Having spent most of the summer reorganizing ourselves in a new place we decided it was time for at least a short vacation break. Escaping from degrading weather in Poland and en route to Slovenia for a family visit meant we were close enough to the hot Croatian sun and beaches of Krk island. Packing our bikes together to explore land in between beach resorts seemed like a no-brainer.
Without time to spare for much preparation we opted for free roaming the island with minimal gear and just a simple paper map, forsaking the GPS receiver for the first time in 5 years.
Krk is not much of a cycling ground but we were hoping to catch some nice trails in the hills on the island’s southern side.
Avoiding tarmac while navigating from Punat to Baska meant crossing the highland of Obzova nad Veli Vrh. With it’s 569 meters height it promised a rather easygoing ride. Yet after initial rocky ascent which in itself was good and a bit techy we found ourselves pushing the bikes, stomping our feet on stone scattered grounds. Almost alpine style terrain encircles us.
At these extended hike-a-bikes I silently say to myself “my bike has been carrying me for so long, it’s time to return the favour”.
Trail markings on small, snow-white stones disappear without warning and reappear out of nowhere some hundreds of meters into the mountains. Million piece puzzle with no this, and no that. We find ourselves reaching for high ground on a regular basis to scout the terrain for the tiniest signs of used trails. Not easy a task in the rock gardens of Obzova and Veli Vrh.
Hike-a-biking takes us most of the day and although not an easy task we enjoy the views of solitude broken only by the presence of a few goat herds.
Knee-twised, toe-blisterd, thornmented we finally are able to find a way down. We: Itchy & Scratchy Griswolds. Down to Baska and more beach vacation. The rest is a colourful memory of wild growing sage, fruits, salty baths, coffee in the morning, bright, falling starts at night with the ever-white faces of hills reflecting moonshine in foreground and waves crushing down on cobble stone beaches. It is as much a memory of a few days’ worth bike beach vacation as it is of the longest hike-a-bike ever.