1800km and 12.500€ of donations later we have reached Split, which marks the second milestone on our bicycle world trip. Read more on how we tackled the first mountains, were cycling Croatia, almost had an accident and got hit by a storm here…
Endless seeming roads uphill
Fully charged with new energy and the motivation to continue building a co-dedicated school we left Vienna. Once we had left the urban area we were amazed by the Austrian landscape. We cycled across empty fields, gazed at castles standing out on top of the mountains and enjoyed the peacefulness of the Forrest where we spent most our days in. Cycling through this astonishing nature almost had something relaxing. It certainly felt different than the urban area where we spent most of our lives in. A few days passed until the reality of 5000m elevation and cold temperatures kicked in. The days felt like one endless road uphill. Every mountain we crossed we were giving our all, just to realize there is another mountain waiting for us. At night temperatures dropped down to 3 degrees which made us crawl into our cozy sleeping bags soon after dawn. (To See which sleeping bags we are using read our blog packing-list here) A mix of exhaustion, muscle pain, and cold temperatures made us dream of summer. All we could think of cycling Croatia and arriving at the coast.
(Enjoying the landscape before crossing the first mountains)
Goodbye mountains – hello Adriatic coast
There it was – a small border crossing on an empty pass through the mountains. We did it! We are in Croatia! It was strange but within a few hundred meters it felt different. Maybe it was because the weather had changed but it actually looked like we were in a different country. The vegetation was different and somehow it felt like summer. We were exhilarated and couldn’t wait for the sea. With the wind on our side, we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. The next 20km downhill consisted of the never-ending smiles in our faces and the first real test for our breaks (which they certainly passed). Let’s start cycling croatia and Adriatic Sea we are coming for you!
(We just reached the first 1500km)
And then the storm hit us
Before we left Rijeka, we were warned about the strong winds on the way to Split. It didn’t take long until we realized that this wasn’t just a warning. Cycling down the coast was dangerous. From one side we were struggling with truck drivers that didn’t seem to pay much attention to a safe distance. On the other side of the road were vertical cliffs going down all the way to the sea. We had already been thinking about getting off our bicycles when it happened. A truck got so close that Max hit the crash barriers, nearly lost control and almost fell over. After the first shock, we decided to play it safe and call it a day. Thank goodness nothing had happened!
We found a beautiful place between the cliffs. Not knowing what the night had prepared for us we built up our tent. The moment it got dark, we could feel the wind getting stronger and the clouds turning dark. That’s when we realized a storm was about to break out. We knotted the tent to our bikes with Carabiners, used every big rock we could find and hoped for the best. Now it was too late to change the spot anyways, we thought. The later it got the stronger the storm hit us. Falling asleep turned out to be almost impossible. Once the sun was rising we set foot outside, hoping that our tent had managed to survive the storm without damages. What a relief!Thanks to our amazing tent nothing had happened. Since the wind was still blowing strongly, we decided to postpone our daily breakfast routine and to hit the road as fast as possible.
(The storm didn’t stop us from enjoying the view)
Cycling croatia to Split – our 2nd milestone
When we were back on the road the wind got weaker and eventually stopped. The next days we found ourselves cycling Croatia on empty roads and camping on beautiful beaches which made our journey to Split unforgettable. Every morning we wake up somewhere else not knowing what the day will bring. “Where are we going to sleep?” “What’s the nature going to look like” are only a few questions we ask ourselves every day. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Every day feels like an everlasting adventure. 1800km and 4 days later we made it and arrived in Split. Finally! Time to go swimming!
Our fundraising campaign: 12500 = Almost 250 children can go to school for an entire year
All those experiences have been great. However, the love and support we experienced from people all over the world are doubtlessly the best! After only 42 days, we have now collected 12.500€ from 50.000€. This is already sufficient for almost 250 children which can go to school for a whole year! Of course, it is still a long way to the final goal, but we are optimistic that we will make it. We want nothing more than to build a co-dedicated school in Guatemala with Pencils of Promise. This is our mission: creating awareness for educational problems and we are on a good way of making it! But only with all of you, this has been possible – thank you!
What is next?
After 3 days of staying in Split, going through our video content and enjoying the city, we will continue our bicycle world trip and continue cycling Croatia a bit more. The next milestone lies ahead: Ohrid in Macedonia! Let’s cycle the Balkan! It ’s still more than 13.000km to our final milestone Beijing. We will continue with our adventure and on our mission to create awareness for educational problems!