We had left Sarajevo yesterday, but only really made it about 10 minutes outside the city before it got dark. So today we set off for real and it started with…a climb!
Actually considering how mountainous the surrounding landscape was our road was surprisingly tame. There were numerous tunnels that cut through what would have otherwise been pretty steep climbs. After a bit of riding we enter the Republic of Srbska (which, I think it still part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) but there was a notable difference in the amount of Cyrillic on the signs.
We stopped for a bit at a petrol station to fill our canisters with petrol for the stove, since we couldn’t find any compatible gas canisters in Sarajevo. After this we took a wrong turn, but didn’t spend to long before the spidey sense kicked in and we back tacked onto the right route.
We rode along flat for a bit but then starred climbing again for about an hour. Once we came through the trees at the peak we saw more lovely flat ground stretched out ahead of us. It was now the heat of the day though, so we stopped for lunch and waited out the worst of it in a nearby town.
We got going again around 4 and rode out along the flat we had seen from the top of climb earlier for about 90 minutes. We then started a long descent through switchbacks as we came out of the mountains.
It was around stopping time as we were rolling down the hills, so before we finished descending we found an empty, unused field off the road where we stopped for the night.
There was a field beside us that was in use beside us, and a house near the end of its construction. The owner of this house came over to have a look at the strangers who had taken to occupying the land next to him. He was a friendly guy who’s name we later learned was Radovik. He talked to us, as best we could talk, for a couple of minutes and gave us the ok to camp there. He then went back to his house.
Very soon after his daughter, maybe five or six, came over to us with a a bag of coffee and a mug and gestured towards the house. So we had been invited up to Radoviks place for coffee, and did Radoviks place have a great view. It looked out over the valley which was lit up by the setting sun beautifully.
Radoviks wife served us some coffee and then Radovik broke out the Rakiije, a home brew wine made from plums. We hung out with them for some time, and before long some more guys had arrived – ostensibly to help Radovik with something in the house but we ended up talking to the two younger guys. They had better English than everyone else, it was nice to be able to converse.
As it got dark we said goodbye and went back to our tent where we cooked up some pasta dinner in petrol fuelled stoves and went to sleep.