Quickly to the Croatian sun

…Where were we? Oh yes, crossing the Slovenian border on September 26. The high wilderness of the Austrian Alps quickly gave way to the deep green hilly landscape of Slovenia. Sometimes Slovenia seems to be one big forest. Our first choice was to go to Bled, near the Triglav National Park. The disadvantage is that it is difficult or even forbidden to spend the night there. Technically, wild camping in Slovenia is prohibited everywhere, but that is the case in so many countries… However, the weather was still not cooperating: the temperature barely reached 16 degrees °C and light rains were occasionally relieved by the most intense downpours. That new wiper motor suddenly turned out not to be a bad investment. A little rain usually doesn’t stop us from going hiking, but this was really not fun. We decided to drive on. According to people on Facebook groups, it was also easy to stay overnight in the south of the country without any problems.

In Slovenia you need a vignette on the highway so we chose to follow alternative roads. In Slovenia that means very alternative. We drove on small lanes through countless villages whose names we will never be able to pronounce. We don’t know if it’s normal there, but countless valleys were simply flooded. Pastures seemed to have become rivers, but some parts of the road infrastructure made us suspect that this is more common there. After 3 hours of small roads we passed the capital, Ljubljana. Time to find a place to spend the night. At Park4Night we found a spot on a hill near what looked like a football field, just outside the town of Logatec. Meanwhile it had stopped raining and we could have our aperitif outside on the hill. The car park itself was not very romantic, except for a couple in a car making love extensively with the windows open… Slightly inappropriate with many walkers with children around but who are we to comment on the locals?

After a freshly mixed Moscow Mule we decided to stretch our legs in the hills and meadows behind. Slovenia is indeed a very beautiful country and we will definitely come back when the weather is better. We crawled into bed and were lulled to sleep a little later with plucking raindrops on the roof. Bad weather is of course a bummer for our outdoor activities, but oh so cozy to sit in our high bed under the skylight with the diesel heating on softly.

A new day had arrived and we drove a little further to a ruin that we had also seen on Park4Night. On the way we quickly filled a jerry can with water at a cemetery. When we arrived at the ruins it had started to rain again. We concluded that Slovenia really didn’t want us and decided to continue the trip to Croatia in the hope that the weather would be better over the mountains.

Croatia is not a member of the Schengen zone and so we were presented with our first real border crossing. At the exit from Slovenia, the policewoman asked “what is that?” as she pointed up. It took us a while to realise she was pointing at our clothesline in the cabin. “It’s to hang our clothes too dry”. No idea if she understood us but we were allowed to drive on. On the Croatian side, our IDs were scanned and we were able to continue. We drove towards Rijeka and the traffic signs indicated a welcome 19 degrees. We actually wanted to find a spot on the water as quickly as possible and went to a small fishing harbor in the bay near Rijeka, where we had lunch on a pontoon. We were way too close to the road where the locals drove at a decent speed and thought the cats should be able to stretch their paws too, so we drove on.

We found a great place to sleep not far from the bridge that leads to the island of Krk.  It was a bit of  search for a road that could be driven on, but we were able to find one and we parked on a large old yard zone with a view of the sea. I wondered what had been worked on here, I could see the churned up soil continuing on the shore of the island of Krk. After looking at the satellite images from Google I saw that a pipeline had been built to Krk, where there is an LNG terminal. This yard had therefore created a gigantic zone of camper spots! After sunset, wind and rain took over again. Despite the strong gusts of wind, we slept wonderfully. The next morning we took a short walk and continued our journey, as there was very little else to do.

Time to introduce some new characters: We were getting closer to our good friend Amber. We met Amber last year in Tarifa, Spain. She was then cycling around Spain and was sleeping in a tent. We then spent a whole month with her and Kai, a nice guy from France with British roots. Last summer we visited Amber in her home town, Damme near Bruges. Kai was then also down with a Flixbus. Amber decided before us to go to Greece by bike from Italy this winter. You can read how she is doing in the next post.

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