Day 71- Pula to Rijeka, Croatia
"I had a really awful night. Hardly any sleep. In a lot of pain today...my shoulder is very sore and stiff.I woke up, did some stretching exercises and decided I had better just get on my bike and ride."
- Voice note from Grant
The weather was glorious and warm and although Grant wasn't having the best day, the scenery and the weather helped him along.
He had considered taking a ferry to visit and cycle along the outlying island but decided to head inland instead as the wind was picking up and he couldn't deal with that today.
Just as well! As he got to the port the ferry was just leaving- a sign that he had made the right decision.
When he got to Labin he then headed back onto the coastal road to get to Rijeka, doing 102 kilometers to get there by late afternoon, climbing for a 1000m in total, for the day.
Amazing cycle paths out of Pula were just what was needed and reaching the 40 and 60 km on today's ride meant big steep climbs adding to the toughness of riding in pain.Thankfully it was downhill towards the coast with some variable climbing but nothing to steep.
The scenery from Labin along the path was dotted with fig trees, vines and olive trees along routes cutting into farm lands.Almost all the houses or cottages had veggie patches growing potatoes and other leafy greens.Lots of fruit trees and it was lovely to ride along in these surrounds.
Lots of small towns dotted along this route making the vistas from the hilltops quite beautiful.Making his way to along the coast to Opatija ( this was the route that Grant would have missed had he taken the ferry and ridden along the length of the bordering island and crossed over onto the mainland again) after adding the climbing to his day, Grant was now thinking that missing out on the flat riding of the island wasn't a great idea....and the last 10 kilometers in a north easterly direction were at least scenic...dotted with seaside jetties and little towns on the border of the National Park.
Rijeka is a small harbour town in Kvarner Bay on the Adriatic, at the base of the mountain- a buzzing centre that is a gateway for travellers going to other parts of Croatia. It is famous for it's National Theater along the main road that houses a ceiling painted by the famous artist Gustav Klimt, its many Habsburg inspired buildings and a hilltop castle that houses a religious shrine with sweeping views over the bay.
Crazybikeguy didn't take in many of the sights as his shoulder was so sore and he was exhausted after a long day on the bike.
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