Dear friends and readers, you will have to accept my apology for taking a day off (a night off, really), but I'm going to have to take a short break from this blogging and have a proper night's sleep. There's nothing that I would let stand in my way between me and my pillow right now.
However, I can't just hit the sack without at least mentioning a few amazing things we experienced today, going from Labin to Matulji, over the Ucka ridge. So here it is, in just a few lines:
1. I wouldn't want to sound too biased and subjective (even though you should read every one of my lines exactly like that and try to figure out where I have in fact managed to give my objective impressions and where I've completely lost myself in all the overwhelming beauty and joy) or to end up sounding like I'm just advertising, promoting „values“ I'm gaining some interest from, so I will not mention Robi again Istra-bikerskog who guided me from Labin to Plomin via very interesting routes, nor will I once again give my greatest thanks to our amazing host Juliji who joined us for a bike ride during this leg of the trip.
2. Before we took off, Vedran, a great admirer of Labin and its surroundings, took us through the old town of Labin and the Labin Town Museum, which holds a „replica“of a real mine. Vedran's tour was seriously fascinating for he is a truly passionate raconteur, telling us all the fascinating stories from history and from present times.
3. Učka is just magically beautiful. The cliffs, with sections of rough ground entwined with easily accessible routes through pinewood and beech forests overlooking whole of Istria and the Kvarner-bay (when the air is clear you can see even further)or sections of nicely beaten macadam ground taking you over wide plateaus towards Smala Ucka, are simply ideal for cycling tours. Despite the fact the day was beautiful and that it was Saturday, we met up with only two other climbers on the way. And they were from Slavonija. I'm not sure if I should be happy for having the whole mountain basically just for myself or to feel depressed about people missing out on such beauty.
4. It might be a common-sense fact, but I'll repeat it anyway: never attempt to go on longer trekking routes in new boots you've never worn before. This will hurt. (Luckily tomorrow I will be doing more cycling than walking.) 5. When you're hungry and you've stupidly packed nothing for your lunch, anything offered to you might seem like good enough to eat. However, I wouldn't recommend a combination of bread and Turkish delight, offered to me by our co-coordinator Cedo. (Mind you, this did give me a good enough incentive to hurry up and get to some real food.)
6. I have to say massive thanks to the incredible team from Ottom Bottoma: guys, you really are something else. I knew you were crazy, but I had no idea I was as crazy to follow you down from Vojak to Ucka tunnel. You've made me experience some completely new dimensions of cycling and all the joys in truly loving what you do and spreading that love. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
7. Thank you to Ozren and his logistics better half Martina for keeping me company from Plomin on. There were moments when it felt good to see someone struggling more than me.