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Offline White Rhino

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2013, 04:53:41 am »
1ougat - Nice one - A great way to see Croatia


Wow!!!  What a super read.  I might just visit John one of these days :biggrin:

(What happened to you guys this morning, thought we're heading to Beestekraal and then everyone behind me were gone)
Sorry Johan, got a bit mixed up at that point ... You were better off alone, the dust was a bit much.

Baie baie geniet. Julle het omtrent n pad deur Europa ge-eet! :imaposer:

:imaposer: My rating for a country goes up exponentially when the cuisine delights!


Did Ivan own a plumbing business in JHB by any chance??

LOL - Yes, he did - Just down the road from me in Northcliff - Small world.

I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
Nothing clears the head like a throttle twisted and the fresh air on the tip of the nose

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Offline White Rhino

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2013, 07:21:39 am »
Part 4 ...

The following day, the weather shifts. The clouds move in and the wind is boss. But that's not enough of a deterrent. Margie decides to give the riding a miss, so the glint in Ivan's eye tells me that he has plans in stall for us boys.

Winds of change


The umbrellas take cover



So we saddle up and head out. His parting words were “Let me show you my back garden” – and chuckled, I had a nasty suspicion that we were in for some real adventure. Boy, was I in for a treat. We headed straight up the mountain that surrounds Split. Could be likened to heading up Table mountain. We charge about three quarters of the way up, mostly on single and double tracks, with rather long steep drop-offs to the right. Suffering from vertigo adds butterflies to my cornflakes but I try to maintain focus. Anyway up we go and all along the mountain heading in a Southerly direction. I must say, the XT660 was the perfect DS bike for that terrain. There were lots of loose stone of varying sizes that needed to be handled. There were some sections that were pretty steep and a heavy bike would increase the chances of sliding. Some drizzle had settled in, so I couldn't use my Drift camera without a waterproof housing – pity because this is exactly what you want to remember. We managed to take a few stills …

Butterflies and cornflakes for breakfast


The views from above - stunning


The feel good moments


That quarry looked inviting


I had a moment or two on the loose stuff, but managed to keep it together.




Right at the top ... you can just make out Split below



The return route took us around the back of the mountain along some barren marbly roads with some rocky obstacles on route. We turned on the taps and switched on enduro mode - I was smiling from ear to ear. We we all alone - and the mountain was ours. We don't need much to make us happy - this was pure Ecstasy.



The odd onlooker


A good ride always has some obstacles



A couple of drenched riders, but the fun factor said up yours to the rain.


The rain we encountered did not dampen our childlike spirit. We had proper fun tearing up his back yard.


It was rather sad parking the bike for the last time this trip, but I knew that I would be back some day to explore this amazing country with Ivan the great.

I couldn't help thinking back to a couple of weeks before our departure. I'd invited a Croatian colleague named .... Ivan of course, an IT Developer, to come and tell us what Croatia's all about - he says "I don't know why you want to go there - it's terrible!". Well you should have seen the looks on my mate's faces they all wanted to cancel their holiday. What a twat! I later learned that he's from Zagreb and that he's never been to the coast. I suppose a bit like asking someone from Bloem about SA if they've never travelled - you're not likey to get a very good perspective.


Later that afternoon Debbie takes us to Split to enjoy some of the older parts of the city. There were some interesting facts about the impact of the Roman empire and particularly Marco Polo, the sea faring merchant that covered these waters. Marco is said to be Croatian, but the Venetians claim otherwise.

The promenade at the waterfront


In the old city


24 Hour sun clock ... not sure how this works at night!


The narrowest road in the world ... Named:"Let me pass"


That evening we have dinner with Ivan, family and friends. We are treated to the famous lamb dish that's cooked in the traditional manner under the dome.
It's Lamb that's roasted and tender with baked potatoes that have soaked up the gravy ... Yumm!





Some interesting facts about Croatia
The Dalmatian Coast Road in Croatia is arguably the most picturesque in the world (and let's not get into a big argument about it!). With views of the Adriatic Sea and islands to one side and picturesque fishing towns, mountains and classical architecture to the other, it's Europe's best kept secret. Even better, it's one of Europe's most affordable destinations.

Serious crime, by European standards, is non existent. Something we dream about. Interesting thing that was apparant was the absence of Black people. You'll find them dotted throughout Europe but virtually none in Croatia. It appears that Croatia does not feature as a destination for Africans or; entry into Croatia is more difficult. I think I saw 4 in my two week stay.

Croatia now joins the European Union after several years of wait. It does so without taking on the Euro, which I believe, is a good thing. Some of the more developing countries that adopted the Euro have suffered trying to adjust. There is fear amongst the locals that the EU will introduce new dynamics which could do harm over time. There is a fairly large divide on the motion to be part of the EU by the locals, but it’s going ahead. It appears that there are some significant benefits that Croatia will get from joining the EU, one of them being tax relief on imports from the other EU countries. This is carries huge value because Croatia is not an industrial country, so most of their goods are imported. I was astounded to learn that Croatia does not have much in the way of manufacturing and that its biggest industry, by a long shot, is Tourism.

