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Ride Report: Moldova

Montenegro

The plan was to ride through the Dumitor National Park, then along the Piva river to cross the border with Bosnia & Herzegovina. I had ridden this route a few times before, including the 2017 trip with Thonny.

With perfect weather, it was an absolutely incredible ride. Durmitor National Park is definitely with a detour. High mountains, narrow roads, good surface, practically no traffic (at least when I have been there).

In previous years, I have stayed at a small family run place, Eko Selo Durmitor. They have just built new cabins, that weren’t ready the last time I was there, but the cabins are otherwise nice and comfortable, but very basic. There is electricity, in the cabins and a shared shower and toilet in a separate building.

But this year, we had stayed at Etno Village Sljeme.

At one of the stops in the national park, I took my drone out as I wanted to fly it, but a ranger of some sort of official, approached me and politely asked me not to fly as it was not allowed, being a national park. Obviously I complied. I had not seen anything saying I couldn’t and I do try my best to get familiar with the regulations. One of the areas I never fly, is close to borders. Don’t know if anything would happen, but as photography is generally prohibited at border crossings, I think it is better just not doing it.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Entry into Bosnia & Herzegovina is simple. At least at the border crossings we take. Admitted, I do chose the ones that aren’t very busy. And I try to avoid Fridays and Sundays, though I’m not sure how much that actually helps.

We were heading towards the border crossing close to the town of Bicaz on the Bosnia & Herzegovina side, and the Plitvicka National Park on the Croatian side.

Immediately following the border, the road in Bosnia & Herzegovina, got a lot worse. Worn asphalt, bumpy and slippery. At a point my rear slid to the point where I thought I was coming off the bike. Luckily the bike managed to get traction and stay upright. I can’t credit this to skills, as it happened so fast and so unexpected.

Luckily the road, along E762, after Foca was good and smooth asphalt, and the scenery quite nice.

When it was time for lunch, we stopped by a roadside restaurant. There was a couple of Czech motorcycle riders, that we said hi to.

It turned out later, that the restaurant has ripped us off, with food way too expensive. I guess it is our own fault, having not checked the exchange rate.

We didn’t want to ride in to Sarajevo, so we tried to keep out. Unfortunately we ended up in a pretty busy part of Sarajevo, and the smaller road that we had chosen, turned out to be a busy road, and along it, one village replacing the other. So we had a pretty low average speed, and missed out a lot of the beautiful Bosnia & Herzegovina that I know, from previous rides, is out there.

Throughout the ride, I became increasingly annoyed over slow moving traffic, and the heat, and at a time, where we came to a stop, I suggested to take another route. I had no idea if was actually better or not, but at least it was a different route. Did I mention it had rained heavily as well?

Thonny and Michael, also tired of the road, suggested that we’d just continue on the route as nobody would know which was the better anyway.

I don’t know how the other route was, as we continued along the one originally planned. But after a little while, it turned in to a smaller road, then gravel, then forest. What a fantastic change. It was an easy gravel road, with small houses here and there. What a great change.

The destination was Kljuc, a town in Bosnia & Herzegovina that Thonny and I had stayed at back in 2017, which had a modern hotel, newly refurbished, and great value for money.

Well, two years had passed, and everything seemed the same. They had built a garage for secure parking of the bikes. That was nice. But they had also decided to turn off the aircondition. If not in the entire hotel, then at least on the floor our rooms were at. None of us could get the AC to work, and the front desk appeared to have been instructed to be surprised, but yet knowing it was deliberately turned off. Probably a cost saving exercise. So it was a long night with windows opened, young people rev’ing engines on the street. Earplugs did help, but after a while, they get quite uncomfortable.

The restaurant serving modern food, and being a bit pretentious, wasn’t very good. Heated frozen pizzas, was one of the choices. But at least we got food. We would have preferred local food, but if that’s not their average customer want, then I guess, that won’t be on the menu.

Well, we had a night’s sleep. Up, getting breakfast, and then on the move.

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