Day 138 - Imotski
28 April 2022
We shorten our ride today. We need to detour to get some kuna before we hit the campsite and both of us need a short ride after yesterday. Especially Shell. She is definitely not one hundred percent.
We set a 20 km ride to Imotski, just over the border in Croatia. It is a flat ride for the most part. A steep hill to finish. Of course.
We leave late. We are surrounded by gardens and vineyards. The potatoes are well underway, as are the onions. It is a beautiful spring day. Everyone is out in the garden. Today they are planting tomatoes, cucumbers, and capsicum. I watch our host with her retriever, Max.
These are not a few raised beds on a backyard lawn. The entire space is hoed over into a massive patch. The soil is rich and friable. Dark brown, almost bronze. Fertile. There is the smell of compost. No strong manures or chemical fertilizers. I wonder what the potatoes will taste like next autumn? The tomatoes at the height of summer?
For the first time on this trip, I want to stop riding and spend some time gardening with a dog.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Let’s save the rainforest’ because you’re not having to do it. If you’re really interested in looking after the world, it’s all on our doorstep – in the garden, you can actually do it.” - Monty Don
Everything goes smoothly. The road is flat and quiet. We arrive pretty quickly at the border. No problems crossing. We get to the customs declaration and I witnessed this exchange -
Customs officer, ‘Anything to declare?’
Rachelle nods at me, ‘Only his bad attitude’
The Customs officer laughs
Grant awkward laughs
We hit the hill and it is clear Shell is unwell. The incline knocks her about. She might have a virus. Shell speculates she caught tuberculosis in Mostar. We take a few breaks and get to the top. Find our place. It is awesome. I don’t want to leave.
We throw on some washing and head out for lunch. Imotski is a beautiful village. Find a pub and order a bottle of wine. I am proud that we have cut back from the 1 litre carafes to regular 750 ml bottles. Moderation is key.
“Moderation, we find, is an extremely difficult thing to get in this country.” - Brian O'Nolan
We grab some groceries so I can cook a nice dinner. Find an exchange to change over my leftover Bosnian marks. Sadly, I can still find no one who wants my Albanian lek. Maybe the airport.
We hang out in the apartment. Do a second load of washing and decide to stay another night. This place is perfect. It has a balcony and a great kitchen. A window opens onto the mountains. We will explore the village tomorrow, there are plenty of natural sites to see here.
The butcher opens at 6.00 am. I have a craving for steak. I think I will cook a ragu tomorrow. All day, slow cooked. Have it with some pasta and a bottle of Croatian red. I need to check with Leanda, did she suggest every second day with wine or every second meal?
I cook pasta tonight. Cured ham with some onion and garlic. Throw in some tinned tomatoes and a little home made white wine. Simmer away for an hour. Very tasty. The wine is from our host. It is a little funky but drinkable. Home made wine as a gift for a visitor. Generous.
“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” ― Khalil Gibran
Today’s ride -