The Promised Land. Oranges and lemons. Grapes and grapefruit. Olives and palm trees. Kiwis and pomegranates. Wine and olive oil. Rain instead of snow. Mostar was close. Dalmacija was the real deal. We may not have found the Mediterranean, but we found the Mediterranean climate. The Adriatic is, apparently, close enough.
The road to the promised land, in this case, followed the beautiful, blue Neretva River. We found the Neretva at Konjic and spent another frozen night just downstream. A fantastic gorge brought us to Mostar and our first taste of things to come. Women sold oranges by the side of the road, and I saw my first palm tree of the trip. Late afternoon a day later, a bit lost, crossing back and forth over the Neretva River, a woman gave us a small bag of kiwis from the large bag she had just picked. We found the border in the morning, entered Croatia, and spent two nights camped at the edge of a mandarin orange orchard in the Neretva delta.
Torrential rain trapped us in the tent for two days, but we were warm and dry and thrilled with the endless supply of fresh oranges. Promised land indeed. It was probably snowing up in the mountains in Bosnia. We were also blissfully unaware of how poorly “waterproof” the bags that remained on our bikes were.
Happy Thanksgiving and bags of wet books and wet clothes. We celebrated the holiday by crossing yet another border, getting a fancy room for the night in Neum, and making a yummy pasta dinner. Is this really far enough south? Will winter catch up again? Stay tuned.
Bundling up for another descent:
Crossing the Neretva at Konjic:
Don’t worry. It gets better:
Mostar has been massively reconstructed since the last war. The famous eponymous ? bridge (most):
Počitelj, an old little village in Hercegovina:
Almost to the the delta:
Our wet camp in the delta:
And on to Neum:
Thank you for sharing stories and pictures about your travels. I have really enjoyed your blog posts, I just finished reading from the beginning. I appreciate you motivation to get out and experience what the world has to offer. I especially envy the dirt road rides, what a way to spend a day (or week)! I hope Christie and I can implant the same spirit of adventure and openness within our daughter so she can have similar experiences as she grows older.
Sunshine, beer, tailwinds and friends to you. Way to live it up!
Haha, thanks, Logan. I love all your positive thoughts. Sometimes it helps to be reminded that I’m doing something special. Today was not one of the days, however. Brilliant sunshine reflecting off the blue sea, white sand beaches, warm weather, a slight tailwind, and a fun, steep climb thrown in this afternoon. Uh, wow.
Hey, kids are a whole different adventure. Hope you and Christie are loving it. Say hello to the two of them for me.
Dirt road touring is the best! But it’s on a bit of a hiatus as I’m sticking to the warm weather on the coast (where the roads tent to be paved 🙁 ).
Hi Bryan, it is Gabriele Here… running away from the winter, making a way to the south, looking for the sun and warm of a blessed land… It is strange how the nature and the weather affect us when just the thin layer of a tent is in between we and the sky,or just our skin, cycling or walking, getting close to the world… we crossed in Greece on the first day of sun after a long long raining… you told me how was special that warm after all that water… Hope to catch you again at one point, I am in Lefkada try to get Ithaca by fisherman… Now that I see your picture I regret that I reached Greece thumbing so quick! Keep going and going and going and going again!
Gabriele, are you still thinking of maybe looking for work in Greece? They are still picking oranges. A couple days ago Snežana and I rode through the area north of Nafplio and east of Argos and ran into groups of workers picking oranges. One group was from Afghanistan. We stopped and chatted for a while with a large group of Pakistanis. That would certainly be an interesting experience to live with a bunch of Pakistanis picking oranges for a month in Greece!
picking oranges in greece. that does sound interesting. I’m busy resisting slothdom in the face of falling temps and falling snow.
I’m enjoying some slothdom in Athens. It took a number of days, but my desire to be rolling on the bike again has returned.
I am enjoying your blogs. Your pictures are incredible. We are as busy as ever back here at the office, and growing, too. Every office is full, and we had to make one more!
Thanks for sharing your journey. Happy biking!
Great to hear that some of you are following from Itasca there. As I’m sure you remember, it’s a nice feeling on the road to be reminded that the rest of the world is continuing as usual. It’s good to feel a bit grounded somehow.