With a few overnight showers and some morning sprinkles, we hung around camp this morning for a long while waiting for things to dry out a bit. Unfortunately, we were out of breakfast food entirely so we snacked on a bag of cookies and looked at some options for Ben’s graduate school coursework from inside our tent. I’m always amazed when we can access wifi from our pitch!
Finally, we caught a break in the clouds and took down camp, checked out, and hit the road. The clouds were still dark and hanging low and I was already wearing my rain jacket preventively. Sure enough, within ten minutes of riding we were being accompanied by a nice drizzle. It is amazing to me how we rode in exactly zero rain storms during the first six weeks of our trip which began in April, but suddenly June has found us riding in rain nearly daily. At least it is keeping things from getting too hot!
The terrain was hilly today, although not too steep. Regardless, it took a while for my legs to get warmed up after our rest day. At 20 km we passed our first grocery store of the day and we seized the opportunity to stop and grab some breakfast and lunch items since by that point we were running on fumes from our unhealthy morning snacks. The grocery store had almost no fresh produce and very few options in terms of cheese or dairy items, but I did my best to find us some basic provisions and headed back out to Ben and the bikes where the rain had picked up again.
We packed up the food in the rain and headed out again on a fairly busy road that made for slightly unpleasant riding. Thankfully, the rain only lasted a few minutes before it stopped for the day entirely and the downhill coast dried us out in a hurry.
We rode around an interesting limestone fjord which might have been more compelling if the narrow road had had anywhere to stop and actually look, but instead we were pretty well forced to stay on the non-existent shoulder and keep moving to avoid becoming road-kill. Just before our route deviated from the gorge, we stopped at a roadside shop which boasted a huge tower that served as an overlook. We stopped and looked and had to laugh because even after climbing all those stairs to their big tower, we couldn’t really see anything except for some trees.
Even with the rain and the traffic, my mood was remarkably sunny and I was happy to be on my bike, moving under my own steam once again. Ben was pretty put off by the traffic though, and didn’t have much interest in stopping for pictures with all the cars whizzing by.
As the day wore on we had some lovely stretches of road where the cars thinned out and we were able to coast through the pretty pine forests and vineyards in peace.
We passed tiny restaurants in equally tiny towns that were all preparing for lunch. In their big ovens, each had a full pig on a spit being roasted and other wood ovens were being heated up for pizzas. I’m not sure who exactly they were planning on feeding, but they smelled good!
The road eventually turned back onto the coast now that we were clear of the fjord and the traffic picked up again as we passed Porec en route to our campsite. This particular site is enormous with beach access and lots of facilities. We had hoped we might learn to sail here, but the only option for sailing is to rent a tiny boat and fend for yourself. The guy at the rental counter indicated that even with no sailing experience we should have no trouble piloting the boat with the wind, but we would likely never make it back to the harbor against the wind. His proposal wasn’t terribly convincing, so I asked if someone might be available to teach us, but no such luck. Maybe we will have to keep looking for a slightly safer opportunity to try our hand at sailing!
As we sat down to look at the map this afternoon, we realized that a normal day of riding tomorrow will take us into Slovenia already! We do plan on heading that direction eventually, but we feel as though we just got here! Now we are back to the drawing board as to what we plan to do with our day tomorrow.