Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Gaffa, Sea and Sand.

"Is this the strongest tape you have?" I asked the man in the store holding a roll of gaffa tape in my hand. The question was rediculous not least because this was gaffa and what better can you get? But of course that wasn't the end of my folly.

I had noticed over the last few days that my beloved tricycle had been creaking and moaning at me much more than usual but as I looked down that morning after leaving for my next destination I discovered that my top bar had come away conpletely from my frame. My tricycle was quite litraly falling apart at the seems. 

In a moment of panic gaffa tape seemed like a lodgical solution but even as I bought it I new it was never going to work. There are some things you can't hold together with tape...

Almost as an after thought I asked him if he knew where I might find a welder. I realised as he happily drew out some directions that this was probably the first question I should have asked. 

I found the garage easily enough and was greater with a smile and a raised eyebrow aaa the guy looked at the state of my tricycle. He laughed when I told him where I had come from and showed Him the broken frame. Before long though there were sparks flying as he grinded down the metal to make a clean weld. He showed me to a room in the shade where he said I could wait. I tried to ignor the slightly distasteful posters of naked ladies plastered all over the walls. 

After half an hour the job was finnished and he had even repainted it for me to match. When I asked him how much I owed him he wouldn't take a penny (or a kuna in this case) he shook my hand as I said goodbye and I thought to myself heros come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and with all kinds of vices too. 

I had left 2 hours to get to the ferry on time but that was before I discovered my broken frame. Now I had only 40 minuets to get there. 12km and up and over the hill. I peddled as fast as my legs would let me. My thighs screaming as I peddled up the steep hill. Somehow though I made it to the ferry with 5 minuets to spare. 

As we left the harbour and sailed across to the island of Rab I thought to myself how nice it was to be moving with out having to pedal. I remembered back to just a few hours before when it seemed like I was stranded with a broken bike. And whispered a quite thankyou heavenward.

I arrived in Rab late in the afternoon. A beautiful island perimitered by sandy bays, a thick forest and cliff faces. Also a lot of nudists but hey, when in Rome! 
I had thought to make a show that night In the tourist area, but I was far too tired and the sunset over the sea far to beautiful. I slept on the cliffs that night, the stars shining brightly above me. Wow whispered from my lips once more. 

The next day I cycled through the island to the old town of Rab. One of the most beautiful towns I have seen. Wedged between the harbour and the sea. Thin streets cross-crossing amongst old buildings and towering walls. I hadn't planned it but I had arrived on the last day of their medieval summer festival. Trumpets played, drums thundered through the streets and everywhere I looked people were garbed in traditional medieval dress. 
I found myself a good spot, tryed to make myself look as medieval as possible and had some of the best crowds yet for my show. It turned out to be a long night and I work early in the morning after very little sleep amongst many other travellers and party goers on the beach below the city walls.

My next crossing was a little more tricky as the main ferries wouldn't take bicycles so I ended up finding a small taxi boat and strapping my trike to the front of it and we sailed across to the island of pag.  
It was a hard days cycle through 40 degrees heat, my body soaked in sweat and my water bottles were hot from the sun. I finally made it the the town of Pag, very different from Rab and more like a want to be Ibiza. My legs were aching and my right foot swollen and throbbing in pain. All I could do was lay down on the cliffs and listen to the faint beats of the music, close my eyes and fall fast asleep.

It had been a week since I left Zagreb and I had been wild camping the whole time. My skin tasted of salt and my hair thick with grease. It was time for a bed and a shower, and I found one here in Zadar. I met Filip in Rab after making one of my shows and it was partly his fault that I was seduced away from an early night to the late night party on the beach. He has been hitching through Croatia and planned to stop here in Zadar to see some friends. We agreed to meet her and also to make a show together with his digeridoo. Which we did last night. A lot of fun but strange not to be using my music that I have become so used too. I am recovering today after another far too later night (followed by a too early morning) and have decided to take some rest before I continue on my journey in the morning.

It's strange to think that I am a actually getting quite close. Only 600km to Albania from here which in the scheme of things really isn't that far. In the back of my mind I know more mountains are coming but for now I shall enjoy the sea and the sand.

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