Numerous people have told me about the Parenzana trail from Trieste Italy through Slovenia to Porec Croatia, on the beach. It’s a old railroad right of way, so I thought how hard can it be?
Grabbed the bus from Ljubljana to Trieste, saving 2 days of riding. Riding out of Trieste was tough, met another cyclist who guided me closer to the start of the “trail”. Once on the trail, it was super nice, paved, signed and the first figs of the year were just ripening. Only biked an hour or so in Italy until I crossed into Slovenia.
It’s super hot out, I called a friend, Uros who owns a hostel in Izola-sorry full. So I pinched the last spot in a campground that is packed with tents. Rode into Izola in the morning for a chocolate croissant with Uros. Then to Piran on the Parenzana trail, set up the tent and went swimming in the ocean. The water was too warm (climate change), actually not that refreshing. Gotta keep moving if I want to ride the whole route.
The only camping nearby is EKO-GECKO MINI AUTOKAMP. I walk up a gravel trail for 1 km, it’s super hot, but a good move. I set my tent up and it starts raining-hard. I wait under the camp shelter for 1/2 hour for it to stop, check tent-dry. Talking with Michael of Eko-Gecko, he says the trail gets worse. I’m done with the Parenzana trail. All the people who “recommended” the trail I don’t think have actually ridden it. I walked around the town and saw several flowering Clerodendron trees. That was my Grandma’s favorite tree, it reminded me of her. I had one planted in my yard back in America.
I checked the map, skipped the coast destination and headed out on the paved road. After riding awhile I think I found some new “favorite” bike routes. Only saw a few cars and those drivers shared the road enough to make me feel safe.
I spot a sign that says “Slovenia” it’s super hot and I’m kinda done. Coming into Croatia the border crossing from Slovenia had 50 cars in line. Leaving Croatia I came to an isolated border crossing with just a few cars in line, kinda like the road I was riding.
I can check the Parenzana trail off my list of bike tours I need to do. If I had a full suspension Mt. Bike or for that matter an E-Bike, I might consider doing it again. I still feel safe and incontrol riding the backroads of nearly any country.
NEXT: Kamfest by Bike