(Montenegro) Let me try a difficult route.

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There are beautiful bay and mount in Montenegro. I’ve always tried to choose easy route. But this time I want to try a difficult one.

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Although I crossed the Croatian border, I have to cycle more to reach to the Immigration of Montenegro. There are many special trees.

 

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It is very unique scenery because of tall trees.

 

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There are so many cars waiting on Montenegro border. (When I crossed Croatian border, there were only few cars.)

 

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Today the weather is too hot that my helmet is getting hotter and hotter. I am wondering how I can cycle with this weather.
I am bored while waiting, so I start finding fun to kill my time. To smell flowers and to see the trees closely are really good for it. This flower has some unique smell.

 

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There is a bay at the west in Montenegro. It is very flat around the bay and there are many beaches.

 

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The bay is surrounded by mountains.

 

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There are two old buildings on the middle of bay.

 

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Tomorrow I have to climb that mount. Hahaha.

 

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Thanks to the sun, I can see beautiful color sea.

 

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When I see the bay on the map, it looks like a ribbon. When I make a circle, I can see islands with a different way

 

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Around this twon, there are many travelers.

 

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Before the sunset, I stop at a half of bay. I was thinking about to make a round trip. But I decide to cycle only on a half way and head to the mount tomorrow.

 

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After being denied three times, I got a permission to set up my tent at a local people’s house. They offer me a cold watermelon.
The sunset is so beautiful that I can feel my deep sadness.

 

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There are three ways to go to Podgorica.
Plan A : Start from 0 m to 1,100 m (3,608 ft) above the sea level. After one mount, come down to the capital.

 

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Plan B : Start from 0 to 1,100 m (3,608 ft) above the sea level. After that, turn right and head to 1,400 m (4,593 ft). Then come down to the capital.

 

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Plan C : Go to the near the sea, pass one mount, and head to the capital.
I asked the worker in a gas station. He said I must not cycle on the mount near the bay, because it is too hard. He said I should go to Budva.

 

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But I want to try the hardest one. In the morning, I start cycling on steep uphill. After 40 minutes, I sweat lot, because the sun goes up. While wiping my sweat, I realize I left my helmet at a local people’s house. Actually I need a new helmet. But anyway I do not want to lose my stuff like this.
So I decide to go back. It takes only 5 minutes downhill. I start cycling again on the same uphill. But this time it takes only 20 minutes, because I don’t stop, but work hard. Hahaha.
The sun rises and it gets hotter and hotter.

 

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It is bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It reminds me of Croatian’s bay which I had seen almost every day before and which I miss so much now.

 

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It is surrounded by the high mountain.

 

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To cycle here is not much hard because there are so many interesting plants I can see while moving slowly.

 

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I cycle slowly and stop many times.

 

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The scenery is so beautiful. It is zigzag road. There is the number written at every end of zigzag. The number I saw at the last was 25. It means there are 25 zigzags.

 

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I can see a wide view as closing to the first top.

 

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The view is from 1,100 m (3,608 ft) above the sea level.

 

28,000 km

It is the photo for congratulating of 28,000 km. I asked other traveler, but the photo was not good. So, I decided to use my tripod and took the picture by myself.

 

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I stop so many times not only because of hard uphill, but also because of beautiful view. It is so good espresso with beautiful view.

 

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There is one big cave in which birds make houses.

 

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Now I am on 1,100 m (3,608 ft) above the sea level. I can go down to my destination. But as my first plan, I will cycle until 1,400 m (4,593 ft) above the sea level. The weather is too hot that my helmet and water get hot. And the hill is much steeper. I stop under the tree and have lunch.

 

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Why do I cycle harder now? I don’t know. Just I want to try for challenging.

 

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There is no any special sign for the top of 1,400 m (4,593 ft), because it is not a touristic place. I only realize I passed the top when I start to cycle on a downhill.

 

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At the beginning, there is a long downhill, but after Cetinje, there are a few uphill. I feel so proud of myself this time. I had always tried to find the easiest road. But this time I chose the most difficult road and I succeeded it. I want to give myself some gift!

 

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My host in Milano introduced me his friend in the capital of Montenegro. I really thank to all of them!! My host and her family are so generous and kind to me in Montenegro.

Always I am busy with checking my gears and bicycle, writing on my blog, and checking information of the next route and attractions when I stop.
The first thing I do is to fix my broken ortlieb bag. It is really important part, but unfortunately it was broken. I use strong glue, but I am not sure how long it will last.

 

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The front is also a bit torn, but I use a patch which I’ve got from the Ortlieb company for free.

 

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One spoke was broken maybe four days ago, but I didn’t fix it. I just kept cycling with this it. I decide to fix by myself today. The day is too hot, so I sweat a lot. I have a special tool to take off a cassette, but I don’t have an extra chain to hold my cassette.
I decide to use my main chain, but I fail to take off. My host kindly finds a bicycle shop for me. I pay 8 Euros ($11) to change a spoke. A mechanic actually changes 6 spokes more. He says my all spokes are too old that it can be broken soon. He tells me that it is better to change all.

 

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I eat a meat on purpose this time to have experience of Balkan food although I am a vegan. Haha. It is called Sarma which is wrapped of a squash. There is meat and rice at the inside.
Actually I had it already when I was in Bosnia. I didn’t know what it was, because I was invited at dinner after getting permit for sleeping.
This time I want to try again to make sure what it is.

 

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Oops.. I forgot to take picture of cut sarma.

 

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Local vegetable foods

 

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It is Montenegro beer. I have been almost died, because it has been too hot ever. Even I could not sleep well, because I sweat during the night. It reminds me of Central America’s heat.
Just the day before I leave, it rains and it makes everything so cool. I feel thankful ever to a cold weather.

 

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Montenegro is really small that it takes only two days to pass on the coast side.
This time I think again about two routes. If I cycle to the next border, it takes only 20 km (12.5 mi) and it is very easy road.

 

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If I decide to take a long way 80 km (50 mi), there are three big hills. However, I can take the road at the next sea. But I want to cycle on a quiet road. So, this time again I choose the hardest road.

 

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At the beginning, it is totally flat. But after flat road, I can see mountains. It is time to go up!

 

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The weather is too hot and the road is too steep. I doubt just one second about why I chose the hardest road.

 

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Yeah, the reason is to see beautiful nature, cycle on a quiet road, and have challenging. I feel too hot, but I can see a snow mountain. What a funny.

 

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I have to climb three big hills. It is too hot that I just lie down on the road. Then.. I fall in sleep, which I’ve never done before.

 

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Where is there??? It looks amazing flat. I check my offline map and realize it is Albania. If I chose a short road today, I might cycle there. Hahaha.

 

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I feel always good when I reach to the top.

 

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One hour is left until the sunset. I decide to cross the border tomorrow, so I turn to a small village just before the border. Although I use only a body language, they let me set up my tent.

 

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It is a cool night. They take care of me so kindly and warmly. Her grandson who can speak English comes, so we could have conversation. Her family just lives in front of her house. Actually I almost tried to ask at that house, but I gave up. And I chose this house. But all houses are just one family. Haha. To live closely is Balkan’s culture, I think.
Although I don’t stay longer and don’t cycle a lot in Montenegro, I will remember Montenegro as a kind country.

 

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===================================================================
Route
Days in Montenegro = 6Days
Distance of cycling in Montenegro = 245.62 km (153.51 mi)
Cities I stayed in Montenegro = 3 Cities
Kotor, Podgorica, Brajse
Expenditure in Montenegro = $38.30
($1=1.4 Euro)

[14/06/08~13 (D+1017) Montenegro]


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