Epic European Cycle : 2015-09-29 : To Rijeka

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Cycle Lovran to Rijeka $0.00 21.00 21.00 Day 75: 21km: Total 3132km
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Hostel Hostel Cristal Roche Booking.com Rijeka $150.00 2 nights

Very convenient location. Room is large and nicely decorated.

This should not be called a hostel. There is no common room and the kitchen is completely inadequate. It is not plumbed. There is a stovetop and small fridge, but no water. Water and dish washing would happen in the bathroom, although we basically didn't use it. The kitchen is tiny, cluttered and full of dirty ashtrays.
The listing said WiFi in all areas but there was no WiFi while we were there.
The bed was unmade and linens provided didn't seem to fit the bed properly. The room wasn't particularly clean - there were papers on the floor and someone's pants and underwear in the bathroom cupboard.
The proprietor doesn't seem to have read the "special requests" where I indicated that we would need space for two bicycles. She was completely surprised by that and refused to let us bring them into the building -instructing us to lock them up on the street. I'm not saying that the property is obliged to provide space for bicycles, but if she'd sent me a message to let me know there was none available, it would have saved a lot of hassles for us all.

Trip Log

Notes Actions
Last day of riding for this tour. Crazy! It was pretty uneventful. There was some heavy traffic around Opatija, and coming into Rijeka, but we expected that. We made Rijeka on time to do lots of research into shipping stuff home. For "all" of our stuff (one box of gear and two bicycle boxes), DHL quoted us about $1200. OUCH! We stopped at the tourist info office to ask about a few things, including shipping. We thought we might ship to Paris and then pick stuff up there and bring it home as our luggage. In a delightfully random fashion, there was a Parisian tourist, Hamid, there at the same time and he was being "Couch Surfing" hosted by a guy who works for a shipping company. He took us along over to the shipping company where we met Zoran, who was very friendly and helpful. He didn't think his company could help us, but he recommended TNT, so we fired an e-mail off to them to inquire. We also stopped in at the Croatian post office and asked there, and they sound really promising. One box, 1.5m x 2m (big enough for a bicycle), max 30kg, for about $150. We're planning on pursuing that tomorrow.
We had lunch in Rijeka at Pizza Bracera. We had a very pleasant server named Luka. After we finished our meal, I asked Luka if he knew anyone who would like to "adopt" my bicycle. He went away for a few minutes, then came back, and said that one of their cooks, Dado, would like to have the bike. Dado is a beginner rider and was really excited about getting the bike. Yay! I feel kind of bad about offering the bike to the fella in Pula and then not going back to Pula, but since he hadn't stuck around long enough to exchange contact information, I don't feel that bad. I'm just happy that Dado is stoked about getting Dewey. I wanted to keep my clip pedals, so Brent put his old pedals onto Dewey, pulled off a bunch of gear (panier racks, air pump holder, headlight holder), and we delivered him off to Dado. I am sad to leave Dewey behind, but I made the decision weeks ago so I think/hope I'm at peace with it. I have my eye on a newer Dew Deluxe back in Calgary anyway. It can be Dewey Two!
Not overly impressed with our hostel. They are fairly new, and I think they've shut down mostly for the season without updating their listing on Booking.com. They have no WiFi at all, even though their listing says they have it, free, and available in all areas. The kitchen has no running water - we have to wash our dishes in the bathroom next door. The lack of WiFi is really vexing. I was also irritated by their handling of our bicycle situation. I put in my reservation that we would need space for two bikes, which has never been a problem any other place. They had since yesterday afternoon to contact me and tell me there was an issue with that, but they didn't, even though they knew very well that we were coming (they were ready for us). When the lady "realized" that we had bicycles, she insisted that there was no place in the building for them, and we should just take them out and lock them up on the street someplace. Brent wanted to put them in the lobby and lock them up, but I told him I'd been scolded a couple of times already for asking about that. We put the bikes into the lobby temporarily to walk around the building to find a place to put them, and by the time we got back (10 minutes, tops), the "bicycle police" were waiting in the lobby for us to give us shit for having them there. We explained that we just put them there until we could figure out where to put them. They stood and watched over us as we unloaded all the gear. They stood and waited while we took the bikes out and locked them up behind the building. They stood and waited while we hauled alllllll the gear up all five flights of stairs to make good and sure we weren't leaving anything sitting around in the lobby before they left, and we are now the only people in the hostel.
Before we left on the trip, it took me a while to decide which shoes I'd bring for riding. I had my older clip shoes and my newer clip shoes. I've hung onto the older ones just as a backup. They're really not good - the left clip sticks on the pedal sometimes. In the end I decided to bring the older shoes, hope they didn't give me trouble, and just toss them out at the end rather than bringing them home. I'm quite happy with that decision. The left clip hasn't given me any trouble at all... until yesterday. Yes, the shoe waited until our second-last day of riding before giving me trouble. So, today, I gleefully toss out the old clip shoes after having a great long tour with them.