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Part 3: Southeastern Europe!

 

Yesterday there had been a lot of campsites along the magistrala (8), but I just cant remember, why we´ve actually picked this one. We´re almost the only guests, and if we hadn’t been looking for the concierge yesterday, we probably wouldn’t have to pay anything I guess. Well, then again, maybe not. Nobody has anything to give away for free over here.

 


The place is nice and shady, so B.Rang saved himself the hassle with his tent and slept under my net. In the majority of cases I do like sleeping just without anything above me, like a cowboy next to a fire. I never get stung by insects, I don’t know why. I guess I brought the mosquito-net for psychological reasons, for the first few nights maybe…

 


… at least that’s what I had planned. Compared to their German brothers and sisters these little fellas are enormous! Maybe I´ll continue to use the net a bit longer.

 


I think I know what they are up for: B.Rangs “assets of the last resort“ (Germans call it “iron reserve”). When the going gets tough, he still has two kickers in his right pannier. I should memorize that place, just in case he faints or something. That little junkie ;)

 


But I like it here. The whole place – the reception, the showers, a little market – still have that certain socialist style to it, everything is made out of aluminum and a lot of things have those typical pastel colors.

 


The shower looked like a basin-showroom with all different types of faucets.

 


B.Rang went crazy for every single insect he came across. He gets stung all the time. Not by this grasshopper of course.

 

But this report should be about riding, right? So lets ride!

 


The air is already pretty hot, and B.Rang doesn’t put on his gear until we´re ready to start. When we are just about to roll out, this is what happens: The XT has a kick-starter only. My drive-mate is used to kick-starters, but only to those of his little vespas (he owns several). He is used to kick their shot-glass-sized cylinders, not thumpers like this, so he always needs to put his full weight into the kick (even though I kept telling him starting the XT isn’t about power, but about technique…) and since he´s not one of the tallest guys, he always puts the bike on the side stand and jumps it like a berserk. I got used to his method by now, but today the XT didn’t stand properly, tilted, and broke the overloaded stand.

 


Nice work, Mr. sensitive.

 


Not too much of a problem since we didn’t know how to kill time till Akims arrival anyway. So its repair-time now. Grub out your damn tools. Yeah right, good you brought them! Whats your plan on fixing the stand, smarty-pants? Using wire or rather that hand-cleaning-paste?

 

B.Rang disappears and 30 mins later comes back with these guys:

 


A friends friend of the campsite-owner brought welding equipment (B-Rang apparently left his at home in cologne). We communicate with hands and feet. Repairing machines is an international language. The one with the universal shopping bag is just a dutch tourist, easily identified by his skin-color.

 


Yeah, keep grinning. That one was a close shave buddy. You would have been the one to always watch out for a tree to lean your bike on to.
When the wielding is done, the guy refuses to take money for the job (I was wrong about the giving things for free thought). Its not the most beautiful seam I´ve ever seen, but it will do the job. We thank him and once again, off we go.

 


We didn’t want to drive too far, so that Akim, who should by now be half way through his tour de force, could still reach us until dawn. We decided just to move to the next campsite with access to the water. “Beach” wouldn’t be appropriate since Croatia doesn’t have beaches. Look, right over there, just 150km across the Adriatic Sea, Italy owns all the beaches. Croatia just got hard, sharp rock.

 


On our map there was a campsite next to the Rijeka Airport, on the KRK island. Few planes start and land there, so it shouldn’t be too loud.

 


This is not a part of the Rijeka-sewer system…

 


… but the inside of an old F-84G Thunderjet fighter-bomber aircraft of the Ex-Yugoslavian airforce. It was delivered as military aid from the US in 1953. It got parked right in front of the airport.

 


Vivid details there!

 


After we had located and booked the campsite, we found out that there weren’t any trees around. We had to improvise a little. I cannot drink beer in the sun.

 


B. Rang wants me to forgive him damaging the XT…

 


… so he prepares the nicest meal this bald campsite has ever seen! All under our little sunscreen between the bikes.

 


Under these circumstances, what else could I do but to forgive him!

 


When it gets dark, Akim is still on the road. We can see and hear the thunder and lightning he must be fighting with from here. It is stuck over the Alps. The last time Akim called, he was at Rosenheim, close to the German-Austrian border. “Its raining cats and dogs”, he told us on the phone. He had put on his rain gear, but driving IN the rain, ON the autobahn makes you go crazy. You cannot see anything, and every drop hits you like a bullet. He better arrives fast, or we go get him.

 


And suddenly, he´s here. His boots soaking wet, but still he is smiling. Enjoying the beer I offer him. Exhausted. But happy.

 


B.Rang and I listen to his story of a wet and wild ride through the mountains.

 


We are complete.
Watch out, Jadranska magistrala,
cause here we come.

 

Unfortunately the story ends here. I never managed to finish it.
But you might want to view the video below to get a glimpse of our adventure.

 

 

You can also browse through the images of our trip.

One Thought on “Part 3: Southeastern Europe!

  1. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend
    who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually
    bought me dinner simply because I stumbled
    upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for
    the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your blog.

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