I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy. But damn, my ass hurts!
My last days at home were super busy. Another vaccine, another purchase here and there, another last minute fix.
And very last minute packing. I immediately regretted not having test packed everything I had only piled up in my living room before, when I struggled to fit everything in the night and minutes before starting an open end round the world trip.
Oh, how glad I was that I had my packing list! But how stupid it was to not have figured out a good packing system. So I set off with all my bags overstuffed, not even having more space for chocolate from my grandma.
Luckily I wasn’t alone. For the first 5 weeks of this journey I’m having company: Ralf, one of my best friends, with whom I’ve already cycled all the way to Istanbul in 2016 and had many more random adventures with.
It was nice to have someone with me, when I had to say goodbye. It made the whole leaving thing way easier. Leaving my family behind, not knowing, when I’ll see them again would have been much tougher, if I had been cycling away all alone.
There was no big party or anything. Just a lot of hugs and well wishes. First in my home village, then again after lunch at my grandparents’. And still more family was waiting on the way: on the first stop we were staying with my sister and her boyfriend, a mere 45 minute drive with a car away. It felt weird to be so close to home, yet it seemed so far.
But it was a damn exhausting day! Endless hills, on and off rain and arriving in the dark soaking wet, because leaving early (enough) obviously didn’t work out well.
Thus after a bit of a bad conscience the next morning, Ralf and I decided to take our first rest day only after one day of cycling. But it was much needed. Not only my aching muscles, but also my busy mind needed the break. And not least it was great to spend a day with my sister and her boyfriend. It gave me time to relax a bit and start processing what was happening.
And reorganize my bags so everything fits in better and I have a little bit of space left – which is all reserved for what a cyclists needs most at the end of the day: a lot of food!
The landscape didn’t change too much. It was hills all over again for the last days. Up and down, through forests and golf courses. Along fields and gardens full of blooming spring flowers.
Our third night we spent Couchsurfing in the middle of nowhere on a hill with Alex and his girlfriend Bree. They had just moved into their cozy little house last summer, using their land to plant their own food, trying to live the most sustainable lifestyle. It was great to hear about and see their project on this beautiful piece of land. You can follow their progress on their website or Facebook page.
The third day cycling we finally left Austria – after four previous border crossings (Austria – Hungary – Austria – Slovenia – Austria). It was a weird feeling to cycle across the border, not knowing, when I’ll come back to my home country again. I didn’t expect it to make me that sad.
Cycling through Slovenia was tough, but beautiful. We had sunshine, but also strong headwinds. The cycling infrastructure is great, with many smaller and bigger cycle paths every here and there. Also the drivers are very considerate. It’s a pity that it’s such a small country and we’re leaving today already!
A big thank you to my former working colleague and friend Vesna here in Krško, Slovenia. She has taken us in as a part of the family. Our 1,5 days here have given us a huge boost for the upcoming days!
Now it’s off to Croatia!
Have a great weekend, everyone! 😉