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Rollin' to Croatia on a bike

9) Dubrovnik

SWITZERLAND | Saturday, 10 October 2015 | Views [270]

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22.8.15, Dubrovnik… Despite some last minute stressful situations, I made it on time with my bike in one piece. Last post, last story, so here is one misadventure I remember well.

 

Hvar city, 2 days before :

 

It is said that travelling from one island to the other is very easy in Croatia. This is true… When you don’t have a bike.

Going south from the city of Hvar using the means of transportation available (Catamarans, buses and ferries)  is another story.

 

I was just arrived in Hvar, probably where tourism mass industry is the most present in Croatia, that I had the urge to leave immediately. The constant agitation and excitment typical of places that attract many people lead by the « sea, sex and sun » slogan, came to me like a punch in the face. The slow rythm, wild and unexpected week I was coming from was strongly degrading my perceptions of such a modern mess.

 

Anyway, it is very easy and cheap to put a bike on ferries so I was confident that I could leave by the afternoon to arrive in Korcula. Where I had planned to bike one last time through this doubtlessly beautiful island before taking a boat to Dubrovnik. Well, in the end and like most of this travel, it didn’t happen according to the plan.

 

Firstly, the only ferries leaving the island were 40 and 70km away, behind the mountains I had just drove down and they only go to the continent. Fortunately there are many Catamarans that connect Hvar with the surrounding islands, among which 2 were going each day to Korcula. So I waited the first boat. And found out the key words of industrialisation… time-optimisation. Once arrived, the passengers would rush off the boat chaoticly carrying their unhandy baggage while the other would wait their turn to rush on the boat. Good luck if, like me, you want to kindly ask the captain if it is ok to let you get on his boat with a loaded bike (even though I found out later that there is plenty of space on it !). But I insisted, nicely, waited a bit to match a moment of short break… Nope. They would just ignore me and say « no » without even looking me in the eyes.

Then I noticed the sign saying NO BIKE ALLOWED.

Shit.

 

I had 4 hours to think of a strategy. The key here is to think of the situation as a game in which all rules are permitted and where the limits are your own mindset. For example, I could have got on the boat with my bike ignoring the warning of the crew and at some point they would have been fed up to argue in vain and probably would have made an exception. Or threw my bike in the sea.

 

Since I had no intention of arguing or losing my bike, I decided to unbuilt the wheels, wrap the whole in opac garbage bags and, in case they ask, pretend it is a television with its round rubber table… And hope that would not be the same crew. I would hence have to load my stuff in 2 times.

Loaded like a donkey, I queued up the line with this annoying pressure in the stomach. Two wheels in one hand, showing my ticket with the other while hiding the wheels from the eyes of the controller… a couple of seconds later I was on board ! No time for satisfaction, the core part was still waiting on the wharf and the last passenger got on the boat. After kindly asking the crew to wait for a sec to let me pick up a last « bag », running back with a half-bike and smiling to their surprised looked. I had win the game !

 

End of the story

 

The rest went pretty smoothly… I took a bus from Korcula to Dubrovnik and arrived at the appartment we had rented for the next 4 days. Here again the tourism mass industry is very present but I have been able to enjoy it being with friends and having a stable place to stay. 

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How not to want to dive?

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My favourite picture of Dubrovnik (behind is Lokrum island).

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Bloody tourists! :P

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Doubtlessly a first class world wonder... 

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Sunset from the mount behind Dubrovnik.

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With all the gangsta crew! 

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Trouvez charlie!

Arrivederci, Aurevoir, Goodbye, Aufwiedersehen...

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