Wednesday, 19 June 2013


By Mark

Getting into Croatia proved no problem at all. All we had to do was show our passports and I didn't even get a stamp in mine. We had worried a bit that they might want to check our motor insurance (which we didn't have) but they didn't so relieved we rode into Croatia.

The Croatian coast is definitely very beautiful but also very touristy and in my opinion the developments of tourist accommodation along the wayside is not done very tastefully. This might be slightly to due with the fact that we were disappointed not to find our usual 'bush camping' options.

The undeveloped parts of the coastline though are rugged and stunning and the roads are perfect for riding. What I am about to say next may offend some Australians but I am sure that this coastline especially from Rijeka to  Zadar beats the Great Australian Road for beautiful scenery. All along the coast you are constantly rewarded with gorgeous views of the stunning water to your right and tall rocky mountains to your left. Luckily this part also had the least amount of traffic in the whole country only downside that there was hardly anywhere to stop to take photos of the coastline.

Every now and then we would take small detours off the main road to head close to the coast trying for a bush camp but it never happened. What we did find was at each point of trying to find somewhere to camp we were taken back with having to find 'autocamps' which became ever more expensive the further south (and closer to Dubrovnik) you get. We got a bargain I guess for the first night but we did not really get anything for the money apart from a spot of grass by the seaside. At least they had cold beer for a reasonable price.

By the time we hit Dubrovnik we now knew why the roads in the north were so quiet. Everybody was here and it was only June, glad we were not here any later as we had heard you are lucky if you are able to find a room come the height of summer in August. The streets were buzzing with people everywhere and with 2 cruise liners in town it made it even busier. Our first port of call was to hit the ferry terminal and buy our tickets for the ferry for Bari, Italy the following evening. It was here that we were approached by a lovely gentleman asking us about where we were staying that night, when we answered the local campground he proposed we come stay at his place, he lived just 5 minutes away and he had cheap rooms. So we sorted our tickets out and followed him back to his home where we were introduced to his sweet and funny wife Marja. We took a quick look at the room and decided that with a safe place for the bikes, a great view of the harbour and close walking proximity to most places why not just stay here.

Dubrovnik was nice but very touristy. The Old Town is no doubt very beautiful, it's just a shame that you have to share it with thousands of other tourists! You can't really blame so many on wanting to go there though. The only downside was the cost, we had heard that it was not cheap in Croatia and we definitely found that out. Groceries where expensive, probably the highest we have come across through all of Europe thus far and with the average monthly salary as low as it is I don't know how the average income earner survives. Being so touristy you also find it hard to really get to know the real way of life in Croatia and with everything revolving around tourism you miss the finding out about the local way of life. In saying that we did however enjoy our short stay here. We got what we had come for and that was warm weather and sunshine.

 Not a bad campsite - of course it would have been better had we had it to ourselves and for free!

Some of the Croatian coastline

 Lunch by the sea

Arriving in Dubrovnik

Enjoying a cold one in the Old City

Not sure why, but there were padlocks all over this fence

The Fort in the Old City

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