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to Trieste, Italy (via Slovenia)

PP's been to the Lipica Stud Farm at Sezana before. Having enjoyed the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, we agreed it would be a nice detour on our way into Trieste...

We’d always planned a day off in Croatia and whilst we had considered riding on to Pula on Sunday, we decided to stay in Sibenik. Largely due to the continuing heat, sitting on the beach with a strong breeze was very welcome.

Sure enough, temperatures made it into the mid thirties again, though yesterday, this was combined with real humidity. Getting to sleep anytime before nightfall is tough and with a pounding headache, it was only after a violent one hour thunderstorm, clearing the air, that I managed to doze off around midnight.

Up at around 05h00, the plan was to pack down the (now wet) kit and camp, aiming to be away early to make the most of the cooler morning temperatures (still low twenties mind). We cracked on and headed out at 06h00 onto the main coastal road of Croatia, heading North to Trieste.

After an hour or so, we were keen to refuel the bikes (petrol stations are few and far between). We pull over in a lovely valley beside a range of mountains and full the bikes, grabbing a cup of coffee.

Shortly after, the coast road really starts, miles upon miles of sweeping bends with the most amazing scenery - ocean and islands to our left, hills and rocky outcrops to our right!

At the mid point after 125 miles we switch sat navs, PP taking the lead. I suggest that rather than stop at the Lipica on the way to camp, we aim for Trieste directly, through Slovenia, pitch and set up everything to dry; hopping back on the bikes in the afternoon in cooler gear, making a trip of the stud farm, in itself, grabbing a bite to eat before returning to camp.

It got a little warm around Matulji (slow go through the city), though picturesque architecture nonetheless. We veered away form the sea for the first time in 200 miles - managing to pick the slow queue entering Slovenia; though just waived through with a British Passport. Then up in the hills, where it was a couple of degrees cooler, with only 30 miles to Trieste.

Slovenia whistled by in 15 minutes (very forested hills and green landscape); with no border checks into Italy, we were rapidly at the campsite...a very basic Italian affair!?! We pitched the tents, I had a quick shower; then back into Slovenia to visit Lipica, the stud farm for Lipizzan Horses (famed at the Vienna Riding School)...brilliant white, their born jet black as fowls.

White picket fences in a pleasant forested setting, it was a welcome break to the routine. A bite to eat after the tour, in the evening; ride to camp and ready for sleep, ahead of tomorrow’s jaunt through the Dolomites and onto the Alps.

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