- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 67 Udine ( Italy) to Škofja Loka- Slovenia
Perfectly warm weather in open unspoiled nature in Slovenia.
Grant left Udine at 8.15 to cycle 134 km and climb 1120 m to get into the town of Škofja across the border in Slovenia.
The ride itself would take him into the mountains east of Udine through Cividade del Friuli the first Italian town that Grant stopped at for the first break of the day, to have a snack and take some photos of the river. A hauntingly picturesque town founded by Julius Caesar in 50 BC with its unique well preserved Lombard Church.
Whilst there some ladies approached him to ask if he would be prepared to appear in a photo shoot for a wine advert. They gave him two bottles of wine and asked him to stand on the bridge while they took photos of him holding them with his bike. Grant pointed out to them that he doesn't drink wine- or alcohol for that matter, but they were undeterred by this fact and told him it was irrelevant!They also told him to look relaxed...and then took him out for a coffee afterwards. ( I actually think that was what that was about...but one never knows!)The non wine drinker in the wine ad!!
Cycling out into a beautiful area on a gravel track just out of the town into unspoiled nature was just what Grant needed- in some places the track was quite loose gravel and very steep in areas but quite wide and he shared it with people on their morning walk.
He joined the national road some time after at Ponte San Quirino since the cycle path ended there.The terrain was mountainous but very scenic and since this area is very popular with adventurers and mountain climbers, it really is nature at its best in this pristine environment.
Crossing over the border was easy enough since it's all part of Shengen, there isn't much of a fuss.
Meandering along the flowing gurgling waters of the Natisone River that he had followed from Cividade del Friuli, the first town that Grant came to was Robic where he wandered off the road he was on. These surroundings were very beautiful.
Grant was blown away by the cleanliness - he saw only ONE piece of litter ( plastic) on the whole ride through this part of Slovenia.
Climbing a mountain range at the 60 kilometer mark that escalated over the next 40 kilometers gave a new meaning to endurance today, ending at about 800m above sea level.Incredibly steep climbs in the hot sun for most of the time was exhausting!
Grant had changed his route earlier to avoid the much higher mountain range but this turned out to be as challenging in the heat...thankfully the down hill ride was so pleasant- riding on a great road surface.
The small town of Škofja Loka was the place that Grant chose to stop at for the night. Another beautiful ancient town, on the Selca Sora river at it's confluence with the Polijane Sora. On the plateau above the town stands Loka Castle with Krancelj hill behind it. The architectural style has some Germanic and Italian touches as the Castle and the town were held by both nations at some point in history.
The people were friendly and Grant enjoyed the short time that he had there.
Our mission.Their future.
Crazybikeguy has almost completed his mission ( in real time) as this travel log is a month or so behind.
Tomorrow he rides into Istanbul - a different man in many ways.This has been an experience of a life time and he has lived the dream for the last four months.
He has held the South African flag high and made us all very proud, but most importantly he has spread the message about Autistic adults in South Africa and how much we need to create employment opportunities for them in our communities by empowering them with skills in an inclusive environment.
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