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  • Elizabeth Cameron-Smith

Day 73 Novalja to Zadar, Croatia

Three hours of sleep. A 7:30am departure. No breakfast. A recipe for disaster.

Grant had made the mistake of making a hasty booking when he was waiting for the ferry the day before. He changed his original plan of cycling a little further and staying in Povljana to then stay in Novalja, a tourist filled town, just because he was so exhausted and it was so late.

With tourism comes partying and the party goers were all in the awful accommodation in the same block as Grant last night. The place was grim and the company even worse, so Crazybikeguy left as early as possible after having had words with the arrogant apartment owner...when I spoke with him he was in a foul mood. Understandably so after the grueling day he had had the day before.

It was a good lesson - one that spoke of forward planning and a bit of research and the perils of not letting your wife book your accommodation while one is cycling over mountains in the hot sun...or in this the dark!

Mid morning, after cycling in the heat Grant decided to stop for coffee and some sweet breakfast and the opportunity to adjust his attitude in Kolan. I think it may have included an ice cream...and sitting on a rock watching the sea - to calm down.

Amazing rocky countryside with almost no vegetation- inhospitable in areas with just a few sheep grazing here and there.

A quick visit to the pebbly Zrce beach - the famous one before crossing the rather long bridge across the channel on to Razanac on the mainland of Croatia. An undulating cycle path in the hot sun with steep hills made it fairly tricky and Crazybikeguy eventually made it into Zadar in the early afternoon

As the ride went on and the day brought with it lovely scenery Grant's mood improved.Even though he was exhausted and having a bad day, by the time he reached Zadar he felt better.He found a place to stay in the early afternoon after cycling just over 70 km and crashed. He desperately needed sleep in a quiet place and woke up in the late afternoon, hungry and feeling somewhat restored.

" I woke up feeling much better.Went out for some lunch and a walk and then had some dinner after about two hours too as I was starving again.I needed today as a slow day as i am feeling so tired after all the climbing, the heat and lack of sleep."

- Grant via voice note

Zadar is a beautiful, the Roman and Venetian historical part of town with lovely churches and famous ruins, the many Roman gates in the city walls and the Roman-era forum; reaches dreamily into the sea on a peninsula.

It is also famous for the unusual Sea Pipe Organ ( an architectural sound art object) that plays music through air holes as the waves flow onto the shore, and one can sit on the marble steps and listen to the melodious tones as they float up into the air.

They also have a fabulous light show on the foreshore every evening, making it a special place to be on balmy summer nights.

A wonderful melodic end to what started off as an unpleasant day. With the mood realigned and the body having recovered a bit, Grant had an early end to the evening in preparation for tomorrow's ride to Split.

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