Great fun, verging on nuts.
There’s a main blog coming, it’s started. Today though, was something else. This blog only gives you a short description of what has been the most stressful, rewarding, frustrating & educational day in the short time I have been a ‘biker’.
We had a plan. Andy & Paul were having a cultural day in the Sarajevo, Ed and I were going to find some twisties.
I wakened at 4am and got back to sleep just as Ed decided it was time to shake a leg. Damn. 4 hours sleep, oh well, force breakfast down and get on the bike!
Needless to say, Ed had analysed the route. The only drawback was Fanny the sat nav was having a huff and wasn’t showing map detail, so it was good old fashioned paper maps!
The morning in itself was an education, we headed off into the mountains, and were lucky enough to have peaceful roads. We found mine fields and unfinished roads, so my newly acquired off road riding skills came in really handy, not that we went near the mines! Much easier standing on the pegs, better balance; gives the cheeks of your arse a break too! Just don’t go for a squat in the bushes, you might get more than you bargained for! That would be a blow.
Took photos. Will show them to Mum when I get home safe!
Coffee time. Cheap coffee and friendly locals has been a common factor this week. You don’t see many motorcyclists in Bosnia, so we attracted a bit of attention. As for… hang on a minute….. a WOMAN on a bike? I’ve been given plenty thumbs up this holiday. Everyone waves too.
So, that was 11:30, we left Sarajevo at 8:30. Onwards, upward, downward, on pegs, on seat. Every possible skill was being put to use. Choosing a line on the road was crucial too. Pot holes, mine fields, mental locals, tractors, you name it, we got it. Dogs chasing us; cows, pigs, goats, sheep all on the road at some point during the day. Ed saw two black squirrels, (SQUIRREL!) and we both sadly saw a wee kitten breathe it’s last breath. *sob*
We were going to take an off road route. I said to Ed that the wee guy on my left shoulder (the sensible inner voice) was saying don’t be so stupid. The local worthy who walked passed our debate, didn’t say a word, he just pointed out the sensible route. Ed wanted to do the non-sensible one. Then we realised the terrain we would be riding was pretty rough. Bollocks. Ed’s sensible head kicked in, his tyre already had two repairs, BMW (Brown Mechanical Workshop) was getting pissed in the city. Fat load of good he would be! 😉
Quiet roads, got carried away. Decided to slip into Serbia, just to say we’d been there. A wee sprinkle of rain made for cautious progress on cement / marble topped skating rinks that served as roads. I treated it like ice. That’s what it felt like.
Not long there after, the rain stopped. We headed out of Serbia. Over a bridge and back into Bosnia. Passports stamped, green cards checked. Headed off up the road. We needed a stop. I was too far gone for food, as in healthy shit, so we went for the pure energy boost; ice cream, shared mars bar & Milky Way. My hubby does spoil me. If we had sat down for a meal, I wouldn’t have got back up.
So, we headed off, looking at the war scarred villages unfinished houses and poverty; I have never seen anything like it before, might not ever again. Ed was puzzled though, we seemed to be heading in the wrong direction. Hmmm. Hell, there wasn’t a road on the map. Where were we going? Back to the Serbian / Bosnian border, that’s where. Bloody hell, how did that happen? I gaffawed when we came round the corner and saw the same bridge we had sat at two hours previously.
There wasn’t an option, we had to head back to where we had had our chocolate fest. Took the correct turn this time. I saw a sign for Sarajevo, 138km. I can’t remember what time it was, all I wanted was to be back soon. I think my mental calculation was 2 hours, home by 8pm. That’ll be shining bright.
It was getting dark. Locals with a ‘don’t care’ attitude were driving with no lights, including tractors. Cars being towed, no lights…. Then the fog appeared. Imagine; an Alpine type mountain pass in the dark; then the fog comes down just to make the whole trip even more of an adventure. Visibility about 20m.
I had to call on every ounce of stamina I had. We had 138km of twisties in the dark. On occasions, Ed was able to tag onto a local who would show us the way. I would be there following as best as I could. It has to be the most challenging ride ever. I had to call on pretty much every skill I have in my ‘tool box’.
In the meantime, we knew Andy & Paul must be worried. Ed tried to call. Now, I reckon that because we slipped into non-European zone, our phones played up. It was bloody miles before we could put their minds at ease.
In the meantime, Ed nearly got wiped out, so did I, by an idiot who did a blinding overtake, making a third lane where there wasn’t space. Truthfully, I have never been so glad to see the city lights in my life. We came back into the city the same way we left, that doesn’t make finding the hotel easy. Oh no. We missed the turn and you have to go all the way round to get back on track. At lights, wrong lane, police both sides of us. Ed goes, I don’t. He thought the light was in his favour, meantime, the correct light has shown, my ass is grass. Ed’s over there, I’m not. Bugger. Horns blaring, crap, what a way to finish our day, there was NO WAY we could manage any sort of manoeuvre to get into the same street .
I attempt to get my bearings. Fail. It’s a shitty city to navigate, all one way streets, trams and mental drivers, I was pooped. Don’t know where Ed was and for sure, he hadn’t a clue where I am. I did my rear obs, there in my mirror was my saviour.
Yep, I hailed a taxi, it was the only way I was going to get back to my hotel. The taxi driver was a gem and got paid handsomely for his efforts. The boys had a real ROFL moment when I told them, Andy asked how I got a phone number…. Nope, it was just pure hijacking! Meantime, A&P were armed with wine / beer and we ended up snacking on crisps / nuts / chocolate instead of going out. They were pooped and so are we.
An educational day. It’s amazing what you can do when you have to. Smoggy went through nearly 2 tanks of fuel today. He has a range of 250 ish. So you can perhaps understand why I am slightly knackered. This day has been the biggest challenge so far for sure. Even doing the Stelvio Pass in the pissing rain was a cake walk in comparison. Brilliant.
Ed’s snoring ready. Sleep’s calling.
Pictures relating to this jaunt are in FB, I had some issues with putting pictures on my blog. To knackered to work it out!
OMG Mrs Green Welly – you truly are a biking hero! Brilliant thinking hailing a taxi. And run free little kitty at Rainbow Bridge 🙁