As already said, on the 26 of may I jumped in at the deep end and left home, heading southeast. After 2 and a half days I arrived in on a campsite near Bovec in Slovenia to visit my mother who has spent her 2 weeks holidays here.
The reader well versed in geography (and if you are not part of that species you can have a look at the map near the end of this episode) may wonder: “But aren’t there the Alps in between?”
Yes, they are and it’s always spectacular avoiding the tunnels and crossing the mountains via the passes, especially on a motorcycle. This time the alps have been extra nasty and threw everything at me they could offer, snow, fog and temperature below freezing. Weather you prefer to endure at home under a warm blanket, especially when you are riding a motorcycle at 100 km/h with an open visor, because the fog froze on the visor and you can’t see anything when it’s closed. So no pictures of the alps, although a picture I took 2 years ago at the same time of the year can give an impression of how it was.
Anyways, I arrived on the sunny side of the alps in the lush green valleys of the Julian Alps. Add the turquoise water of the river Soca and you have a paradise for whitewater kayaking. Luckily I got the chance to have a go at it myself by borrowing some equipment and a boat. Sorry, no pictures of me kayaking, didn’t want to drown my camera. But it was great and a welcome diversion from riding.
Next stop was Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, I was in need of a tailor or shoemaker and a hardware store to replace some plastic buckles. The alps did not only try to deep-freeze me but also showed, that the self-made modification I did to the attachment straps of the panniers (the plastic buckles) was not strong enough. On every bump of the road the straps were sliding a little bit through the buckles and the panniers came lower and lower. I had to fasten them with zip ties to prevent the panniers from dragging over the tarmac while leaning the motorcycle in a curve. I successfully bought some metal buckles in a yachting store and found a shoemaker to sew them to the straps, the new buckles proofed to be strong enough for the rest of the journey (no more trouble with that particular piece of equipment).
Apart from fixing problems due to my own incompetence, I spent half a day in the old town (which was nice) and the castle (which was ugly, glass and steel buildings and concrete reinforcements inside the medieval courtyard) of Ljubljana. But I felt the urge to move on and headed towards Croatia, where I pitched my tent next to the border river.