We had a long hard cycle up the hill to Geyikbayiri but when we arrived at the beautiful JoSiTo campsite, we knew it was worth it. We were completely surrounded by nature and cliffs, with the Turkish Standard wall just over the road.
We originally arrived in Olympos for the climbing but then realised there is so much more to this valley than we thought. We stayed in Kadir’s Tree House, a very unique hostel/hotel with a great vibe and interesting decor. It is also a hub for travellers and we met many interesting people on long journeys there.
Turkey. We didn’t know what to think about this country. Tensions have been high between Germany and Turkey in recent months and there was a handful of reports in the media of Germans being rejected at the border without any reasons given.
Kalymnos! We are finally here! This island has been a dream of ours to visit and now that we are here, it feels surreal. The climbing and beauty of the island has even passed our expectations. We also finally know how to say Kalymnos properly (stress on the a, not the y).
After Meteora we rode just 50 km away to a small crag called Mouzaki. We were happy to find that the local climbing community have put a lot of effort into the crags in central Greece. Mouzaki even has a hut built next to the crag as well as wooden and stone platforms built directly next to the wall. This was perfect for us and we made ourselves at home.
Cycling around the corner towards Meteora, our mouths dropped to the floor as an endless stream of long, dark, pebbled rock pillars, some hundreds of meters wide, stood before us. As we continued on, more and more pillars were revealed until we felt like dwarfs in a time when giants ruled.
We have had a busy week. Between surviving traffic, climbing in Omiš and seeing many wildfires, we’re glad to be spending a relaxing day on a little tucked away beach with some good Croatian music to sooth the soul. After the comfortable weekend in Zadar, we cycled out of the city in the evening and wild camped our way south. One of the things that struck us was the different perception you get when you drive the same stretch of road with a car and with a bike. All the rubbish – mainly plastic – on the side of the road was now very noticeable – stuck between bushes.
Paklenica National Park. One word – wow! We had mixed feelings about going to Paklenica as people had very different views about the climbing there. We had 8 days to spend there as Tanya’s parents were meeting us in Zadar. In the end, 8 days were just enough but we could have easily spent another week there.
Before we could cycle into Croatia from Italy, we had to pass Slovenia. Our planed route in Slovenia was only 22km long. We could have done that in a single afternoon and this blog post would be already finished. But we spent almost two weeks here, not for cycling, but for climbing. The climbing crags around the small village called Osp are world famous and we quickly realized why.
Italia. Things on our to do list: espresso, pizza, wine and a refreshing swim in the sea. As the country changed, so did the cycle path. Almost immediately, we changed on to what was an old railway track, now turned into a paved, smooth cycle path.