A brush with the Bora

It was unclear yesterday morning how we’d get off Rab, if at all… There were promising rumours of a private boat leaving at midday for Pag. We were keen on this, as it would cut out some of the coastal hills.

However, as midday approached, no private boat was in sight and the wind was picking up. So we decided to go with the safe option and get the ferry back to the same bit of mainland we left from the day before.

Once across, we had a sunny sandwich sheltered in the little cove before cranking 500m back up the hill to the main road again. We then began an unacknowledged race for another ferry. Unacknowledged because I didn’t tell Rachel why we were cycling so fast, and she didn’t know how close to 3pm we were…

We cranked round the headlands and then whizzed down the switchbacks to the ferry with the clock showing 2.58. We screeched to a halt at the ticket cabin, then sprinted down the last bit of hill to get on board as the ferry crew were casting off their lines!

On board, one of the ferry crew warned us that a 70-knot Bora was forecast, and that we should ‘hurry up’! This threw us into a bit of indecision- we knew we didn’t want to be cycling when the Bora hit, but didn’t know how quickly it might come. The campsite we were aiming for at Simuni was about an hour’s ride away, over two sets off hills. Menacing grey clouds loomed in the north.

At this point I got worried and suggested we try another closer town. Of course the campsite there was closed! After some umming and ahhing we decided to cycle with all possible speed to the original campsite at Simuni, as we knew it was open.

We cranked along, occasional glances behind us showed the clouds getting closer. We decided that if we saw a sheep blowing past, we would be in trouble. I thought of possible shelter schemes, including pitching the inner without poles and filling it with stones.

On one stretch we found ourselves pedalling hard downhill into the wind, then getting blown uphill as we changed direction.

On the last hill to Simuni, our back wheel felt a bit wobbly. Sure enough, as we rolled into the campsite, we discovered a flat back tire.

It’s a great place, we have a pitch right on the beach. We cooked our dinner and crept into the tent. The wind picked up at about 10pm in the end, and the ancient mariner on the ferry was right. Some gusts sounded like a train whooshing past, others like a plane taking off over our tent. Luckily we have a very strong mountain tent. We’re glad we put up with the extra weight- it wobbled in the bigger gusts but clung to the beach like a limpet.

This morning is just as windy, so we’ll be staying put. Luckily the campsite has a little shop, so we can munch away while we sit out the storm. They also have kittens, much to Rachel’s delight. Tiny ones in a cardboard box by the toilet block and bigger ones that nose round the tent and play with the guy ropes. What more could we ask for in a campsite?!



About johnfitzgerald

philosopher, husband, designer, photographer, quaker, cyclist, canal-boat dweller
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8 Responses to A brush with the Bora

  1. Jeremy says:

    How prosaic life seems at home in Woodbridge! I’m so grateful for your posts — and having the photos (including kittens) is great.

    With love and many thanks.

  2. Dad says:

    Good to see you looking so good – the wind and rain are gusting here today – full waterproofs to get the shopping – good to know we’ve got our 10 tons of fual in the wood-store under a tarpaulin ……..

  3. Nik says:

    Exciting stuff Johno. Please put yourself into more dangerous situations.

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