June 8 – Thursday

Swiss couple in the smelly jeep left around 7:30 – got up right after they’d gone (kind of late for me). Had breakfast, then hit the road on my bike before 9:30. Got some $ from an ATM at the post office – figured from my experiences in Croatia that not many places would have change for the large bills it spit out, so went inside the PO and got smaller denominations.
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Rode along nice quiet roads towards the town of Buna – only took one wrong turn and flagged down a nice lady in a car that said ‘Buna? – follow me’. She didn’t drive that fast, but there were very stong head-and-cross winds for me to contend with. She stopped to wait for me at the turn-off to Buna (which was not marked) then continued on her way.

The road was narrow but very quiet – very nice riding. Met the M17 highway from Mostar, and crossed it trying to find the bridge across the river Neretva – took a little side trip and had to turn back as all the small roads dead-ended. Ended up on the M17, but only for about 1 km, then found the bridge across.

The cross-winds were really strong – the bridge is right where the Buna river empties into the Neretva. There’s kind of a small delta, and the Buna falls several meters into the Neretva – very pretty, but kind of scary on the bridge with the very strong winds.
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On the other side of the bridge I found the Ciro cycling trail that runs from Mostar to Dubrovnik. At this point it’s not just for cycling, but cars were few and far between. Went south for a bit, then saw a skinny stray dog that was limping. Decided to turn around as he didn’t look too friendly and I didn’t want to get chased. Went a couple of km the other way past the bridge to see if there was any other crossing, but there wasn’t.

Headed back to camp before the sun gets any hotter (still taking care of my arms). Looked into campgrounds along the cycling route, although I’m not sure where I would end up. If I went all the way to Dubrovnik I could probably get a bus there, but my experience with getting my bike on buses here has not been pleasant. Also the trip would take me a few days and there’s only one campground I could find along the route – I’ll have to do more research online.

Back at camp for lunch – hot sunny day so staying in the shade. Met four very nice Americans this afternoon – two young guys that were friends of Nedzed’s daughter and are visiting the area for a month (have relatives here), and later a couple that bought a used van in the Netherlands and are on a 1 year trip to Europe and Asia (he’s on a sabbatical from his work). Politics, of course, came up (Comey is testifying today), and I’m not alone in my opinions. At least the more intelligent Americans seem to agree – Trump is a f-ing idiot and a scary threat to the environment and the world.

Had a nice visit with Lynn (the American) and showed her on the online map how to get to the Ciro route to Mostar. They will be here for a few days so will be able to chat with her and John (her hubby) more.

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