Half denuded by ice over the winter months, the forest was covered in fallen trees, many stacked along the road waiting their removal by truck. Passing two loggers, who were obviously having a smoko break, I contemplated stopping to ask if and when the road became bitumen again. But sometimes it’s just better not to know. Covered in sweat and having already ridden more than 10 kilometres, I couldn’t bear the thought of turning back. What’s more, I still had at least another 90 kilometres to travel once I finally reached a bitumen road that I could actually travel along.
And finally I did; at the very remote and peaceful settlement of Mašun. My map told me that I was still travelling along the same squiggly yellow line that I’d been following since early morning but Mašun had something going through it that is music to a road-biker’s ears; a downhill bitumen road. At this stage, I couldn’t have cared if I had to continue climbing, just so long as I had a smooth tarmac out in front of me. But just as a road can become your enemy, so too can it be your friend; as it was for the next 13 kilometres of free-wheeling ease into Knežak. Like a metronome, my yin and yang of cycling had tilted back my way.
|Sometimes the D8 is your only means of escape.|
|Piran's beautiful harbour.|
Wedged in between the Italian and Croatian borders, Portorož and its charming neighbours Koper, Izola and Piran are collectively one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist destinations. Piran, which is often referred to as the miniature version of Venice, is by far the sentimental favourite. Situated at the tip of a narrow peninsula, it’s renowned for its beautiful harbour, enticing seafood restaurants and its Venetian alleyways.
By the end of our first evening we’d fallen in love with the place. Reluctant to leave after the end of the second, we swore we’d come back.
Books by Mark Krieger:
‘High Spain Drifter’ is available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble, Booktopia and other online bookstores.
‘Lycra, Lattes and the Long Way Round’ is available on Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books
Both books are also available at local bookshops on the Mornington Peninsula: @ Rosebud Bookbarn and @ La Brocante
“The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.”
US author Christopher Morley