And on to Italy

Posted by on 1 December 2012

Dubrovnik is a beautiful city. But due to the rain and strong winds I think I mist out on a lot. Because it is build on a mountain side you have some steep roads and stairs. On some of them small streams started to appear. I will have to come back to this place at a better time.

Never seen this fellows actually do what they are made for:

On the next pic there was at least 3 cm of water on the sloop and comming down:

I also got the sudden urge to press on and I decided to not go to Sibenik but to Zadar, about a 100 km further. The storm had calmed down overnight and I made it to Zadar without any troubles although I did had to wear my oempa-loempa outfit again. Zadar should be a nice place during the summer but now it was quiet and pretty much everything was closed. The hotel I stayed at had some deal with a local mine so it is open all year. They even kept the kitchen open for the miners so I got a nice meal in the evening.

The route:

The next day I wanted to go to Italy and I had booked a B&B in Duino and it would be a 320 km ride to get there. The morning started out calm and easy. I had my breakfast and left the hotel at around 9 o’clock. After about 1 hour it started to rain a little so I put the raingear on again. I had chosen not to use the highway but to take the road along the coast. At some point I run into some patches of snow lying around on the sides of the road. And there where some high mountains up ahead. A quick check with TomTom revealed I would not be going up into the mountains so I would be fine. It did got me worried for a bit. At some village I filled up with petrol and although there where some strong winds I did not see any harm in that but the local authority was thinking otherwise. I saw a police car drive by while I was at the petrol station. And this guy was waiting for me just a km after a sign and a blinking trafficlight. The sign was not very clear to me so I continued. Thus running straight into the strong arms of the law. The road was closed for all other traffic then normal cars without trailer. The asshole fined me 500 Kuna, about €67,- I did not have the money on me so I followed him to the closest ATM. I tried to talk him out of it but he was not having it. I asked him why he did not warn me before or just could not let me go with a warning. His answer was “you broke the law thus you shall pay”. Before we parted ways I told him I hoped he would be a bit more understanding with the next motorcycle traveler. That dumb fuck is payed to protect and to serve. Well he might have protected me but sure as hell did not serve me. Needless to say I was pretty pissed.

I now had 2 options 1) stay here and 2) follow the highway to Rijeka. As it was only noon at that time and I would not be defeated by some asshole officer I chose option 2. And how I regret that decision now while writing this….. but who knows what would have happened if I stayed there?

Soon I started to climb and the first snow appeared but the road was clean and the temperature was above 0. All went fine until I got from the A1 onto the A6 and got into a snowstorm. I soon realized that I should not continue and call for help. But as I slowed down near an exit I lost control and dropped the bike. When I got up I saw that the right pannier had broken off. No damage to me or the bike other then that. It is the original BMW suitcase plastic mounting frame that broke. Luckily some guys stopped to help me pick up the bike and to see what could be done. They told me that about 20 km further the snow would stop and they where willing to stay behind me if I dared to continue. They took the pannier and guided me to a petrol station in Rijeka. I must say that those 20 km where the most scaring km’s in my short little life. But I made it and will never do that again!

From here to the B&B in Italy was still only 80 km but by now it was 16:00 hours and it would be dark soon. Also the road would go up again and I would risk running into snow again. I thanked the guys for helping me and I considered my options. To continue would be foolish as I was exhausted  and I could not mount the pannier. So I asked the guys from the petrol station to call me a taxi that could take my pannier and I could follow him to a hotel. The taxi came and soon they where all debating about where to take me and where there would be someone that could help me fix the mounting frame. He took me to a nice place with a great restaurant and free wifi in the bar and there should be a mechanic around here. I had a few beers to celebrate that we made it about a 100 km’s through that bad weather and only broke the pannier mounting. I tried to call the B&B to explain but no one spoke English and they hung up on me. I had a chat with Sarah which made me feel better. I just hope I did not spook her to much though. After a nice dinner I went to bed as I was still tiered as hell. But after about 4 hours of sleep I was awake and unable to sleep. It is now 3:00 hours I am still tiered and should try to get some more sleep. Tomorrow is another day and I need not to worry about the pannier now as I do not have the means to fix it anyway.

The route:

And a pic of the broken off pannier, the black bits pointing out, just below the lid, should be on the bike and not here:


This morning I had a look at the damage after breakfast. I reorganized the luggage in order to make the pannier as light as possible and surged through my luggage to see what I had to somehow fix the pannier so that I could go and find that mechanic. With some ti-raps, a ti-down strap and some elastics I had the pannier mounted in minutes.

The broken part:

And after some fiddling:

I have to thank Dammes (friend and colleague) for the fine job on those subframes he helped me make. I was so confidant about the way it was tied down I did not bother to find that mechanic and went straight for the Slovenian border… Not exactly though, I took the long way round as there was still the risk of snow in the mountains so I went around them.

I had 2 plans, 1) get something made for the pannier and make my way to Trieste if it would take a couple of hours. 2) had for Mestre if it would be done quickly. So I went for plan 2. While driving I came to the conclusion that I would want this plastic mounting frame to brake instead of something else. The pannier was still intact and my laptop was still working. If the mounting frame would have been made from metal it would probably have survived the crash. But the pannier is made from aluminum and that would probably have not as would my laptop. So I will buy the same frame again, as it is original BMW and will be somewhat easy to get. Despite the cold it was a huge contrast with yesterday. The road was amazing and there was no snow at all.

