(written by Nancy)
This will be a quick post, as we are semi-stealing power from a plug in the campground and would like to get off of it before anyone official notices. Actually, we’re not really sure if we are being charged for power or not so that will be our excuse if the camp police come by.
Hot hot hot ride today along the coast road. We haven’t really had these hot of temperatures since Australia I think. Dave reported 41 on his bike computer at one point. At least today we had some wind to help cool us, though we probably didn’t need it as strong as it was. The coast road veered in and out of little inlets and on many of them there were signs painted with little blowing flags – wind warnings. They even had gates at each end of about a 35k stretch so they could block traffic if the wind was too bad. Thankfully the road was open today, but we really had to hang on tight as we came around some of those corners and felt the wind blast. Actually, I think overall we were going in the right direction, as we probably had more tailwind that headwind.
The asterisk on the meters climbed is because Dave’s altimeter was very confused by the wind as well. At one point it suddenly popped up to 16% and there was no way the grade was that steep. The change in the air pressure between the sea and the mountain beside us that created the wind gusts also played havoc with the altimeter on the computer. So, we don’t really know how much climbing we did today but it was enough to tire us out.
We stopped for a snack in a little town about halfway that was inundated with other travelers. It was at the junction of the coast road with another road that went inland so appeared to be the natural stopping point for most people passing through. We fought our way to the shoreline and snagged a couple of pastries and two big bottles of water and had a refreshing break. For much of the day we could see Pag Island just across the channel – it looked very barren, a moonscape really with very little vegetation visible from our side. We had considered riding up Pag Island but were glad we had taken the route we had.
From our break it was only 30k or so to Jablanac, where the ferries to Rab Island took off. Not long after taking the exit from the main road to get down to the ferry we ran into a line of parked cars, obviously waiting for their turn on the ferry. We rode past them (there must be some benefit to riding a bike) and probably passed at least 200 cars all backed up. We found out later from someone on the ferry that the cars waited about 1 and ½ hour for their turn on the ferry!
The ferry ride was short – only 15 minutes and soon we were on the other side. We had a quick cold drink and headed up the hill in the now very very very hot sun! Only 10k though, to the campground near Rab town. This campground, strangely called Camp Padova III, is absolutely packed with people. We had to ride around a bit to see if we could find somewhere to put up the tent that wasn’t in the blazing sun. We finally found an odd little spot, which we had to ourselves until later in the afternoon when several motorcyclists joined us. Not necessarily the kind of camping we really enjoy, but at least it is a place to sleep and we had a shower.
We had dinner in one of the restaurants (yes, there is more than one) and people-watched a bit. We’ve decided it appears to be mandatory to put your bikini on as soon as you arrive and not take it off until you are ready to leave. That is all people wear here as they wander about the campground – men and women included. Makes for interesting people watching anyway! We had an ice cream cone for dessert and will be ready for bed as soon as we get this done. A cloud cover has come in so perhaps it will cool down a bit tonight.
Tomorrow we have a short day of riding but have to catch two ferries to get to our next destination, near Cres Town on Cres Island. After that we are on dry land for the foreseeable future, so I might be able to pack the seabands back away at the bottom of my bag.