The next morning we talk quite long with this sweet family from Belgium and leave pretty late towards Zvornik (or Drovnik as Harry keeps saying the whole day). Zvornik is 75 km away, but the elevation profile shows us some tough challenges. What follows is another beautiful stage through this beautiful country with beautiful people waving at us from their car or from their veranda. Around midday we are confronted with our daily portion of thunderstorms. As soon as it comes out of the sky, we flee a yard with a house on which a substantial new part is being built. There are three men on a porch and we ask if we can shelter under a shed of a barn. But of course! A minute later we are invited to the veranda for coffee and sweets. For two hours we tried to communicate with gestures, photos and baffling. They do not speak a word of English or German and we do not speak a word, well what do they speak: Bosnian, Serbian or is that the same? It is unforgettable, but it could have been even better if you can understand and understand each other more …
After we have passed the last steep climb of several kilometers with a gradient of 10% and a few stranded trucks, our route leads us off the road for the descent. That descent will be remembered for a long time: in short, it was almost impossible and dangerous, full of rocks, boulders and channels. The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is nothing. Thanks Bikemap.net: we owe you a lot, but in this piece we have been detesting you. Fortunately our bikes (and we) have managed to survive this attack and we finally enter Zvornik.
We had hoped to set up our tent in this border town on the banks of the wide river Drina, but the city was, as it were, “crammed” in a narrow valley and the river banks do not offer any opportunities here. Eventually we decide not to cycle any further, but to look for a cheap hotel in the center. We are starving, so we first have a tasty pizza at one of the three pizzerias that the town is rich. At no pizzeria, however, we see someone eating, there are only people drinking. We enter the pizzeria with the least drinkers. There’s a policeman talking to a man. To the waiter (and owner we think) we ask: “pizza?”. The man nods yes and disappears backwards; we think to get the menu with dozens of pizza varieties for us. He does not return, however. The policeman sees our despair and tells us he in Bosnia has eaten a pizza capricciosa that is tastier than in the whole of Italy. He leaves soon. It remains unclear whether he has eaten that pizza in this pizzeria. After fifteen minutes the waiter / owner returns with two pizzas. There is ham under melted cheese, an olive and we get ketchup for the “tomato feeling”. Most important is: it offers us calories! It turns out to be a pizzeria without choice stress and no capriciosa, haha.
Our new “change-of-plan”, the visit to the Tara Mountains, led to an adjustment of our route to Serbia. We stay the next day (and last day in Bosnia-Herzegovina) the border river Drina on Bosnian side until we cross this river for 90 kilometers to Serbia and cycle a few kilometers further to the town of Bajina Basta. There is a tourist information center especially for the Tara National Park. During the beautiful quiet road along the river (5 kilometers south of Zvornik trucks and other heavy traffic are prohibited on this road) the questions we want to ask about this tourist info pile up: about camping possibilities (wild and regular), nice routes , the Tara Mountains, the rest of our route through Serbia, and not to forget about activating our own WiFi hotspot. A so-called MiFi where we can use the prepaid internet without having to speak to an expensive Vodafone data bundle. Outside the EU, Vodafone wants the bottom of your stock market for few MBs (not to mention GB’s). So which provider has the most coverage and the best offer. We all hope to get answers to this.
Our next blog is about Serbia and of course the National Park Tara (mountains). We like it if you keep following us.