BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Farewell Bled. Portoroz here we come.


The good news is that I've finally worked out how to get rid of the white background behind the type in this programme. (I think) Yay. The bad news is I can't type today because my brain and fingers aren't communicating. Why? Read on dear friend, read on...

We woke up to an picture perfect day in Bled. Sunshine, no thunder, no lightning, in fact, not a cloud in the sky apart from a few fluffy white ones. We hadn't visited Bled castle yet so the was our first stop after breakfast and checking out of the hotel.

Bled Castle is a pretty cool place. It's only small but perches on a cliff face and contains a museum which was both educational and entertaining.

Bled castle courtyard.

Just enjoying the sun at the castle.

It was time to push on. Our target today was Portoroz on the coast. We fired up the Sat Nav. It was an hour and a half on the motorway, or around four hours via the back roads. Once again we punched in "Avoid motorways". What a ride. The road planners must be motorcyclists because again the ride consisted of it was really tight winding roads up the side of mountains.A lot of it was steep with sheer drops on the sides. Did I mention there were no guard rails on a lot of the road. At one particularly interesting part Suzanne started yelling at me "Don't look down Simon. Don't look down." So of course I looked down. Now I'm sticking to the left side of the road (there's a sheer drop on the right where I'm supposed to be riding) and staying there. If a car comes the other way I'm not changing sides, it can go around me. It was scary but enjoyable at the same time.

After a couple of hours we stopped for lunch and asked waitress to show us where we were on the map we had. We were nowhere near where we thought we'd be, and VERY close to where we started. I checked the Sat Nav and we'd been mobile for nearly two hours and covered just over 80 kilometres. The average speed was 41KPH! Any slower and the bike would fall over.

Speaking of the bike, it has this electrically adjustable suspension. Bloody brilliant. I adjusted it to full hard on all settings and it was handling like a dream, even fully loaded. The only problem was it's now so high we have trouble getting on and off, and I can't pull the bike up off he side stand, Suzanne has to give me a push. We solved that problem by resetting the suspension to soft  when we stop, then back to hard once we're both on board. It works a treat.

(NOTE: I've since been told that this is not a good idea. We didn't have a problem but it places too much load on the servos and can cause them to fail. Only adjust the suspension when you are off the bike.)

After lunch we were over the mountains and hit lots of fast, smooth sweeping bends. It was heaven. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat, laughing out loud and shaking my head. Suzanne described the ride as a really enjoyable roller coaster ride. All good. After three and a bit hours my head was aching from concentrating so much, so we hit the Motorway to Portoroz. This is a nice little sea side town next to Piran.

The harbour at Piran.

We have decided to give a hostel a go tonight because hotels are just way to expensive when you just need a bed for the night, and camping isn't cheap either. You have to pay for the tent site (or pitch as they call it), then for each person, and then for the bike. Camping in Ljubljana was about twenty Euros per night. The hostel we are booked into is forty five Euros per night for a private double room and a shared bathroom. Of course it incldes breakfast and free Wi Fi. Deal! We weren't sure what to expect. We hoped the "young people" wouldn't mind us oldies crashing their turf. We had a little trouble finding the place but once we did we were pleasantly surprised. Simona. runs the whole place single handed. She does everything, seven days a week. It's spotlessly clean and very comfortable, and check out the view from our balcony...

Ladies and gentlemen, Portoroz beach.

Portoroz is only 7.5 kilometres from the Croatian border and 23 kilometres from the Italian border. The hills in the above photo are actually in Croatia. It's also about 300 kilometres from the Bosnia and Herzegovina border. That's by road, not in a straight line. We could have breakfast in Italy, morning tea in Slovenia, lunch in Croatia, and dinner in Bosnia and Herzegovina. All without breaking a sweat. Four countries in about four hours. It's doing my head in

A nice way to finish the day.

So that was our day, or so we thought. We were sitting on the balcony enjoying a quiet gin and tonic when we heard a loud crash. Some Slovenian guys were playing football (soccer) and one of them kicked the ball into a little BBQ, and demolished it. They were cracking up trying to put it back together. They apologized to us for making a noise and then said if they are too noisy during the night to let them know and they'll quieten down. We must look so old. When they heard we were from Australia they invited us down for a drink. Then we met three girls from England.

Say hi to Jesse, with an e.

Hi Jess, without an e.

Hello Sara.

Suzanne sat down with them and that was it. There was much fun and frivolity and the gin was gone way to quickly. The boys had some home made Slovakian red wine. "It's better if you mix it with Coke" I was told. That should have been a warning. 

We might be the oldest people here but we can party with the best of them. We ended up calling it quits at about four am. I'm a wee bit "tired" today.

Serious contemplation during a game of celebrity head.

The result.

At some point during the night it was decided that the four girls were the Sex and the City girls. Can you guess who is who?

The line of the night was "It would be so cool if my parents rode a bike around Europe when they are old". Girls one - Ego nil.

Where's Rex's Buff?

Rexy's Buff made a few appearances above, but here's another one. Jess again. One of our partners in crime last night.

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