29th June, Saturday
This morning they only speak the absolutely necessary. We head to Kuterevo, where Mr. Notty meet his kind in the Bear Sanctuary.
Bears that are found all over the Balkans are brought here to this NGO to be taken care of. They are mostly abandoned cubbies when the mother has died.
Here, mostly volunteers all over the world help building a home for them. Even school classes or scouts do so.
In the meantime, since few days Kay has not seen anymore the Apple watch Mae is using, also she cannot find it. Just by coincidence at checkout in Kamp Polje he has seen an identical watch next to the owners wallet, wondering if he is into that. Let’s ask. Kay sends an Email to Bojan, and really he found it. Strange thing, it was found in men’s bathroom, but Kay had never used it. Anyway, he will send it to our friends in Skopje. Thanks in advance Bojan.
While planning routes with digital help, we discover the differences in routing between the algorithms of the various Applications. So today we have one of the worst experiences with that. Google Maps, known for detailed and up to date data leads us into the village of Krasno Polje, sharp turn to the left and continue on the normal road.
The GARMIN (Kay is usually following) takes a shortcut to save some few 100 meters. As we leave the main road therefore, first it is still asphalt. In between couple of houses and barking dogs along the way it turns into a soft, then harder gravel road. Finally, we find ourselves on a steep stony road surrounded by trees. The road got worse bit by bit, so Kay stopped too late for an easy return.
Now he noticed that it is impossible to go on fully loaded. Too risky with the heavily loaded bike in between all the rocks, ups and downs of the forest road. We stop, Mae steps down our vehicle, and Kay could see on the map it is just about 600 feet to continue:
”I can make it most probably, alone with the GS. No need for a risky turn here, just 200 m of walking babe, is that fine with you?”, Kay explained.
”Hmpf. OK! Sure boss, but make sure to turn on the SENA!” Mae replied.
Off he rides. Even with not having Mae, it is very hard to keep going on. The road is very bumpy, but he needs a certain speed. Going too slow, the stabilization of the rotating wheels, as well as the inertia of the bike‘s mass, makes it difficult, too. Two times he almost dropped it, but just almost! “Keep the rubber at bottom side” the bikers always wish for another, yes he tries hard. Back to the normal road, Kay is waiting for Mae and me. It takes us some time to climb the path. They are still connected with the intercom, but Kay just can hear Mae puffing while walking. Finally, we make it.
After catching breath we follow a beautiful road across the forest to ’Ecocamp Rizvan City’.
We arrive late in the evening, but can even choose among many spots at the almost empty campground. Kay is asking about the next store for cold drinks and some food, which is still open. If he hurries, he could still make it to the nearby Gospić. They directly offered to sell us cold drinks, and after the event of today, there are still lots of food leftover-for free.
So a few minutes later, our driver returned with cold beer and Cola. As well as a big bread, meat (still warm from the grill) and amazing tastefully Balkan Tomatoes. How kind!
So no need to shop, no need to cook.
Kay’s comment: ”We still had lots of already processed potatoes and tomato salad leftover, really missing just the drinks. But we’ll, they had so much leftover-I didn’t tell them”.
So both of them eat hungrily until it is cold and dawning. Now it really is time to pitch the tent. Mae is already freezing, and as soon as the outer tent is in position, at this evening you can only find her inside. There she does not freeze while preparing the beds and stuff for the night while Kay is fixing the great outside.
He is handing her the items for inside, f.e. the charged SENA Intercoms. All boxes at the GS closed he is on his way for a late shower.
At night, the power banks are charging the GoPro and Gimball, because we do not have electrical power near the tent. While breakfast we charge the spare batteries of the GoPro and the SONY Camera. Later at the ride the overnight emptied power banks are being recharged as well as our smartphones. Sounds like an overkill, but so M&K make sure (honestly only Kay that Mae does not have to care about that). That she can readily use the different devices any time.
Mae always runs three different route tracking apps with high GPS accuracy parallel to make sure our route is definitely tracked. This is done with the Samsung smartphone, that must be always powered while riding. Also Kay’s responsibility, forgetting that would lead him soon to face St. Peter.