view over Reykjavik in winter
view over Reykjavik in winter
  • Hills and passes and summits and hairpins and borders and stuff
    • 14/09/2019
My road onwards follows the Drava river valley for the first half of the day, before turning off onto quieter, more alpine roads. There are plenty of so called forest roads here, hard packed gravel untarmacked, but the surface is pretty consistent and free of pot holes.
Farms are a mixture of cattle and corn, and nowhere is particularly flat, so as darkness falls I have to settle with camping on a not quite flat bit of grass with views to distant mountains, waking to cloud inversion sitting on and then blowing through the valley below.

Today was serious climbing, reaching 1000m only to drop into the valley and climb again.
The roads are small and quiet except for the occasional logging truck roaring up and down the hill and the local population is stockpiling wood for winter etc in neat stacks
As evening approaches I breach the pass and am treated to the most spectacular views yet, of rocky 2000m peaks towering over a green valley floor, with sporadic farms and little white churches clinging to shoulders of relative flatness. Camp on the first flat bit I see, which again doesn't have the PERFECT view down the valley but still surrounded mountain peaks in mosy directions so pretty OK.
Unfortunately the moon is nearly full and washes out the stars from a photo perspective.

Today was serious climbing (again). This time reaching a max of 1388m before dropping down an epically steep and bendy road into Austria for a few km - hand cramp from squeezing the brakes hard enough to get around the corners, and then climbing all the way back up on a beautiful series of smooth switchbacks, which makes it the easiest 500m climb I've ever done. This road is unsurprisingly very popular with motorbikes leaning round the bends and revving their engines to echo off the trees and valley sides, as well as a fair few other pedallers. Reaching the pass marks another border post, crossing back into Slovenia, with the reward of 20km continuous downhill back down a river valley admiring the views.

Pausing at one viewpoint i chatted with a Slovenian bloke who is driving round the borders of the country in a classic Yugo -
Why do Yugo's have rear window heaters?
So your hands don't get cold pushing it!
However his is 30 years old and allegedly never broken down though! He has also cycled all over Europe and run across Slovenia so a legit dude.

Finished off with a bit of a slog to reach Lake Bled as darkness falls, passing bars playing accordion music for a day off in a hostel.


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