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Thread: Greece is the word..

  1. #65
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    Has it been worth it? You bet.

    Good Morning Kranj..



    Breakfast is taken with the German couple and a Flight Crew amongst others. An Austrian Airline Pilot comes to chat bikes, he doesn’t have a bike currently but his brother owns a BMW Motorrad dealership, so he tells me he’s running out of excuses.
    The German couple are also making their way south on two wheels. They’re aboard a Piaggio X9 which is parked up behind our bikes. Their destination today too is Croatia, they’re heading to Plitvice. Fifteen or so years ago I used to have a 500cc of these back at home to commute to work on and it was a good and capable bike. It would have easily toured without a problem. On inspection though it worked out this particular bike was a mere 125 beastie.. But they proudly declared it could still do what they needed, if only needing a bit of time to cool down after making way up the passes. Just goes to show you can do it on whatever you like. Good on them.

    Did I mentioned the hotel is a tad eccentric? Dad likes it.



    The boot didn’t open. I’m mildly disappointed.



    Final preparations.



    Dad’s ready and dressed. Showtime. I think his biggest concern has been comfort. He’s had some pain in his legs of late. The bigger one on his mind now though is getting on and off the bike. We had a brief dry run at home before I set off, and that was promising.

    For the comfort side of things, we have an airhawk seat in addition to a Sergeant pillon seat. There’s a cushion strapped to the top box too, so I’m hoping this is going to work out. We saddle up, and he’s gingerly on first time after a bit of effort.

    I’ve said to Brian that things will have to be a bit different over the coming days. I’ll need to stop more regularly for dad, and though usually we ride the same itinerary, (but not in nugget cluster formation, heaven forbid)¬¬ the form now will be Brian will crack on as he wishes and we’ll meet at the destination. No biggie.

    I tell dad we’ll do a brief run to get started and to get him into things. We creep gingerly out of the town and bid goodbye to Kranj and join up with the route south towards Croatia. Dad indicates he’s comfortable. Excellent. After 45 minutes or so we have a stop, and he has a slow dismount, holding on to me. I’ve been going to the gym for a number of months and working pretty hard; I’ve dropped three stone and am fitter than I’ve been for years. This I’m in no doubt has really helped.

    We find an elevated point for the restart and after some random folks clear away dad is back on pretty straight forwardly. Even more encouraging.

    The weather is pleasant without being too warm and there’s cloud around. The forecast is variable with some showers promised. I guess we find out later today.

    We’re back to the road, and I decide to add some music. I’ve got a tank bag converted to hold a large JBL speaker. This connects by Bluetooth to my phone, and there’s also a Bluetooth remote control gizmo on the handlebar which can control volume and track selection. It works really well, as well as any audio system I’ve had on any bike as it happens, and I’ve had a few. I play selections from the ‘Music to watch girls go by’, so think Sinatra, Matt Munro, Shirley Bassey etc. Dad is happily tapping along to the tunes and so at the very early stage things seem to be working out pretty well.

    We get a very good run through the pretty green landscape. Slovenia really is lovely.
    There are a few patches of road works dotted about but we use the opportunity to get to the front and then have clear road. Dad is put in charge of smoothing over our barging in at the front and seems to be doing a good job. We arrive at a quiet crossing into Croatia and there’s a miserable woman checking or passports on the Slovenia exit side. There’s no one there on the Croatian side, must be lunch time I guess, so we toddle onwards.

    As we move towards the Adriatic Coast there’s rain and some thunder. We press on for a while and decide to pit stop for coffee. It rains profusely for half an hour and the rain clears away. It’s warm and after another fifteen minutes you’d barely have known it had rained at all. I mention to dad, in a couple of days you’ll be thankful for the rain.

    We’re back on with another successful clamber from Dad, and not long after we’re making our way down the Dalmatian Coast road. There’s some traffic, but we’re moving well and move through as we need without fuss. As we work further South the traffic thins out and we have a good run to finish the day off despite a shower just outside our destination.

    Our overnight stop is the Hotel Velniac in Karlobag. I booked it this morning with Brian’s favourite app. I’ve stayed here a number of times before. If there’s a hint of familiarity with my other write ups so far, well, there is a reason for this. Firstly, I think Karlobag is lovely, the hotel, though basic, is clean, the food is good and the people have always been friendly and charming. And the final and probably most important reason is I’m happy to see places that I have previous experience of being god as I have my dad in the co-pilot seat.

