95 km riding today: 1,244 meters of climbing and 1,268 meters descent
It’s already as hot as Wellington gets on a summers day when we leave. During the day the heat gets up to 37 degrees Celsius.
The first part of the ride is climbing up for the first few kilometres, then some descents followed by steady climbs.
We got to the border at 46 km, and all had to meet up there to cross together. Thankfully when faced with 45 riders, 3 staff, and vans stacked with bags, the Bosnian border just waved us through. Once we got to the Croatia side it was a simple passport stamp and off we went.
Coming into Bosnia the riders who did the first section were standing for over an hour in the heat getting through the border, so everyone was relieved not to have this repeated.
The next 20 km were climbing, which was a bit of a struggle and I had to stop a couple of times. Lunch was at about 15 km. After lunch more climbing, followed by a nice descent, followed by a long hot climb.
At 67 km I was thinking I am not going to be able to finish the day. I got to 71 km where I thought the descent started, thank god I thought, but no! A descent for 2 km, then climbing again!
Then thankfully at 82 km, just when my legs were giving up, there was a long descent. The last 4 km we turned off the main road, and came down a very steep and narrow track to the coast. I got off and walked a stretch as it was so steep.
Down on the coast, Tucepi is a lovely holiday town, with a beautiful beach and lots of hotels. We stayed at a Hotel called the Blue Sun. It was a very big hotel with a big swimming pool, and a number of outside areas and bars. The room had a small balcony looking out to the sea.
When we got there, there was a note on the white board that Grego (tour leader) had weighed the bags, and orange stickered those weighing over 23 kg, with an instruction that they needed to be 23 kg the next day. Thankfully my bag was not one of these, as there really is nothing I have that I don’t need.
The beach looked so inviting so off I went for a swim. Instead of sand there were quite big pebbles, and it was quite rough to walk over. The water was lovely and warm.
I noticed later that I had a number of bites on my back and side, not sure if there was something in the water, like a jelly fish, as had I not felt anything bite me. I did not think too much of it at the time.
Dinner was an experience: a dining room that would have sat 1,000 plus people, with three separate buffet counters (all serving the same food). The hotel has a number of tours where the table was reserved. The buffet catered to a number of tastes, including the English tourists with roast meat and chips available. Whilst it was not high up on the gourmet scale, there was food that was ok to eat, especially after a few hours on a bike.
The other riders are very welcoming, the majority have done TDA tours before. In the first section there was only one rider who had not ridden with TDA before. In this section there are 7 riders from Sydney. They are a group of friends who have done a number of rides together. Over the next week or so, once I have got a handle on the names, I will introduce them.