20 September 2011
Tuesday’s ride to Zadar was relatively straightforward. Follow the coast north west to Zadar. No borders or crossing coastal mountain ranges. It did start to rain as I checked out of the hotel in Split. No problems. Will have an espresso while I wait for it to clear.
It wasn’t heavy rain but enough to get me wet if it persisted and I didn’t put my wet weather gear on. I didn’t fancy putting it on – never do.
Once it stopped I got going. It was still cloudy but there was no more rain all the way to Zadar. Even though quite windy it was a nice short ride of about 100 miles. No motorways today, several small coastal towns and wonderful scenery the entire way. Islands lurked close offshore and sailing boats were abundant. The water looked clear and inviting and the intermittent towns had not yet been spoilt to lure tourists.
This was my only coastal stretch in Croatia even though I had planned to follow the coast from south of Dubrovnik. Never mind. You can never go on every road and there is nearly always something good about whatever route you take. I like variety too and have enjoyed mixing it up on this Turkey motorcycle tour.
Zadar was another port town with ferry connections to Italy across the Adriatic Sea. It was much quieter than Split and probably not as prominent on the Croatia tourist trail. But this could be a good thing.
My plan was to catch the overnight ferry to Ancona in Italy on Wednesday evening so I went straight to the ferry terminal and booked my ticket. An upmarket hotel lurked close by and I was able to secure the last room they had and a late checkout on Wednesday. It was a little extravagant but a very nice hotel indeed and rare in Zadar in that it was located inside the old city.
Time to explore. Nice place Zadar and confirmed my view that the premier countries in the western Balkans are Croatia and Montenegro (although I didn’t make it to Serbia or Slovenia). I boarded the ferry late Wednesday evening and was in my cabin and almost asleep by the time it departed at 10pm.
But have a look around Zadar.
Distance travelled today 103 miles (166km), cumulative 8,247 miles (13,272km).