my god the smell!

When I get back to the table I find Izabel laughing out loud at the look on my face. The aroma was strong enough to gag a maggot!

I finished my drink and we left the bar. My daughter's 'dida' and 'baba' had left before us and were meeting us there. We put our gear back on and hot the road after walking along the marina in Biograd. I think the motorcycle likes these stops as much as I do. It's probably 40 C out right now and being air cooled the bike's running a little warm.

Motorcycle adventure travel a stop near Zaton

Zaton is one of the best places to stay if you need a recommendation of where to stay on the coast of Croatia for a summer vacation this would be the spot I recommend. Zaton has everything you need for the summer and it's a popular spot for the Italian and German tourists that come here every summer.

We hang out with Izabel's family for the evening and when it starts to get dark I suggest that I go back alone and she catch a ride with her parents. Did I mention earlier that it would probably take me 40 minutes to get back? When I got onto the low road I don't think I did less than 150km/h the whole way back. The police even tried to pull me over as I burned through one town splitting lanes at 180km/h. Nice try. I was in Sibenik in about half an hour and I slowed down as I went through the center of town. I turned my LED kit on a my bike glowed green and was visible a mile away. I do enjoy watching heads turn as I drive by. It's for this reason that I have to drive older bikes that aren't capable of truly dangerous speeds. I'm way too much of a show off for say a Yamaha R1. I'd be dead in days.

Motorcycle adventure travel balcony in Jadrtovac

I stop for a beer and ride home. The trip back took forty five minutes all in and I beat them by about 15 minutes. I pretend I've been waiting for half an hour which was easy to do because I had two hours worth of empties in front of me.

This country is going to make me an alcoholic.


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