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September 23, 2017 - Second cycling day - Plitvice to 

Paklenica National Park to Vodice

Today we began with an 11 mile descent to the Adriatic Coast near the island of Pag.

It was another biathlon with 42 miles of cycling then a hike in Paklenica National Park.

It was 6 degrees C at the start and 23 degrees at the finish. So glad to enjoy a sunny warm day!

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Ready to get on the bikes and begin the great 11 mile descent to the Adriatic

ABOVE MIDDLE - A few stops on the downhill and switchbacks to wonder at the view

ABOVE RIGHT - Pag Island looks like it is right behind us, but it's miles below!

                   

ABOVE LEFT - View of Pag Island off the coast of the Croatian mainland.

Pag is the second longest island in the Adriatic; it covers an area of 110 square miles

(284.6 square km) and is 37 miles (63 km) long. It is barren due to the strong, dry

and cold Bura winds (characterized by violent gusts) which blow frequently.

Its karstic rock forms a moonscape defined by two mountain ridges, patches of shrubs

and a dozen or so villages and hamlets. Tough local sheep graze on herbs and salty grasses,

lending their meat and milk a distinctive flavor and producing paški sir (Pag cheese).

Intricate Pag lace is famed and framed on many a Croat’s wall.

ABOVE MIDDLE - Another view of Pag Island from our long descent. Croatia has 1246 islands,

many of which are not much more than a large rock jutting out of the Adriatic, but Pag is the largest.

ABOVE RIGHT - On the long descent

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Beautiful view of the Adriatic on our 11 mile descent.

We had lots of photos stops on the way down.

ABOVE MIDDLE - Our descent ended at the coast in the town of Karlobag.

From here we headed south along the Adriatic for another 30 miles.

ABOVE RIGHT - On a pier in Karlobag

                   

ABOVE LEFT -  Looking back at our coastal road. The water is really clear and turquoise color

ABOVE MIDDLE  - A small bay and view toward Pag Island in the distance

ABOVE RIGHT - After our 42 miles of cycling and a nice lunch,

we hiked for a few miles in Paklenica National Park.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - On our hike in Paklenica National Park.

ABOVE MIDDLE - Paklenica National Park is a favorite spot for rock climbing. As we hiked,

we passed climbers at various heights on the rock walls - there are 2-3 climbers

about half way up the rock wall on the left of this pic.

ABOVE RIGHT - A climber on the limestone walls of Paklenica National Park (mid picture).

                   

ABOVE LEFT - A mostly rocky trail on today's hike

ABOVE MIDDLE - Petra pointing out the trails in the park

ABOVE RIGHT - Fred and Ally on the trail

                   

ABOVE - There were also a few small caves along the trail

ABOVE MIDDLE - A donkey train on its way down from taking

supplies high up into the mountains above.

ABOVE RIGHT - View from our balcony at tonight's hotel (Olympia) in Vodice. Since it is

Saturday night, there is lots of live music both outside by the pool and in the hotel lobby.

                   

ABOVE LEFT - White or red, Ally?

ABOVE MIDDLE - Yum! Roasted veggies!

ABOVE RIGHT - Shaved Pag cheese!

ABOVE - Petra and Krunoslav enjoy a moment