The scale of tourism becomes evident when you traverse the coastline. The shipyards are packed with cruisers and sailing boats carting tourists. We prefer the pre or post peak seasons - things can get quite hectic during the peak seasons - July and August. Debbie says that the boats stack sometimes 20 deep in the harbours (linked to each other). That means you have to walk through several boats to get on or off.

Prices are comparable with costs in South Africa, so you don’t feel like you are being fleeced.

Most holiday makers expect decent accommodation, good weather, blue oceans, good food, good service and some interesting places to see all at a reasonable cost. Croatia has that on one plate.

This is the end of the adventure part of my ride report - I hope you got some good insights. The next section will be extracts of our cruise from Split to Dubrovnik and back – quite spectacular, lots of fun I might add, with some stunning footage.

Croatia al a Carte - http://www.croatia-ala-carte.com

Just a footnote about our hosts, Ivan and Debbie. We were made to feel really welcome and at home with them. They are fantastic people with huge hearts. They arranged our anniversary celebration, washed my riding gear with all the mud, stored our gear when we went on the cruise. Wined and dined with us. To top it, Ivan’s got a great sense of humour and kept us engaged all the time. Debbie’s knowledge of the Country is amazing and shared a lot with us. They invited us in their circle and were always accommodating. Anybody looking to enjoy an adventure holiday with a difference, have a chat with Ivan / Debbie – you'll thank me later.

... end of Riding part .... to follow - Boat cruise



I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
Nothing clears the head like a throttle twisted and the fresh air on the tip of the nose

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Online BMWPE

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2013, 08:53:26 pm »
Great report  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Thank you
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Offline DikZol

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2013, 09:08:00 am »
Great report!!!!!  What was the temperature like?  Seems cold and crisp

Offline sheldyn

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2013, 11:42:24 am »
Absolutely fantastic report!  Thank you for the effort!

I've added it to the MUST DO list.

Cheerz
Regards,

Sheldyn
 

Offline White Rhino

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2013, 11:48:50 am »
Great report!!!!!  What was the temperature like?  Seems cold and crisp

During May it was similar to our spring in the Highveld. Day temp from 12 Deg to 24 Deg - with off chance of rain.

I would consider going mid June or Sep
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
Nothing clears the head like a throttle twisted and the fresh air on the tip of the nose

Beta 300RR, WR450 Rallye, KTM990 Adv, HP2, HPN635, 1200GS LC
 

Offline King Louis

Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2013, 12:08:37 pm »
thanks for sharing Rhino, appreciated. Wets my appetite big time for next year.....
 

Offline cloudgazer

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2013, 12:26:35 pm »
wow. awesome
 :thumleft:
 

Offline Carrots

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2013, 06:20:00 am »
Bliksem dis darem mooi daar. Dankie vir die deel.  :thumleft:
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Offline woody1

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2013, 07:07:38 am »
Thanks for sharing. But now I want to go as well  :ricky:

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Offline TheAnt

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2013, 09:11:46 am »
 :thumright:
 

Offline Alpine Al

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2013, 01:13:02 am »
Awesome report , thanks Rhino. My wife and I toured Croatia a few years ago and I agree that it's got to be not only the best value but also best experience holliday Iv'e ever had abroad. The scenery is just breathtaking and you just want to spend days in every little cove of any island you sail past.
I never thought of touring by bike and we are definately going back. So, having read this your friend Ivan will be hearing from a few of us of the Durban BMW Club who have been planning a combined wheels and water tour. I noticed you didnt mention the Plietvietze Lakes (spelt something like that), inland of Zadar on the way to Zagreb. I was walking through the lakes and falls and said to my wife, Angela "  anyone who doesnt believe in God just needs to see this".  It was much like the lakes and falls you showed.
My observation is that, as soon as a country adopts the Euro, it suddenly becomes expensive for us.
I hope it doesnt as I personaly prefer Croatia to Spain, Greece, or even Italy of the Mediteranian Countries regardless of the currency.
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Offline White Rhino

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2013, 05:06:46 am »
Agree Al. That's why I'll be back - there's so much to explore. We never went very far north of Split - there's amazing landscape all the way to the northern border. When you go send my regards to Ivan - he will look after you. :thumleft:
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
Nothing clears the head like a throttle twisted and the fresh air on the tip of the nose

Beta 300RR, WR450 Rallye, KTM990 Adv, HP2, HPN635, 1200GS LC
 

Offline DavidMorrisXp

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2013, 05:47:07 pm »
Really enjoyed those pics, so much nicer when they are taken by real people on a trip and not some tourist brochure
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Offline Teapot

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Re: A taste of Croatia
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2013, 07:10:48 pm »
Very cool story. Thanks for sharing. 
I've always wanted to see Croatia.
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