Day 7: Finding balance (Hvar to Vela Luka)


I had a very pleasant breakfast on the plaza on a bright, sunny day. Finally out of the rain, I did some lubrication of a few rusting components and got on the road back to Stari Grad. Not pressed for time, today I would take the other road over the summit. It turned out to be beautiful riding.


At the top of the climb stopped at a family place for a very nice crepe and lemonade with homemade honey. I also bought some lavender spray. (Can’t be too careful). Hvar island was once the world center for lavender production; today it’s not as important globally, but it’s still a staple of street vending on the Dalmatian Coast.


I noticed that the street vendors in Hvar spoke to each other in Italian. These islands were part of the Republic of Venice, and it still has very strong Italian influence in architecture, cuisine and culture. It’s a lot different than the other side of the ridge, where the Eastern European influences dominate.


I stopped in Stari Grad to try to figure out the ferry thing. It is confusing that Hvar and Korčula islands also have cities named Hvar and Korčula. It is more confusing that the main ferry stops aren’t in those cities. So I thought I could get from Stari Grad to Vela Luka (on Korčula island) directly, but they won’t take bicycles, and the car ferry doesn’t continue on from Stari Grad to Veda Luka; it goes back to Split and you have to take a different ferry from there.


I figured this out right after the ferry I’d seen while coming down the hill pulled out. So I would be taking the 14:00, and according to Jadrolinja, I would end up in Vela Luka at 17:30, with 45km to ride. Sigh, another ride ending at dusk. I did get to do a pleasant loop through the beaches and vineyards along the coast near Stari Grad; I would have liked to do some wine tasting but didn’t have time.


And it turned out Jadronlinja lied to me, which I should have figured out. There was no way to take a 2-hour ferry ride to Split and an even longer ride to Korčula in less than four hours. When I arrived in Split, the next ferry to Korčula was at 17:20, which I figured out would put me in Vela Luka, the wrong end of the island, at 20:45.

I seriously considered bribing the catamaran crew to take me and my bike directly to Korčula city. But the car ferry pulled in and I went for it, feeling frustrated.

Ferry to Vela Luka

After a few deep breaths and some personal reflection, I decided that riding from Vela Luka to Korčula in the dark, while possible, would waste good riding for no good reason. So I got enough network to find a hostel in Vela Luka near the ferry terminal, where I arrived at about 20:30. I had my first black risotto (pretty good!) at a harborside restaurant, and 

Daily musing: Expectations

I’d learned about releasing expectations and finding balance on my Nepal trip. If I’d begun today with plans to end up in Vela Luka, I would have been fine with it. But because I had been expecting to get to Korčula City, I felt stressed and disappointed. I had to let go of it, get back into the moment, and know I was making the right decision. Korčula would still be there tomorrow.

Ride stats: 49km, 786m climbing

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