Day 149 - Gospič
9 May 2022
The ride today looks pretty straightforward. Long, 62 km, with 320 m of total climbing. Taxing, but it should be a good ride. We take our time in the morning. Breakfast and we are on the road.
A few kilometers from Gracač we come across an old church. In disrepair yet it has a newly renovated bell tower. The ropes to the bells hang in the doorway. I am tempted to give them a ring. I hesitate. Is it disrespectful to ring church bells? Would this be some kind of insult? I decide against it.
"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity." - Hunter S. Thompson
We exit off the state road under the railway line. It is a quiet road with stunning scenery. The trail is rolling hills. Up and down. Up and down. Repeat. On it goes. We are weary from yesterday and the constant small hills are taxing. We are soon knackered.
It becomes an effort. I am constantly looking at the distance remaining. Counting down the kilometers. We discuss how fatigued we are. Maybe we need a longer rest. There is no rush to Zagreb. We are only six days riding to our final stop.
The problem is there are no regular stops. In Spain and Portugal, you could stop once or twice on a ride. Take a break. Have some food, maybe a glass or bottle of wine, and continue refreshed. Here, we are cycling from village to village. You can go 60 km without a place to stop.
“Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
We roll into Gospič. I am tired and hungry. Our place looks a little… rough. We store the bikes and head out for food. Our thoughts of spending a few days here to recover are discarded. It is not a great town and the accommodation is not the best.
It is a 45 km ride to Otočac tomorrow. Like today, it looks easy on paper. We decide to head for Otačac and lay up there for a few days.
A bottle of wine with lunch and we are still parched and hungry. We hit the supermarket for some more food and wine. Shell has a hankering for pancakes. We get the ingredients and I spend the afternoon cooking them
“The belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Satiated and inebriated I retire for the evening. A short ride tomorrow and a break all going well. I am starting to think of being in one place and not living out of a pannier. Getting back into the gym and a more permanent residence.
Not yet. Zagreb in a week or so and then some train rides. Slovenia? Hungary? Bulgaria? All of them.
“Listen carefully, Feyd,” the Baron said. “Observe the plans within plans within plans.” ― Frank Herbert
Read. Bed. Tomorrow, Otočac and a rest.
Today’s ride -