We find ourselves right smack in the middle of Europe’s peak travel season. For years I have worked hard to avoid the phenomenon of traveling when everyone else in the world seems to be doing the same. And yet here we are, in Baška on the Island of Krk at the end of July. Beautiful as it is, it is also hot and crowded!
This is the 3rd heat wave we have had the pleasure of experiencing on this journey by motorcycle. They have all been exhausting, but this one more so in particular because we are stationed at the beach, on an island, with what feels like every tourist from neighboring Slovenia, Italy, and Germany. The beach is elbow to elbow and I hide the days away in the beautiful and brand new Heritage Hotel Forza while Daryl dives.
It is the type of hot out that makes even going to dinner feel like a chore – it is as if you just move in an algorithm, one big wave of hot smelly people, all speaking a mix of German, Italian, and Croatian, men without shirts and their beer bellies flowing liberally over the tops of their ill-fitting banana hammocks. Everyone smoking as they move along, and small sun-soaked sopping wet kids wiggle there way through the masses leaving ice cream trails as they go. I imagine it to be serene and peaceful when in the offseason.
It has been averaging between 36-40 degrees c (97-104 f) which is dangerous weather to ride in. You risk heatstroke as unlike in a car you are fully exposed to not only the sun above, but the heat radiating off the asphalt below you. Wearing safety gear only adds the degrees and heat exhaustion. You have to lane split when riding (which I hate because it feels so unsafe). You could have a heatstroke sitting still in all of the safety gear in the sun, and the bike starts to overheat as well. Frankly, it is no fun hiding from the heat, or hoards of people.
So, what now? Well, as we like to say, if you don’t like your situation, change it. We made the tough decision to slowly start making our way back to Motofeirme in Cork, Ireland where our moto is stored. This means we head out of Croatia this week and pull the plug on attending the D.Fleiss East West Artist Residency in Romania during the first week of August.
This was a hard decision. We have been looking forward to participating for over a year now. I have had many emotions about it – everything from feeling like a wimp to not be able to ride the 7 hours in the heat from Zagreb to Satu-Mare, to feeling like I let myself and the residency down by backing out of my commitment. If you know me at all, when I am committed to something I always come through.
In the end though, we have to follow our hearts, and our hearts are saying we are satisfied with our experience thus far. We met beautiful people and experienced wonderful cultures over the past 4 months starting in Ireland, to France, to Italy, and Croatia. Now we will meander back enjoying and savoring every minute of the journey. We will wake up at the crack of dawn and ride until noon the latest, and hide from the sun in a different place daily. Eventually we will make it the 1,600 miles we need to go. After all, in just 4 short months we have rode well over 6,000 miles, learned conversational Italian, and made friends that will last a lifetime. I feel pretty good about all that.