Just crossed the Velebit

The first mountain range crossed: the Velebit

Months have passed but I still remember how we climbed over our first mountain range, the Velebit in Croatia. We, of course, took the lowest pass we could, cycling inland till Gračas and so after all it wasn’t much climbing: from 450 m. we cycled up to 770 m., but after that, we rolled down at once to nearly sea level. And when we looked down from the mountain I just could not believe we did it. Neither it felt possible when I looked at the mountain from the bottom. We, Lithuanians, we don’t have mountains at all, and there I was confused how all this has happened and all at once.

The 1’st of March started in Udbina with a snow in the morning and as we left the room we rented for a night, it turned into a rain. The drizzle was following us all the way, through Gračac and Vrace. Notice how heavily dressed we are.
In Udbina we took a room

I was happy to finally test my clipless SPD shoes that were waterproof and as the climbing got steeper I was giving not just a push but also a pull and my speed was really better. I was excited about climbing faster, as well as seeing the sea after a long long time.

Up at the pass there was a side parking spot to rest and so we did, only to get the breath back. Stiff muscles? I was not noticing it anymore. It seemed that they got stiff already since we pedalled out and stretching wasn’t helping much. With cold and tiredness, I wasn’t keen so much on doing extra sports either. Pedalling seemed quite enough for me. So, after a short break, we got into a tunnel, passed and cycled over the mountain already descending.

South from Velebit
The vast views opened: valleys full of sun and dry vegetation. I was swallowing it all with my eyes and was a bit angry, the photo camera couldn’t capture it the way I saw.

Climbed over the Velebit jump
We made a happy jump photo and started rolling down.

All the way we were just descending and I was constantly shouting to Umut about the rising temperature, which I could track on my bicycle computer. From about 6°C. up there it got up to 14-15° C. As the road got flater we stopped at the crossroad in Zaton Obrovački village, took some layers off, saw some lamas (didn’t want a photo :/), some ostrich and took the road towards north-west, to Maslenica.
Down the Velebit and meeting with the ostrich

The sun was so heating as we road on quite empty roads along olive gardens having the Velebit mountain on our right and the sea view on our left. It felt like a space-time jump! From snowy morning and empty steppes into olive gardens, blossoming cherries and sunshine!
The Velebit mountains are at the back

And as we rolled into the Maslenica the sun was already setting down.
Down to the sea

We were lucky to get ‘hosted’ by the campsite which wasn’t working, but as we asked nicely… having no other option as the coastline looked very rocky… we were allowed to camp there.

The night was still cold, near the zero, so there was plenty of condensation in our tent. In the morning, everything was being hanged for drying and ventilation. Including the tent later on.
Camping spot morning ventilation

The night was so starry and so clear I could for the first time play with the photo camera – Canon G7x – and its’ night options.
You can see the Orion down the belt captured just above the tree and on the left of the tree the Canis Mayor constellation with a Sirius, the brightest star!
Stary night at Maslenica while camping

The day was full of excitements for both of us and we celebrated it with some kikiriki (peanuts in Croatian, a new word into our family vocabulary 🙂 and local beer.
And the in the morning we rolled out looking forward to reaching the seaside finally! We were so excited,… we forgot our tent pegs :/ The very great, light, aluminium, tri-edged pegs.. from our Vaude tent. We haven’t noticed that until couple days later.

What do you think?