Croatia - Short But Sweet

Country #7 - Croatia

Peaceful Country Roads

October 6 to October 8, 2015

Cycling distance in Croatia: 81km's
Total cycling distance: 1709km's

Croatian Border

Well, there's not much to say about a country where we spent one night and a total of 1 1/2 days cycling. After we had moved 2 meters from the Hungarian Policewoman's booth to the next window we were processed by the equally friendly Croatian border agent and welcomed into the country.

A scruffy looking "wanderer" in flip flops and with a ratty backpack was talking while taking a video of himself with a selfie stick. He was wandering from Greece to god only knows where.

Good Signage in Croatia

Here the route follows very well marked quiet country roads and the feeling was incredibly peaceful ...until swarms of little black flies hit us as we rode along. I could literally hear them clicking against my helmet but I just pushed on. After all, what else can you do? Patti had stopped and was unpacking something off in the distance. I waited patiently and she finally started rolling again and came up sporting a black mosquito net over her head. I had no idea she had brought one with her.

A Serene Fishing Moment

Once again, as we crossed another border things changed a little. While Hungary was a bit more run down than further west, this decline in upkeep seemed somewhat more obvious in Croatia.

A road racer type of cyclist sped past us and called out in perfect English "Welcome!"

We're now into October and I've gotten into the habit of checking ahead to see if campgrounds are still open. Soon we won't be able to camp anymore. A campground in Kopacevo was still open and we headed there after a little detour to an ATM/Bankomat for some Croatian Kuna.

Camping Kopacevo

We were the only campers and they had to turn on the hot water for us. The campground comes complete with wifi, a covered seating and cooking area and extremely friendly and helpful staff. The owner later came by and said "now we must have a welcome drink" and out came the rakija.

Osijek Fortifications

We were back on the road the next morning, knowing that this would be our 2nd and last day in Croatia. By following the entire Eurovelo 6 route through Croatia we would have spent only one more day in the country. But by doing so we would have missed the village of Karavukovo in Serbia. Of course there's nothing really noteworthy for the average traveller in Karavukovo, except that it held special meaning for me since my father was born there before the Germans of the area were expelled or fled because of the second world war.

Osijek Market
We had just crossed the bridge into Osijek and went back onto a path as we approached an old man on a bicycle. He was in the middle of the path and completely oblivious to those behind him. At these slow speeds my fully loaded bike becomes a bit unstable and we had slowed down almost to the point where I had to put my foot down. I expected Patti to just move onto the grass and pass him but she didn't. So I pulled out to the left and started passing. Just at the same time Patti spotted a dirt strip which others seemed to have used as a shortcut and decided to turn to the left.

We "connected" but not in a good way. I stayed upright and I heard a thud behind me. When I stopped and looked back, Patti was lying on the ground looking like she was in pain. Several people stopped to help and we got her all dusted off. But a discussion ensued about passing without warning, as well as making turns without shoulder checking. Lessons were learned, arms and knuckles were injured and we need to be more cautious lest the trip end prematurely.

Osijek Market

Since we had withdrawn some Croation Kuna we went on a mini spending spree to get rid of the money. The Euro Zone had ended with Slovakia and we now have to get the local currency for all the countries starting with Hungary.

On to the border with Serbia after our very short, but eventful, stay in Croatia. The Danube separates Croatia from Serbia and we rolled up to the "check out booth" for Croatia and headed up the bridge over the Danube. I spotted a lineup of trucks on the bridge so we went on the sidewalk to bypass them towards the Serbian border.

Serbia up next.


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