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Montenegro 2019 Day 6 – Kranjska Gora to Karlobag

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Today’s journey took us from the beautiful setting of Kanjska Gora and away from the higher mountain passes. The guys unanimously decided that we were not going to ride the Trenta Pass but head down to Lake Bled instead which was a planned alternative route. This is because they’d had enough of the passes and diversions and a relaxed day was needed to restore their faith in riding.

The day started well, breakfast was nice and early, bikes were packed and we were ready to go at 08.00am as planned. Breakfast was an unusual sight, it was a buffet style breakfast that ordinarily would have been excellent. Only this morning there was a huge group of Chinese tourists, who we nicknamed the locusts. That’s because they swarmed the buffet and there was f@$k all left seconds later! It wasn’t the same group as last night so we had no idea where these lot had come from.

So, today’s journey started very well, with lovely twisty roads and it wasn’t long before we reached Lake Bled. A few pictures later and we are ready to head off. As we rode off one of the guys over topples, the bike and he fell over from a stationary position. He landed on his right hand side with the bike on top of him.

I turned my bike around to find Russ in a state of shock and with what we can only describe as a broken collar bone but he had almost full movement and very little pain. After a short break to recover we headed off south and soon got going on the twisties, the roads were fantastic and the views even better. Slovenia is a beautiful country.

After filling up we decided to head for main roads as Russ was now struggling. The pain became more severe on the roads over the passes. We looked at the map and rerouted towards the Italian border where the roads would be much better. After a satnav blunder and a missed turn we stopped in a petrol station for a break and regrouped where we came across an ambulance and a couple of paramedics.

We asked them to look at Russ’s shoulder, which they did and advised us to go to the hospital, less than 1 minute away. I stayed with Russ while Laura and Ginge took the rest of the group to Karlobag in Croatia. 

We arrived at the hospital late morning and had the usual A&E wait, were seen and X-rayed before seeing the orthopedic consultant. We waited, then waited and waited some more. About 8pm we eventually saw the doc who promptly put a stop to Russ’s trip. Torn ligaments from the shoulder and a support immediately applied which would need to stay on for at least a month to self heal or return to the UK for an operation.

The AA were brilliant, the cover kicked in and they helped to sort out a return journey for Russ. His insurance now required to repatriate his bike. The AA European cover is worth every penny as they sorted everything out, from bike collection, hotel and taxi, along with a flight home. The down side was the Italian recovery, at 8pm the process started and at midnight we were still waiting.

They eventually called and gave an ETA, that would be in less than half an hour! Because I had two countries to travel through and a couple of borders to cross with a big ride of almost 200 miles ahead of me, we said our goodbyes and I took off on a night journey to meet up with the others who had safely arrived in Karlobag in Croatia.

The route I took was direct, on some back roads to the Slovenian border and then on an A road through the country to the Croatian border. Passports out, the border was quiet and the border guard very sturn. A look at the passport he waved at me though, then I was pretty quickly on the toll road to make up a bit of ground. I wasn’t looking forward to the twisty coast road section in the dark, so wanted to get as many miles in as possible on a motorway.

I came off the toll road just after Rijeka and onto a road likened to a helta-skelta. Usually a fantastic view with the adriatic coast on the right hand side in daylight. My company for the ride was the moon and the reflection off the sea just to remind me of the views I was missing out on. I took a quick break for a coffee and sandwich, as I only had a small bottle of water all day, a welcome stop and refuel for me and the bike. I was definitely running on autopilot and adrenaline.

The last section was very twisty and not for the faint hearted, I got a good speed on and took it easy on the tight hairpins. I didn’t fancy going over the edge of the barrier or into a cliff face at this time of night and on my own! I would have still been down there now as nobody had a clue of my route or where I was.

At 3 am I arrived at the hotel and Ginge heard me arrive. He had already got my room key and helped me to the room with my kit. We briefly discussed the day before and said good night with an agreement on breakfast time in a few hours. I got very little stuff out of my luggage and as my head hit the pillow I didn’t remember anything else until I woke to a fabulous view with the sun shining through the windows.

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