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Sat May 21 2016: Bol Me Over

The BMW shop in Split didn't have the tools to repair the shaft drive on my bike, and it would take at least a week to get both the tools from Zagreb and the parts from Germany shipped in. Although we are taking our time riding down the Adriatic coast, we are still on a rough schedule and a week stationary in Split would really crimp our pace.

I explained our haste to the mechanic and asked if the fix was urgent. He worded his reply carefully: "This problem didn't just pop up over the last day or two, the final drive bearing has been slowly wearing down over thousands of kms. If you leave now, your wheel could fall off in the next few hundred kms, or it could last another few thousand kms..."

Maybe I was reading between the lines too much or only hearing what I wanted to hear, but it seemed like he was covering BMW's liability, while indirectly saying the fix could wait. Just not for too long. After discussing this with Neda, I made the decision that we should go ahead and complete our tour of the Adriatic and then get the fix done in Zagreb, the capital city.

As I signed the indemnity form releasing BMW from any responsibility should my rear wheel fall off while I was riding, sending me hurtling over the guardrail into the Adriatic Sea, I wondered if I was making the right decision...


Seagulls follow our ferry as we leave from Split harbour towards the island of Brač (pronounced BRA-tch)

We bask in the warm sunlight on the deck, watching the birds dive-bomb the waters behind us, eager to pick up any fish stirred up by the wake of the ferry. A few bold gulls swooped down into the passenger area hoping to steal scraps off the customers coming out of the on-board snack bar.

Another glorious day.


Brač is the largest of the Dalmatian islands

It takes less than an hour for us to arrive at Brač. The passengers on the ferry crowd the railings to get a glimpse of Supetar, the port town we are docking in. After riding off the ferry, we stop at the side of the road and let all the cars go ahead of us. We're in no rush.


Neda reaches up and picks something off of the branches (Bračs?) overhead

"What is it?", I asked. Neda replied, "I don't know the name in English, but we call it murva"

Then she popped it in her mouth. Neda continues her habit of picking stuff off the ground, in trees, out of the sea and eating it. Nature's Buffet! She knows everything there is to know about living off the land. She should totally be on Survivor or something.

I looked up "murva". It's a mulberry!


Okay, enough free food, let's ride!

The road leads up and out of Supetar, we can see the town below us as we ride away

The coastal road is so twisty as it clings to the jagged edges of the island (see map above)!

We pass by small villages and farms and vineyards. Absolutely beautiful!

Looking over the town of Postira as we ride the northern coastal route

The road dives south inland for a bit and we ride gentle switchbacks to climb higher up the shelf of land

Then back down to end up in the town of Pučišća, where Neda plans out our next stop

Wanna go dancing?

We climb up, up, up inland through more twisty roads and forests to the highest spot in Brač, Vidova Gora

Vidova Gora is also the highest peak in all of the Dalmatian Islands. From here you can get a great view of the south coast of the island

That little cape of sand down there is called Zlatni Rat, or "Golden Horn". We'll be riding all the way down there later on this afternoon.


Close-up of Zlatni Rat. Looks like a lot of suntanning going on down there

We pass lots of vineyards as we head down and around to the southern coast looking for a campsite

Brač is expensive. There is no finding any cheap AirBnB in a far away town here because every place on the island is a holiday destination. The only economical option is to pitch our tent while we're here.


While searching for a campsite, I make a friend.

Our site for the evening

This is the first time we've broken out our tent this year. I think it's been over 7 months since we camped! I stare at the mess of poles, groundsheet, and tabs and clips on the tent and struggle to remember how to assemble it all together. Neda is loving being outdoors in nature again and I'm so thankful the weather is holding out and that we don't have to pitch the tent in the rain.

Our campsite is just up the hill from Zlatni Rat, so after we eat a quick meal of sandwiches and soup outside our tent, we take a stroll down to the beach.


And then we come across a cheeky Croatian man skinny-dipping in the waters

Outside a restaurant near Zlatni Rat.

Ahhh, the beach! Turns out the golden colour isn't sand at all. It's a pebble beach! How unusual that it should look like sand from a distance!

We reach Zlatni Rat just before the sun disappears behind the mountains so all the sunbathers have left for the day. We have the entire beach to ourselves, so we stroll lazily around the small cape while Neda finds flat rocks and teaches me how to skip them on the waters of the sea. Yes, I am such a city boy... Skip rocks? Pick berries? I can code my own blogging software from scratch, is that cool enough for you?


What a totally relaxing tour of the Dalmatian Islands! So chill.

We walk further past the cape and look out to the sea to all the ships anchored off the coast

Less than 2kms from Zlatni Rat is the town of Bol. It's the most ritzy place on Brač.


The marina at Bol

As we stroll the boardwalk in Bol, we peer at the menus posted outside the very frou-frou restaurants lining the harbour front. Everything is priced well out of our budget. It's a good thing we made our own dinner tonight. And walking around is free, so that's what we do.


"Where is your motorcycle, Neda? I would like to claim dominion over its seat. With my pee..."

More of Bol

The buildings here are made from a white stone that has been excavated from local quarries here on the island. The white stone from Brač is world-famous and was used to build Diocletian's Palace in Split, and also the White House in Washington, DC!


Peering into a church

We just continue to be Bol-ed over at the beauty of our surroundings

Having an awesome time in the Dalmatian Islands!

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