Day 20

Belgrade to Rijeka (Croatia)

The day started at 7:02 (we are 2nd on the road) with a 400km transport to Zagreb (left) in Croatia.  Zagreb seems a quite friendly place.  We had almost two hours to spare there as the transport time was generous.

(Photo from John and Jeff  Sydney London  blog)
Out of Zagreb, things changed a bit.  A 3km transport to the start of the stage and rain was imminent.  We were OK until about 4km from the end ,when it started to pour down. We were less disadvantaged than the cars who had started behind us.

The transport from the end of that stage to the next stage was tight and that had to be the one we took a wrong turn on.  Geoff Olholm followed us in and then went in front of us as we stopped with doubts about whether we were on the right road.  We all recovered and lost no time.

The next stage ‘1000 bends’ was a great stage. 30km of good, tight twisting tarmac passing through a couple of villages.  Joost took 55 seconds off us.

Differing attitudes in a corner through a Croatian village (photos shared by Autoškola Remetinec) 
The real excitement/angst of the day was after the end of the stage.  We were hot and jumped out to take off helmets etc.  I put my glasses on the roof while getting the helmet off.  Half a km down the road, I had Mark turn back.  I was sure they would be on the road. And they were. But Joost had run over them.

Now the problem was that I had no spare glasses in the car and couldn’t read the road book.  We were soon very lost.  To cut a long story short, I used Mark’s glasses (making him drive without them) to try and work out where we were.  They were barely adequate but better than nothing.

We did find the motorway but couldn’t work out where exactly we were on it. We had the GPS set for the hotel but satellite reception in the narrow streets of Rejeka is problematic.  The GPS couldn’t make up its mind and sent us in a few circles for a while.  We eventually found the hotel but the control was the opposite side of a square filled with restaurant tables.  We back tracked and went around the block to enter from the right direction.

We later saw others drive between the restaurant tables and cross the road at a pedestrian crossing to get to the control.

At the end of the day...

.Eggfried Depoorter (who we know from the London to Cape Town event 18 months ago) who is here servicing for Joost, gave me a pair of ‘chemist glasses’. They cost $2.50 apparently and he has 4 pairs of them.  Joost tried to repossess them.
We are tired but laughing about it all.

Tomorrow is a rest day in Rijeka.
Next: Rijeka Rest Day