I left Serbia and crossed Bosnia Hervegovina once again to reach the Adriatic Sea and Dubrovnik. On the way I visited another one of Emir Kusturica’s movie sets, Andrićgrad in the town of Višegrad, like Drvengrad and the Šargan Eight it was recommended to me as am absolute must see. This one is newer than Drvengrad, unfinished and due to its nature as a movie set it was rather bland. The other attraction in Višegrad is an old bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th. century. Unfortunately it was closed due to restoration works.
So I continued westwards, riding towards the sea. The road was winding through the mountains, nothing spectacular but nice to ride and little traffic meant I could ride at a brisk pace. Quickly I left the more continental european vegetation behind me and rode through the sparse mediterranean vegetation and rugged limestone rocks dominating a karst landscape so typical of the Balkans. As I arrived at the coast Dubrovnik, or the pearl of the Adria, lay below me with the evening sun glittering in the waves.
Arriving in the town wasn’t as pleasant as the view from above might have suggested. The only campsite was charging 230 Kuna (approx. 30€) per night. So I had to get back on the motorcycle to find a cheaper campsite in a village a few kilometers to the southeast. A boat connection allowed me to arrive in Dubrovnik in style directly at the old harbour in the heart of the old town. The old town itself is amazing, surrounded by huge fortifications it is like an open air museum. Despite being the most touristy place in all the Balkans and my aversion to hordes of tourists I enjoyed two days here.
But after those two days I was again drawn to the mountains, following the coastal road, I was heading to Montenegro. There I left this overcrowded and overrated stretch of road as fast as possible to find an old neglected mountain road from Austro-Hungarian times further inland. This steep and mostly unpaved road crosses a pass in the Orjen Mountains. As I reached the pass I found an abandoned BMW motorcycle with a german license plate and a tow-truck driver and a women I assumed to be his wife trying to jump-start the bike. They told me the motorcyclist stranded here due to a breakdown and had to hike to the next village, where he arrived in the next morning after a full night of hiking, to get help. They asked me to help start the bike, although I couldn’t do much besides turning the keys and pressing the button for the electric starter. Several attempts to start with an external battery and by pushing failed so we decided to push the bike several hundred meters to the place where the tow-truck parked. While loading up and securing the bike the tow-truck driver was cursing wildly in montenegrin and left me wondering why. After his wife told me, that he considered it to be dangerous and irresponsible to travel alone in the montenegrin mountains, especially on a motorcycle, I realized those curses weren’t directed at the german BMW rider in particular but probably all the german tourists on motorcycles in general, including myself. Most likely he expected that I’ll call in the next morning and he would have to return to pick up my motorcycle aswell. Anyways, they thanked me for my help and drove off, while I started to realize the absurdity of this whole situation.
I decided to stay on the mountain pass for the night and pitched my tent next to a pond with several million dragonflies and other creepy insects.
The next morning there was ample opportunity to admire the layout and construction of the old pass road, manmade embankments and ravines allowed me to follow the road down into the valley without the need for a tow truck. Back at sea-level I found a campsite not far off the wild and rocky shore.