Bosnia and Hercegovina continues to delight. I had another wonderful day, made so by the fact that I had some stimulating food for thought, given that I have decided that I want to live here. I planned a hostel and dreamed up the perfect lifestyle that would allow me to explore the amazing landscape through which I passed.

I wondered whether to take the main road or a smaller road to the east. In the end I chose the major one. Luckily I didn’t have to regret the choice as the road was still fairly small and not too busy with traffic, and its route by the Trebisnjica River provided stunning views across the valley. Ruins of old churches and other ancient buildings dotted the landscape. It was overcast all day, but this made everything look better as the sun filtered through and illuminated bits and pieces of the forest, which was mottled orange with decaying foliage. When I stopped for my first lunch, the darkening sky encouraged me to put on my waterproof pants; however, it never truly rained all day, only sprinkled lightly a couple of times. I sweated like hell as a result.

I had lunch in the beautiful little town of Stolac while gazing up at the hilltop castle that overlooks the quaint place. The sun came through while I was eating and half the sky was a perfect blue, while the other half remained cloudy grey. The world darkened early afternoon when the sun sank behind thick clouds. I began to wonder if I would make it to Mostar before dark. The ride became a battle as I began to tire yet continued to face climb after climb. I couldn’t help assessing abandoned buildings I passed for their camping potential, just in case I decided to bail for the day. Urged on by my own out-loud exclamations of encouragement, I pushed on. I was thrilled to have a massive descent into Hodbina on the outskirts of the city. It got dark during my last 10km. I was thinking of riding straight to Stari Most, but when I saw the set of stairs leading into the old city, I decided to abandon the idea and instead find a home for the night.

In choosing David Hostel, I disappointed the owner, who thought he was finally having a guest-free night. I was welcomed heartily nonetheless. In fact it was the best welcome I have received at a hostel. Within ten minutes of arriving I was served a complimentary chicken creamy pasta meal (as delicious as I could expect a restaurant one to be) accompanied by a hot tea and small glass of Jameson whiskey. I devoured these before having a super-hot shower. The shower was a strange one as the shower head is set at hip height.

While removing my stuff from my bike on my arrival at the hostel, my phone had fallen out of my pocket. The fall to the ground broke it. The screen is black. Unfortunately, I rely on my phone for navigation. I spent a few minutes on my laptop researching options, deciding that I am going to have to buy a new phone. I looked up the location of some phone shops and marked these on the city map the owner had given me. I also emailed my parents and checked some social media. All the while I ate the rest of my fruit and snacks. I then looked up the location of supermarkets. I went out for a walk and on the way back home stopped into a shop to buy some junk food: chips, chocolate and AU$4 bottle of wine. At home I set up a movie and proceeded to enjoy these treats. Tiredness overcame me and I couldn’t help but sink down to lying position, upon which it took about three seconds for me to fall asleep and miss half the movie.

One day…

Accommodation $ Hostel
Distance ridden today 123.19km
Average cycling speed 17.7kph
Total distance ridden 27,958km