I´m still in SKOFJA LOKA. I know this blog is called JeffsBikeTour, but I got way laid. I´ve been living in the old town part of Skofja Loka. I met Natasa & her daughter Sara while camping on my first night in Slovenia. I asked for their address and Sara eagerly typed it into my Ipad. I couldn´t even pronounce where they lived, or did I know where it was or if I would be going their way?, I figured anything could happen. And it did.
After a few nights at the hotel I´m invited to “move in”. Natasa gives me her bed and she sleeps in Sara´s room. I´m living a dream, we laugh so much together that we buy extra tissue boxes to put around the house to wipe the tears away. One night we are on the couch talking and laughing, just pouring out the tears of joy.
When I come back from Ljubljana, we both devised plans (separately) for exploring Slovenia, amazingly they match. A caving expedition and a castle nestled in a mountain cliff. Slovenia consist of limestone formations, which means lots of caves. Slovenia has a recorded 10,000 CAVES.
I´m pretty excited because I haven´t ridden in a car for months. It´s Saturday and the roads are crowded. Were listening to the radio and its frequently interrupted with traffic reports about accidents or backups, while listening to the I-pod too. I hope Slovenia doesn´t go the way of the U.S. and invest every infrastructure dollar in promoting single occupancy vehicle transportation.. With the looming threats from Climate Change investing in an efficient mass transit system is the future. The U.S.´s roads and bridges are falling apart with no money or plan to fix them. Once you build it, you have to consider the maintenance costs, which obviously wasn´t thought through in the U.S.
We arrive early to the SKOCJAN CAVES and the cave tours are every hour. Within 10 minutes of arriving were hiking to the cave entrance.
I´m a little sore but I´m not sure why? Your not allowed to take photos in the cave. So I´m thinking there must be some good postcards?
I LIKE PEOPLE PHOTOS BEST, ESPECIALLY THIS ONE!
I head straight to the postcard rack. WTF 2 ok postcards and one passable card (of my favorite formation). (Yes Scott that´s the card I sent you). I can hardly walk now, Natasa is calling me “Old Man”.
We stop for wood fired pizza up this country road in the middle of nowhere. The bathroom is downstairs, I can barely make it. Old Man or what?
We drive up to the PREDJAMA CASTLE. The Old Man comments continue, very funny, I´m die-ing.
THERE WAS A SECRET TUNNEL OUT THE BACK OF THE CASTLE TO GET SUPPLIES WHILE BEING UNDER ATTACK.
There are people dressed for serious caving, no thank you, too claustrophobic for me. The castle had some interesting images
I LOVE THE BABY WALKER (cage)
I crawl back to the car, the Old Man jokes continue. I drive the car back to Skofja Loka, everyone is speeding.
Were back “home”, I decide to take a shower and investigate the source of my pain. Holy Shit, one of my testicles is nearly the size of a tennis ball. I can hardly touch it. Google here I come, everything that it could be requires seeing a doctor immediately! We were planning a shopping trip to Ljubljana tomorrow, but now I need to tell Natasa. She understands and is supportive (thank you). The blood test comes back, no signs of cancer. The doctor says I have an infection (really!). Take these pills and you´ll feel better in 3 days. Day 4, I can hardly walk again, We make an appointment to see a urologist. He says they need to do an ultrasound on my testicle(s). “Can you please hold your penis out of the way?” I respond “do you have a glove?”
I have a thing called a SPERMATOCELE CYST You can do surgery if it´s painful, but they usually go away on there own. They don´t know what causes them, I suspect all the biking (2600km) I´m interested in how much the surgery would cost? 3,000 euros ($4000). and 2 weeks of recovery I opt for the do nothing option, wait and see. I was reading some blogs about this and one guy said he squeezed the cyst to get rid of it, OUCH!
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Someone tells me about a place where you can collect Slovenian rocks, since it´s illegal to buy them. I show Natasa on the map, we head out, with pain pills, on Saturday. On the way we pass this amazing Bee truck.
THESE ARE SAMPLES OF BEE BOX PAINTINGS ON WOOD THAT WERE IN A SOUVENIR SHOP.
I didn´t know we were going to an established park called Iški Vintgar Gorge. We hike for awhile and stop to look for rocks. Natasa collects heart shaped rocks and finds a few interesting rocks for my collection.
AM I DREAMING?
Back in Skofja Loka, I´m making my rounds, bakery, post office, tourist office, Deli, they all say the same thing to me:”YOUR STILL HERE?” It´s obvious that I am, next question “HOW LONG ARE YOU STAYING? ” I can´t answer that question because I don´t know the answer. I´m having a super awesome time, enough said.
So it´s the first day of school here and a tradition called FAZANIRANJE a tradition of painting your face, during the first 2 weeks of school.
WHEN I FIRST ASKED FOR A PHOTO THEY HID THEIR FACES AND SAID NO. THEN I TOLD THEM I WAS A TOURIST, THEY EAGERLY AGREED TO HAVE THIS PICTURE TAKEN (?)
So I was left alone one evening and decided to see what goes on at the community garden on a Sunday evening.
THE GARDENERS CARRY WATER FROM THE RIVER AND FILL THE BLUE BARRELS FOR WATERING THEIR GARDENS.
As I´m walking along the river I see these kids playing cards. I walk pass them and think I really want that photo.
THATS THIS PHOTO, NICE TO SEE WHAT SMALL TOWN KIDS DO ON A SUNDAY EVENING.
One evening Natasa and I decide to visit a local art show. There was a presentation of historical musical instruments from the local area. The photos are from paintings on the walls of churches.
THE VIDEO OF HIM PLAYING THIS INSTRUMENT CAN BE SEEN HERE I played this one after the presentation.
THE VIDEO OF HIM PLAYING THIS INSTRUMENT CAN BE SEEN HERE
I hitchhike to Natasa work in Gorenja vas. I get a ride with these 2 guys who are headed to do Paragliding. Paragliding a big sport here, one I almost did. The town is known for it´s covered bridges. I took this photo of a pedestrian bridge with the church in the background.
SEE THE MOTORCYCLE ON THE POLE?
We´re going on a bike ride tomorrow, checking on the nut.
Thanks for reading. I enjoy writing this blog and living my dreams.
until next time (it´ll be awhile)