After our departure from Fabriano we continued through Marche towards Ancona. The landscapes became dramatic, riding through a gorge and visiting the caves/grotto of Frasassi until we reached the east coast. We had a slight clash with a busy road (plus dangerous tunnels) and an abondoned side road. Opting for the side road which had numerous landslides was still a safer bet then entering a tunnel vs lorries. The side road was pretty but it came to a sudden end with a lock gate. Uploading our bags and lifting bikes over we managed to free ourselves from the situation and continued to the coast.
Camping sandwiched between a railway line and busy road was not ideal but arriving at 8pm there were little options. However the restaurant across the road made up for it with fritto misto and cold beer! After a less perfect night sleep we decided to spend our last 36 hrs in Italy in a more picturesque place and cycled to the national park /Portonovo to the community run campsite (La Torre). A great shady spot with an excellent modest seafood cafe.
We departed from Ancona on the night of 29th May on the overnight ferry to Split in Croatia. Reclining seats and snoring passengers saw us enter the calm waters surrounding the Croatian islands. Standing on the deck as we approached the waters of Split we spotted several dolphins playing in the ferry’s trail.
The road from Split (no.8, coast road) was not a joy as we had no option but to share it with every other vehicles from lorries, coaches and cars. This is not a cycle friendly place and on several occasions we both felt unsafe. There is a massive mountain strip that follows the line of the coast so there are no options to pull off (unless you are a mountain goat). As we moved closer to our resting place of Bast things got more manageable but the heat and hills got worse.
We are writing this from another world, celebrating our mates 50th (TC) in style in a villa with pool just outside of Baška Voda. Not sure how we will manage after such R&R! Apologies for any self indulgent photographs that may follow. We will be back in the saddle from Thursday heading down the coast towards Dubrovnik.