The diaries - 18   

21 August

Most na Soci - Slovenia

Mick & Sue

We moved from Greece into Macedonia on the 14th August, the need to cover some ground ever-present in our minds. No wonder there aren't too many tourists here... it cost us 60 euros each to pass through the border. For insurance they said, but it was a cheapo receipt from their equivalent of WHSmiths! It was only 20 euros each as we went into Kosovo and for this we got fifty days cover and an official-looking insurance form.

Kosovo was beautiful, but with a heavy UN presence, the countryside spoilt by huge amounts of litter. New houses were be
ing built quicker than people could move into them.... a stark contrast to Croatia where whole villages were abandoned, houses derelict, roofs and windows missing, bullet holes in the brickwork and plaster.
In Croatia, by the Adriatic coast, life was busy, hotels and guest houses prospered, boats moored in the harbours, the cafes and beaches full of people. Behind these scenes, in the country, there were very few people to be seen, and those we did see were unsmiling and devoid of all recognition of the two geriatric bikers passing through their villages. Both of us had an uneasy feeling... and headed for the coast road and Monteneg
Into Montenegro there was nothing to pay as we slipped through the border control without fuss. Mountain roads, passes, and more beautiful scenery.... great motorcycling territory. We wanted explore Dubrovnik but it was gridlocked with tourists so headed out of town... and northwards. I say nothing to pay? Ha.. it was here in Montenegro that, following Sue on an overtake past a slow and spluttering Renault 4, a policeman stepped into the road and waved us down. OK, we had overtaken on a solid white line, but it was only a thin one... The nice policeman started to draw diagrams, pictures etc. but when
he wrote down "15 Euroes" I just had to play my trump and final card... the piccie of me on my police bike. He broke out into one great smile, showed the photo to his buddy who was writing our details down... who then laughed. Sue had wondered why I had been carrying this photo for some 16,000 miles....

We were now encountering some heavy rain, and it was decidedly cooler than we had been used to. Mustn't grumble though, for in four and a half months of travelling we had probably only had four days of rain!

Following the coast road north we came to Rijeka and couldn't get out fast enough... onto the motorway and into Slovenija. The guy at the toll booth on the motorway didn't like it when I paid the 0.65 Euro toll by Maestro! Well I only had a 20 euro note and didn't want a pocket full of change!

To Postojna where we found the huge cave ... a popular tourist spot, but nevertheless we had to go and have a look. At first we thought the entrance charge, at 17 euros was excessive, but we paid up and went down. Worth every penny we both agreed... a railcar takes you some 2km underground, and later brings you back. The cave is huge, complex and magnificent...

Slovenija... we fell in love with this place! OK I know you've heard it all before...
we've fallen in love with lots of places on this trip of ours! We rode into Mosi Na Soci on a wet and soggy afternoon after riding some considerable way on gravel and unmade mountain roads, sheer drops, rock faces, and no
passing places. This is not a place for the faint-hearted, it's a place where your skills - or the lack of them - are tested. A place where "Adventure" is put back into motorcycling, and a place where we will be bringing a tour next year... watch this space! (We did-Mick)

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