Tuesday 2013.06.04 I’m in Ploče, 100 km north of Dubrovnik on a busy, hilly road. The coast highway is a two lanes with good pavement but no shoulder. From Dubrovnik it is the only way north and the traffic includes large tour buses, big tractor-trailer rigs and tourists pulling caravans. It was scenic and tiring. The hills were not bad, sometimes long; I was only in bottom gear a few times. The hard work was the traffic, staying far enough out in the lane to make drivers pass well to the left, but ready to dart to the edge if it felt tight. From here there is a motorway that parallels the coast road. It should reduce the truck and bus traffic on the coast road.
The day included a short stretch in Bosnia. As part of the settlement to divide up the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia got a little bit of coast, cutting off the southern tip of Croatia from the north. It felt unreal to see road signs pointing to Sarajevo, about 150 km away.
Ploče is a small port where a large river joins the sea. A place to sleep, not a tourist town. Tomorrow will be different.
Wednesday 2013.06.05, Stari Grad on Hvar Island. Today I rode north on the coast road about 25 km to a small town where I took a ferry to Hvar, one of the best known of the islands along the coast. It is beautiful, hilly, and very quiet after Dubrovnik. If you visit the coast, you must visit at least one of the islands. Only a 55 minute crossing, then serious hills. But a joy to ride on a quiet road in almost deserted countryside. There were farms here, but most are abandoned as the land is steep, rocky and dry. The few towns in the east part of the island are just a few houses, no shops. The west is more developed and that is where I am tonight, in a small town that has a long history and an old town section. It is early in the season and the town is quiet. Thunderstorms in the afternoon but I escaped. About 90 km which felt harder than yesterday.
It is dusk. The birds in the palm trees are noisy and for half an hour bats filled the sky. The nasty mosquitos are coming out.
Tomorrow to Split by ferry.