When I was finished walking around the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, it was time to get back on the bike and head in the general direction of Dubrovnik which is where I needed to take a ferry to Italy to make it to the wedding.
Luckily, the road I biked earlier was headed in that exact direction. The actual day was quite rainy when I left the national park of Plitvice, but after getting my wet soggy bike back from the room they let me stash it in, I somehow was ready to hit the road again. It’s been a few years now since the ride, but it was a great one. I only made it to Udbina that day which is about 40 km. I passed through the town of Bjelopolje which was even tinier than Udbina which I was told is 200 people.
But back to the bike riding, when I left Plitvice it ws rainy, and about 20 km into the ride the sun came out. I can remember clear as day the look of coming out of the mountains with trees everywhere and making into some really nice rolling hills/flatlands and seeing the steam beginning to rise from the ground where the rain had been. It was amazing, and that along with the fact that I was biking along quite nicely at probably about 30km/hr at a constant clip at times made it really enjoyable.
As this is not the most populated part of Croatia, it was even nicer once I finally arrived at Udbina. The turn off for the town takes you up a small hill, and right before it on the left hand side there was a restaurant. As this was the first sign of civilization for a while, I went inside and had a nice coffee. I remember asking the person there named Marko if he knew of any hotel rooms in Udbina, and his answer in Croatia was something to the effect of probably not. But I made an attempt anyways.
After leaving the restaurant and getting back on the bike, I made it up the short hill into the center of the village, and saw a bar with some people in it. So, guess what, I left my bike with all saddle bags and all my gear, and headed in to see what I could see. It was one of those situations where the locals gave me some stares as if to say “What the heck are you doing here??” And up at the bar there were several guys drinking beer, and I joined in on the fun. THere happened to be some type of election happening soon in the area, as I remember all kinds of posters big and small all over teh walls. I asked the guy next to me who spoke English if he knew of any hotels in the town. He pretty much laughed and told me there for sure werne’t any there. I was a bit to scared to ask the hot Croatian girl who was tending the bar if she had any extra room. But the guy told me that maybe the restaurant I was at earlier might have a room in the back for the night. He said that sometimes he sees large trucks parked there and potentially the drivers were spending the night.
So after a short beer, I headed back down to Marko, and somehow communicated that I wanted to spend the night, and somehow he understood. He then took me to a detached building that sure enough had a room with 4 beds in it and a window, and that is where I spent the night. There was even a shower down the hall, and it had SUPER hot water. Up to this point, this was the most interesting place I had ever spent the night in my life. I can remember when I went back to see Marko after leaving the bar, there were several men in army unifor in the restaurant now, and they kinda creeped me out. And that was my night in Udbina, pretty uneventful, and actually worked out quite nice.
Marko made me up some awesome bacon and eggs in the morning and then I was off on the bike to Gracac.