02 septembre 2008

Duboka, Croatia or how providence stroke again in this tiny village

It is grand time to tell you the end of our journey. I have reached France by the end of July as planned but haven’t written anything consistent since our stop in Montenegro, so let’s go back in time a little…

After the 2-day stop in Budva (The ‘French Riviera of Montenegro’) we spent a night in what seemed to be the garden of an abandoned mansion by the unique Fjord of Montenegro. Waking up surrounded by mountains and taking a swim in the warm waters of the Adriatic sea was a nice way to start the day that was going to take us to Dubrovnik in the southern part of Croatia. That riding day went without any problem whatsoever: no caprice of Titine and no disturbance at the border (once in Europethe customs officers didn’t even bother ask for the bike papers and the insurance papers!). I knew Dubrovnik from 4 years earlier and decided to stay for one night there as the city is well restorated and fun to explore (it is a fortress by the sea – one of the jewel of the Adriatic). Thanks to its airport, this city is invaded by many tourists - mainly Brits and Australians. We jumped and back-flipped in crystal-clear water from the 10m-cliffs below the walls of the city and made some nice pics out of it.

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We were planning to slowly move towards Sloveniaand Italy enjoying the sea as much as possible but a few kilometres after the Bosnian border, Titine broke down again: hell and damnation! This time the engine gasket was wasted and once again it really felt like it was the end of the trip for me…The bike had stopped by a little village by the sea named Duboka. Looking for a room to stay for the night I came across 2 young couples (Martin and Gunni and their lovely wifes) living in Germany (3 of them are Czechs) and spending regularly their summer vacations in Duboka for the past decade. It happened that Martin is somenone with a big heart and did everything for us to feel at home in Duboka by finding us some lodging, inviting us for dinners and BBQs, etc. As for Gunni – which I call now the Maestro – he was from far the best mechanic we came across in our entire trip. I want to precise that he was not mechanic by profession (he was an electronic engineer building electrical systems on board of private yachts) but by passion. The Maestro, who knew bikes well (especially 2-stroke engine models), spent 4 days working of Titine and right from the start was able to explain to us every details of the engine mechanism and why the engine gasket didn’t hold. One of the many diagnostics was that the previous grinding of the top part of the engine made in Bulgaria was not proper and leaded to the overheating of the combustion chamber and burnt the valves. With a few tools, some beer cans (MacGyver is back!) and a lot of precision work and patience Gunni, Adrien and I worked on the making of a new gasket and reassembled the bike. After 4 days and a few failures in restarting the bike it worked again…A few things were worrying us: the valves were a little damaged but could hold according to Gunni. But most of all there was a noise deep down the engine that was not reassuring and some aluminium in my engine oil. That meant that most probably a part – and we still didn’t figure out which one – was dismantling itself somewhere in the engine.

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These 4 days in Duboka bring me some of the best memories of the trip : the people we met and spent some time with were again friendly, generous and very helpful. We had great dinners and BBQs, cruising on a tiny motor-boat in the middle of the night between the islands of that part of Croatia. We met also Italians, Frenchs (for Lille) spending their summer vacations in Duboka (because most of them were originally from ex-Yousgoslavia). We learned a lot about the different populations and conflicts of this part of the world…

So, again, THANK YOU MARTIN AND GUNNI for all you did. You are truly good persons!

Posté par Leboogieman à 17:30 - - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]

Commentaires sur Duboka, Croatia or how providence stroke again in this tiny village

  • Jolie!

    A te lire depuis ton depart, c'est l'endroit que me donne le plus envie. La photo d'Adrien au petit matin devant la baraque abandonee est magnifique!

    Posté par Ed en Vadrouille, 12 septembre 2008 à 09:32 | | Répondre
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