I am now in Mestre and found a nice hotel with private parking. While writing this I am waiting in a laundry service to get some of my stinky socks washed. Although all my systems are in a “get the fuck home” mode I will stay 2 nights here and visit Venezia tomorrow. I need the rest as I did not sleep very well last night and I just can not leeve this special place unseen. So more to come soon.

The route:

And a combined route pic:

8 Responses to And on to Italy

  1. dammes

    Mooi verhaal weer Steef! Ben blij dat mijn kofferbeugeltjes het houden. Goede reclame haha! Hee ik snap dat je het nest ruikt maar wel effe je 100 dagen volmaken hè…. Wanneer je terug bent drinken we en biertje (of 2)
    Succes voor de laatste paar kilometertjes en geniet daar ook nog van.

  2. isa

    bonjour steven
    je vois que les derniers jours de ton voyage t’ont offert encore de belles frayeurs mais heureusement tu arrives tjrs à te sortir de ces situations difficiles et surtout sans trop de bobo. Alors reviens nous en pleine forme et en entier surtout… on espère te voir bisous isa

  3. Marguerite

    Hai Steven,
    Wat een ellende daar eerst met de sneeuw en dan nog met die agent. Sukkels zijn het…..
    Gelukkig is jezelf niets overkomen, belangrijker dan die € 67,00.
    Ik merk dat je de stal ruikt maar je zou er spijt van hebben als je geen steden meer zou bekijken numje er bent, dus doen!

    Hoop niet dat je de Alpen moet doorkruisen?

    Groetjes en schouderkloppen voor de klus die je geklaard hebt!

  4. Neeltje

    Hoi Steven,
    Jammer van die regen in Dubrovnik. Het lijkt me een goed voornemen om nog eens terug te gaan.
    Wat een akelig avontuur in de sneeuw – de ontmoeting met die agent was een voorbode van ellende – ja die man heeft dat ongetwijfeld in eigen zak gestoken . Op deze manier moeten ze overleven. Als je het zo bekijkt kun je het ook nog zien als een bijdrage om zijn vrouw en kinderen te eten te geven of in de kleren te steken.Gelukkig dat je het er zelf goed vanaf hebt gebracht – evenals je laptop. Van Sarah begreep ik dat je in ieder geval nog bij Michel en Claudette langs gaat. Dat zullen ze wel erg fijn vinden. Het is wel een mooie afronding van je reis. Je bent daar ook begonnen.Ga je ook nog langs haar broers? We verheugen ons erop dat je weer thuis komt. Bisous Neeltje en groeten van Andre

    • wolsly

      Ik denk niet dat het in eigen zak verdwenen is, ik heb netjes een bonnetje van hem gehad.
      Dat zegt natuurlijk nog niet alles maar er moest een hoop over de radio overlegt worden.
      Neemt niet weg dat ik het een klootzak vind.


  5. Leod Dam

    Een barre tocht Steven! Gelukkig is het goed afgelopen en het is nu tijd voor een reset. Ga genieten van Venetie want dat is de moeite waard! Hopelijk heb je een beetje mooi weer en is alles daar niet al teveel onder water gelopen.
    Voor straks een hele goede reis terug en take care.



  6. Everhard

    Gelukkig heb jij niks, da’s het belangrijkste. Dat was ff goed schrikken.lijkt me. Wat die smerissen daar betreft: dit is een berucht fenomeen daar. Ik zal het niet goed praten, maar als jij het salaris van die lui daar had, zou je ook in de verlijding komen zo’n “rijke westerling” af te persen. Dat doen ze al jaaaren daar: is mij (jij lag toen te slapen achterin de auto) daar ook overkomen: ik reed 60 (op de internationale snelweg, jawel: 60!!)) waar je, zo zeiden ze, maar 50 mocht. Ik had geen bord gezien, maar betalen moest ik. En dan zit er wein ig anders op dan maar te betalen. Ik herinnen me jouw woede toen ik later in Yougoslavie 200 gulden kwijtraakte aan balletje-balletje. Woest was je….enfin: ze hebben je nu ook gepakt die lui: en leer er dus van nooit woest te zijn op je vader want vroeg of laat komt de straf!
    Wel weer mooi te ervaren hoe er meteen mensen klaarstaan je te helpen als je in de puree zit, toch? Toch hartstikke lief dat die mensen met je meerijden en met je meedenken: kunnen we hier in Nederland nog wat van leren!
    Niet te snel naar huis (sorry, Sarah, ik weet dat je hem mist!) rustig je reis afmaken zoals je gepland had. Ik vreesde al voor die plastic beugels dat ze bij een val zouden afbrenken, maar wellicht heb je gelijk dat als ze van metaal waren geweest, je kissie naar de kissieshemelzou zijn en je laptop etc ook. Kweenie: laat maar repareren met een nieuwe plastic beugel. Je bent nu 6x onderuitgegaan, toch? VAlt me nog erg mee! Geniet ze, ontstress: als je er middenin zit voel je je beroerd, maar als je eenmaal terug bent is het een prachtig verhaal dat je je leven nioet meer vergeet en waar je heel stoer over kunt vertellen..
    Goede reis verder en kalm an!

    • jisse

      gelukkig is alles goed afgelopen ( lichamelijk) met je val.
      Over politie……overal dezelfde……maar ja je weet wat ik over denk ;).
      Doe maar de laatste kilometers van je reis rustig aan en geniet er van.

      PS : kaartje van hellfest zijn binnen :).

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