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Prapratno to Korcula (68/17,044ks, 1,100m)

(written by Dave)

Today we rode the Peljesac Peninsula from Prapratno to Orebic, then took the ferry across to Korcula Island.  It was a pretty hard ride with lots of climbing and descending, and very little flat.  We were distracted for the first half of the ride by terrace upon terrace of grape vines.  The Peljesac Peninsula is famous for its wine, not something that I knew before this trip.  It turns out that they have been making wine here for several thousand years (started by the Greeks) and it today remains a very important commercial activity for the region.  Most of us have probably not heard about wines from here as during Soviet influence quantity was more important that quality and most of the product headed east.  This is now starting to change and the area is building a following as a very old, new world wine of sorts.

We both sort of wished that we could stop and do some sampling at one of the many open cellar doors but it was too early in the day.  Plus a glass of wine and the heat we had today would have made for a mess of our ride.  We had to settle for just having a look.  About half way to Orebic, the vines thinned and we came to a very long and hard climb.  We went from sea-level to over 1,500 feet, without ever falling below 6% gradient.  We were both ready for lunch by the time we reached the top so we stopped at a WWII war memorial at the top of the pass.  I’m not sure when it was built (pre or post Soviet) but it the bronze relief showed some pretty graphic things being done to German soldiers.

It was mostly downhill form the top of the pass with only one more little climb.  Nancy asked me several times if that was all the climbing, to which I answered as I always do, “well, last time I rode this road…”.  She knows that I don’t know but somehow it makes her feel better to ask.  It was a long day.

We stopped at a bakery in Orebic for lunch before heading to the ferry.  Nancy was quite brave having pizza and fruit juice before a sea-going ferry departure.  It was really nothing as you can see the other side and the water was pretty flat.  We made it to the far side in 15 minutes, without the use of wrist bands I might add.

We stopped at a campground this side of Korcula city but it didn’t have power and was pretty empty.  Reception didn’t open until 5PM so we decided to head to town.  It was hot now and we were both pretty knackered from climbing all day.  There was a sign for another camp ground 4k past town and after much discussion the two of us just could not make up our minds if we should ride down into town or to head for the camp ground.  I think we both had a little heat stroke as believe it or not, we rode half way down the hill, stopped and had one more discussion, turned around and rode back up the hill without making it to town.

It got really fun now as the campground mileage signs were pretty bad, one said 5k, about 1k after the one before said 4k.  Then there was a 6k sign and a turn-off that took us down and down and down a hill I knew we would have to come back up in the morning.  Then there were no signs and we thought we were lost.  Finally we stopped to ask a local and she said “1k more”.  I’m not sure if she worked for the sign company of not.  We pushed on and finally found it.  Wow, we were exhausted.  And the campground looked pretty bad from the road.  I thought I was dead.  We decided to go in and have a look.  You basically pass through a car park, then a bunch of semi-permanent looking motor homes before reaching some surprisingly nice sites right on the water.  Definitely a case of not judging a book by the cover.

We got the tent up, had showers and an early dinner.  We are now sitting watching the sun go down over the bay and most of the day’s pain is forgotten.  If only we’d stopped to pick up a bottle of red…

Tomorrow we have 45k ride to Vila Luca and from there a 3 hour ferry ride to Split.  The ferry is at 1:30 so assuming we don’t have to ride over too many mountains we should make it easy.  We are actively debating taking a day off in Split but can’t make up our minds for the second time today.  Perhaps there was a little heatstroke today after all.  So, we’ll just wait and see how we feel when we get to town tomorrow and decide what to do then.

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3 responses to “Prapratno to Korcula (68/17,044ks, 1,100m)

  1. Drink lots of water!!! I just came back from a trip around the Bishop area and thought of your “first cross country trip,” David…. with Peter and not much equipment! We saw a few cyclists on the road, plus it was a geography teachers’ class, so I thought you would fit right in, being a geo nerd and all! It was hot too, so I drank lots of water. Luckily the leaders of the class understood that meant we needed lots of bathroom breaks as well! How does that go with you two?

    • Bathroom breaks are a bush, tree or nothing, if the road is quiet. You can see and hear cars pretty good when you are exposed. Men are lucky here (as you would know). We need to be a little more selective when Nancy hears the call of nature.

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  2. Sounds like you two could use a day off soon! The pictures are beautiful and make we want to visit there someday…maybe the spring or fall when it is cooler!

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