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What A Difference A Day Makes

Posted by TravellingStrom on May 18, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

Well, it was a dismal start to the day weather wise, so I used the opportunity to fire off a post, but a bit later I looked out the window and saw it clearing up, and also saw a Kodak shop across the back street and I knew there was a money exchange just up the street, so I went for a dorrie, it is in that block just to right of center.

Well, I was in luck, they had a camera and the best news it was not Olympus 🙂 They only really had one digital camera that would suit me, but it was there and it worked. I spent a bit of time trying all the functions out as I needed to make sure I could operate this with gloves one handed while riding 🙂 That description was not on the box, but I reckon it is doable 🙂 In the end I bought it, it is waterproof, drop proof and has a bloody GPS built in, maybe so I can find it? It cost 205Euro, about $268AU, which is cheaper than some others I have bought in strange lands!

I feel a lot happier with a camera that works and it will even accept my old battery(the one I bought in Istanbul, I wonder if the original battery failing and this current issue have a common cause?) Anyway, it was now midday and time to make a decision, well that was easy, I changed my money at the money exchange man and packed and left, taking a quick shot of that damm mosque that woke me up at 4am with call to prayer!!!!

Then I had to re-negotiate my way out of the roadworks detour system they had in place and head west, this gave me a chance to try out the new camera with gloves etc, I eventually found the right exit I wanted, which was a road that headed to BAR, in Montenegro, nice name for a town 🙂 The sign showed a bit more than that though, it showed Berlin, I needed to get up there soon for a visa application, soon!

That was only 1900km and would be a two day ride back home(because it is flat straight and wide), but I know what can be done down here and that is a big ask! I had some rural roads to get through and played with the camera a fair bit, it will take some getting used to but I can handle it, not the bugs though which were out and about on this fine day, I found out I copped a bug splatter for the next 30 odd pictures, BUGger! I eventually arrived at the border and it was the easiest one to cross, two control points back to back, they passed the documents through their internal door and I was soon on my way, no green card check nothing, that was a real surprise!

Welcome to Montenegro, I had flashbacks to the Belize/Guatemala border area, they also had a bad dirt section, but I found out this one was under works, after about 6km I was on a paved surface and it was fun 🙂 This continued until I got to Bar, but once again I was defeated by roadworks and my idea of finding a hotel early and holing up for a relax fell by the wayside. In the end I kept going up the coast until I found a great hamburger at this road side eatery 🙂 This was when I cleaned the camera lens, you can see the difference!

After a feed I kept on going, while the weather was good, why not! The coast run was good, I was also looking for a couple of geocaches, this made for interesting times, one of them was on this tiny island chokkablock full of buildings, but I was not allowed in as there was no parking, as you can imagine? I kept on going and the scenery was spectacular, the roads were high up, but right on the edge of the cliffs, going into an actual town or village meant many switchbacks.

I headed for another cache inland a bit and then found my self caught in a possibly bad situation. My brain was in Albanian mode, which meant every 5 minutes a servo, well, I was low on fuel and I have not seen one for ages and my last bar was flashing, which meant about 3 liters, which could get me maybe 45km, at a pinch, but I was going up and down so that would not work at all! I did stop and plan my return(roll downhill into a town) when I saw from the GPS that there was a small town about 5km up the road, coool, and way better than that was just around the next corner a sign saying fuel, 500m 🙂 So, that was a good time to fuel up(doh), check front tyre(down by 10psi) and head off again because I can relax now 🙂

Now, I managed to find this excellent road, well, I had no choice, it led to the cache 🙂 Half way down I was thinking, what if I have a crash, I need to repair my SPOT connection and my flag looks like I am a POM(the stars had frayed away), so I stopped and added a new flag to the bike and a new cable tie to my jacket. This cable tie is on my jacket zipper and my lanyard clips to this, the other end of the lanyard connects to the SPOT device, so when I come off the SPOT comes with me! The other day when I crashed, I broke the old connection method and it did not work, this one has been tested in the past. Back to the ride, and I must say at this point, this is the best cache location I have ever seen, thank you cache owner!!!!! Check out the views in this area, WOW!

But the best was to come, as I had to ride this small switchback system next to the hotel to get above the main roadway, from there, I mean WOW, what else can you say about this place, that hotel has a prime view 🙂

Now, the cache logs mentioned the fact about snakes, well I never saw any, but I did spot something move when I moved the rocks and there it was, a scorpion!! Only a baby though, probably harmless 😉

Well, what a great place for a cache, and I have to ride back down, here is a short video

But now it was time to find a place to stay, I headed for the next town and as it turns out the capital, Podgorica, but the rooms were from 50 up, but I eventually found a cheaper version, only 30E with breakfast and booked in. I was a bit suss about the name, Hotel Lovcen, is that short for Love Center, and it had leather upholstery on the doors, but no mirrored ceilings, nor any other strange thingies, so it was not that bad 😉 I had a few beers and a great local dish, before making contact with cuz Anthony. He is riding up in Bosnia, he is visiting a family he knew while stationed there during the wars. After many texts, we arranged to meet up here at this hotel in two days time. This meant I had two days in one place, sunny weather was on the books and all these twisty roads 🙂

So, tomorrow, I would go for a ride and find a cache or two and see what is out there amongst the mountains of Montenegro. So far I am impressed with this country 🙂


6 Responses to “What A Difference A Day Makes”

  1. GrahamD said

    Good stuff m8.

    Keep it coming 🙂

    Fingers crossed for the new camera.

  2. Dan said

    Saw you blog after reading your post on Hubb in the Garmin Montana thread. We were in Montenegro last summer, you should check out Durmitor is you get a chance. There is a bit in our blog on it. Lots of whindy roads and plenty of gravel tracks.

    Coincidentally we have the same camera you got. I hate the say it, we are not impressed, we got it to mainly make use of the gps which is very slow, and the ruggedness which is great. But the pictures are often poorly focused. I hope you get on better with it. It would be good to hear your opinion.

    Looking forward to reading more.

    • I did get up that way, went to a small town called TRSA I think, I will be posting on that soon. I am having no issues with the camera, I turn OFF the gPS because it is slow, but if I find a great bit of scenery, I turn it on and wait, mainly the geocache photos as I want to post them. I am OK with it at this time, better than the crap my Olympus was giving me 🙂

  3. Dave said

    Things looking good, TS – new camera, brilliant scenery, company, and proof that yer not a pom! ; )

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