Olive Trees and Sunshine
DAY 8: ZADAR – PIROVAC
WHAT DO YOU do on a beautiful day? You take it slow. And cook pasta in the wild. (11/2/15)
When you get on the bike and the first thing you smell is the salt of the sea, the first thing you feel are the sun rays warming your skin, the first thing you see is literally nothing because the sun is blinding you–then you know: it’s a beautiful day. And what do you do on a beautiful day? You take it slow.
The alarm clock went off at seven. I managed to kill it while sleeping. The next time I wake up, I literally jump out of bed: It’s 8:45, breakfast at the hostel is almost closing, none of my bags is packed yet and I should long be on the road anyways. At least according to my ambitions plans of getting to Split today. Which is about 150 kilometers. I soon liberate myself from this pressure. Whatever this day brings, I’m up for it.
An old farmer looks at me and smiles. “Dober dan!” I am cycling through the olive acres South of Zadar. The olive is the agricultural motor of this region. The trees don’t carry any fruit until later in the year, the farmers spend their time repairing their little tractors. The roads through the olive hills are narrow and lots of signs suggest to take a break, enjoy local food and drink.
“You have reached your destination”, it says in German. Target group orientated advertising.
Stopping for lunch break, the sea appears extraordinarily light blue to me. Until I realize it’s not the sea I’m looking at. It’s Vransko jezero, Croatia’s largest fresh water lake. It’s also the home to some “birds of international significance”, as an information sheet tells me.
The Winnetou score is my soundtrack for today. Cycling through these landscapes, you can truly get a prairie feeling. It’s a very enjoyable ride. I take it slow. Very slow.
Making mistakes is an integral part of bike touring. Learning from them is too. That’s why I start looking for a free camping spot in the early afternoon already, in order to set up my tent before sunset for once. Which works. I get off the coast road at Pirovac and walk a couple hundred meters on a foot path along the sea, where I find some nice bushes to hide behind.
Time for some delicious pasta with pesto. Al dente of course.
After sunset, I snuggle up in my two sleeping bags in my tent–and am left with one simple question: How did cave men spend their evenings? When it’s dark and you don’t have light (respectively don’t want to use it), you have not really much of a choice but sleep. I end up listening to a Karl May audio book though. Praise the internet.