    It really is a stunning place. The opposite shores are barren, which is something to do with the weather system I understand, plants won’t grow over there. It makes for great viewing.



    Brian arrives. Rain starts again but clears in the early evening, which means we can sit in the square and order the mixed grill after a visit to a bar at the back of the square where I discover Pan Crno, a dark lager which works very well.

    Plotting, routing, catching up on correspondence..



    We were not messing around with dinner you know.



    Later we have a walk, another drink and go to the Supermarket for a mooch. We buy some nuts.
    Brian gets thrown out for photographing the drinks section





    Night night

  2. #66
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    Marvellous

  3. #67
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    Great stuff.

  4. #68
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    Yep
    Makes me want to get out there !!

  5. #69
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    Cheers all!

    Quote Originally Posted by russ996duke View Post
    Yep
    Makes me want to get out there !!

  6. #70
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    There’s no place like Ploce

    The next morning the weather is really good. Fine, warm, sunny, not a cloud I the sky. We get up early to get out onto the road thinking to take the opportunity before the road gets busier but with a bonus that it’d be that bit cooler.

    Karlobag by morning. Super place.



    Packing up.



    Experimenting with the Camelbak on the pannier for dad.



    Brian has routed us to a place called Ploce for our run today. I haven’t been there before so it’ll be something new. We find an apartment that looks quite nice on our favourite app before we set out so we know where we’ll be.

    Today things differ. Brian is popping off into Bosnia Herzegovina to explore, where I’m sticking to the coast for the main part, but in the interests of time and dad’s comfort, breaking things up with a run down the Croatian motorway.

    The morning ride is sensational. Not a cloud in the sky with warm sunshine, picture book coastal views and zero traffic. No nugget clusters. It’s a treat. At its best, this stretch of road is for me hard to beat.

    There’s a petrol stop as we get toward the end of our coast run at Stari Grad.

    We seem to have developed a habit. When we stop, I eye somewhere elevated where dad can find it a little easier to haul himself back onto the bike. The chain of events seems to be as thus: When we stop, that location is empty and unpopulated. However, by the time I want to get back onto the bike, sometimes in as little as a couple of minutes or so, we’re joined by hoards of people who are just in the way. It’s like clockwork. Spooky.



    The Croatian motorway ranks as number one in my ‘What Motorway’ guide of Europe, shortly behind Switzerland for some of the views, and Spain because they’re immaculate. They are relatively inexpensive toll roads, the 120 odd miles we picked off worked out at around a fiver. They also have very presentable service areas which helps, especially with the temperature drifting up towards 30.

    After dropping from the motorway we seek out the coast again and dip into Makarska which is a pretty town with a pleasant front by the sea. We have an ice cream. Dad mentions it’s a lovely place and it would have been nice to stay there. Hey ho, another time I guess.



    We transit Bosnia at Neum. Bosnia by the sea. Before we leave we get petrol and more ice cream.



    It is now very hot and then running down the final taking on the final part of the highway South, where Ploce is set back from the coast road where it cuts inland. As we head down we have a panoramic view of the oil depot noce we spy the destination, and sadly the location of the apartment reminds me a lot of Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm Estate. Dad says ‘It isn’t here son, is it?’ At which point I let him know not to panic and that we’ll be moving on.
    So no offence to the people of Ploce, but we decided to have our destination reploced.

    I send a text to Brian to let him know, and we’re moving off and upping the pace. A while later we’re passing Dubrovnik and head into Cavtat, somewhere I know, where a really nice apartment is found and normality is resumed.

    Dad managed 284 miles today which I was really proud of. 'I’m glad to get off' he says, 'I reckon my arse is red raw'.

    Brian arrives later, after what we have since christened as being 'Garmined'. There were two identical addresses, one ten miles away, and one where our actual apartment was. If you just put the address and the postcode in, without specifying the town, you got sent to the wrong place. Who knew, eh.

    A pretty sundown in Cavtat.



    We have a good couple of drinks…



    …followed by having what I reckoned was a very average meal. The 12 hour cooked ribs that sounded great turned up like this. A bit crap.



    All was OK though, as dad was happy.



    Brian was… well I’ve no idea really.




  7. #71
    Never knowingly understood Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Good one Rob .... quality time with yer dad

    My dad was in his late seventies when, after mum had died, we toured Germany together on our 250 MZ SupaFives ... he never stopped talking about it

    Power to your elbow

    Adventure.GS
    Tours, training or custom made earplugs ... it's all here.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

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