Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Day 343: Ražanac to Bibinje

Time: 2:28
Distance: 34.5 km
Avg Speed: 14 kph
Terrain: rolling

The freight train left the beach this morning. We had to wait out a little morning rain in the tent, but once it passed…choo, choo. The roads were wet for the first hour on the road so our legs received a good soaking with tire splash. Luckily the drivers here are very courteous and we didn’t receive any splash from cars. Our goal was the port city of Zadar and getting some ferry tickets for our cruise across the Adriatic tomorrow. We rolled into Zadar a little bedraggled so we stopped at a little café for a couple of macchiatos and a couple of strudels. I had cherry and Leslie had apple. Both were quite good. After fueling and getting fully caffeinated we decided to make a dash to the old walled city for the tickets and a little sight seeing. We found the ferry terminal first and Leslie set out to procure some tickets. The ticket lady was only helpful in that she pointed out that the ferry didn’t leave at this dock. It left from the industrial part of town ‘only 10 minutes away’. 10 minutes usually translates to an hour for us. The ferry leaves at 9:00 am in the morning so we decided that we had better go find the dock and maybe some lodging near it. Since we were in Zadar we decided that we had better catch a few sights before heading off again. Leslie wanted to check out an ancient circular Byzantine church built in the 9th century. It was built on top of a Roman forum and an old column from the forum still stands in the church yard. The church and most of the other ancient buildings all stand in the walled part of the city that was fortified in the 16th century. The narrow streets, and bustling atmosphere made it a little difficult to get around on the bikes, but the bumps and brakes were worth it. Leslie found a tourist information center and asked the help desk guy where the dock was. He got out a map that didn’t include any of the area we needed to go and pointed off the map. We quickly made a plan and started working our way over in the direction it was supposed to be. After a few frustrating twists and turns we finally pulled into a filling station for a map and directions. We got oriented and 10 minutes later pulled up to the dock. Next on our agenda was finding some accommodation for the night. We rode a couple of kilometers down the road and ran into sobe zimmer land. We had our pick of the bunch and ended up at a place ran by a nice old man. We interrupted his American TV show (which was funny since he doesn’t speak any English), but he was glad to show us the room. It is the biggest and one of the nicest we have had yet. More importantly it is one of the cheapest. I guess staying near the industrial part of town has its perks. We both wanted something besides soup for dinner tonight so while Leslie was doing some wash I ran to the store and to check out the local eating establishments. We rode our bikes to dinner and enjoyed a heaping helping of hospitality. Leslie had a pizza, while I had the mixed grill plate. They were both huge dishes and I managed to polish mine off and some of Leslie’s. After dinner we were sitting and chatting about life and Leslie noticed some kids checking out our bikes. It has happened before and will probably happen again, but these little turds were ringing bells, punching my bike computer buttons and stealing my tail light. After I saw the light get lifted I decided I would pay them a little visit. The actual thief made the slip, but I made all the kids turn their pockets inside out to show me that they didn’t have it. One of the older ones spoke English, so I asked him to tell the thief that I was looking for him. I am actually surprised that, that light made it this far into the trip. I bought it 6 or 7 years ago and it was definitely on its last legs, but it was the principle of the matter. Oh well. It had to happen sometime and I’m glad it was a just a little light.

Bloated and lightless in Bibinje,

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