After arriving in Dubrovnic there is a small party in the evening and already the next morning the bikes are assembled. The goal is to start around noon and to roll up the 90 kilometers to Kotor in Montenegro. For the departure, a few riders from the Croatian Triathon Association will be there for the first kilometers, the Croatian Television and Markus Weinberg, who will accompany me this week. Around 3:00 p.m. we finally get going and immediately we start climbing steeply uphill on a very narrow road with lots of traffic but a great view of Dubrovnic and the sea.
Since we started late, we reach Kotor in Montenegro only around 21:00 and head for a hotel. What we did not know: In Montenegro there is a curfew from 18:00 h because of Covid and the restaurants are closed. Nevertheless, the receptionist of the hotel manages to have pizza delivered. We were lucky.
The next morning starts with a highlight, the ascent over 24 serpentines with a magnificent view, up to the mountain Lovćen at 1600 meters above sea level. The last 100 meters to the summit we have to walk and experience an incredible view up there. From here you can see 80% of Montenegro, look over to Albania, Croatia and Macedonia. We start the long descent on a small gravel road to Cetinje, the old capital of Montenegro and continue straight on until we reach darkness and find a hotel for the night in a small town. I am happy to be on the bike again. On the first day I still had some pain from the changeover, but slowly I’m getting in shape again.
On the 3rd day on the bike we reach Lake Scutari in the national park of the same name and wind our way along a narrow road, which is always up and down, just above the lake. We reach the Albanian border in the evening and continue on to the city of Shkodra.
The next day starts with a small pass at 800 meters. Few cars, mostly old Mercedes and BMW, which often honk to greet. In the evening we come back into the darkness and have some trouble finding a hotel for the night.
The next day starts again with a climb on a road where we have to zigzag around the potholes. In the evening we cross the border to Northern Macedonia and drive directly into the city of Debar.
I really enjoy cycling again. The stages are with 120-130 kilometers rather short, but that is due to the bad roads and short days.