Signorina Nina and ragazzo Davide, our first guest cyclists, met us in Split, fresh off the ferry from Ancona. They were the first to take us up on the invitation to join us for a leg of pedalling and like so many of the people we have met on this trip, were a complete inspiration. When we are older and losing our hair (except neither of them were!) we want to be like them.
From Split to Dubrovnik Auntie Nina and Uncle David pedalled over 60 km a day with us, sharing (very) regular coffee breaks, many a birthday meal – including roadside oysters at 40p a pop, a further night with drunken Croats in an officially closed ‘Autocamp’ (along with complimentary frogs’ legs) and their delectable Aussie humour.
The oysters by the roadside powered us through to the next gourmand Autocamp (the day after the fabled Peka). Predrag, when he saw us, still a little hungover and worse for wear, despite the zinc buzz, invited us into his not quite yet open for bizniz autocamp to share his delicious frogs’ legs. He told us tales of working for 20 years in New Orleans (and Galveston, Texas) dredging for oysters and his love of Popeye’s chicken (greasy stuff).
Nina and David tucked in once again. Soon the frogs were polished off. We had a sneaking suspicion that we had cracked their secret. If we ate nothing but oysters and frogs’ legs, and drank nothing but coffee and red wine, we too would be able to continue pedalling with such verve and vigour in 3 or 4 decades time!