Balkans 2016 – Day 53 : Jajce to Banja Luka, Bosnia

The forecast for today was good. If appears that it will be dry and with a bit of sun. So I was upbeat as I prepare to set off.  However as I set off the temperature was on the cold side at around 3 C. Also it was a bit foggy. What’s a bit of fog anyway after snow rain and wind. The route today follows the great Vrbas River and the good news is I am following it down stream. But it doesn’t mean it’s downhill all the way. However in general it is with a few climbs along the way. I followed the M16 route and boy was it spectacular. The fog made even more so. 

I passed through gorges and spectacular views and I stopped many times for photos. The thing is that this route is very remote and there are only very few towns in between. So after about 2 hours of riding I was ready for some coffee. 

I had a coffee break at a nice river cafe mid way and after that I was annoyed by some creaking sound from my bike. I am not sure what is causing it. I suspect is the seat. I will try to tighten it to see if it will stop the creak later. 

I managed to get a Warmshower host in Bajan Luka so I am happy to not have to stress where I sleep tonight. After arriving at the host’s apartment , I had a delicious lunch cooked by Malinic my host. After that I went out with him to buy a USB wall charger as my current one is broken and later stopped by a local store to buy some Bosnian white wine. 

We had 2 bottles of local Bosnian wine together and then went for a nice Cervapi dinner near his place. Malinic claims Banja Luka has the best Cervapi. And it was really good. Very different too as the meat patties were square instead of the usual sausages shaped.  

I had a nice day riding and also meeting with Malinic. He is also a cyclist and have done a ride from Bosnia to Portugal during the summer. He actually recommended the cycle route called Canal Du Midi in France. I will definitely look that up later. 

I did not get to see much of Banja Luka. It is the second largest city in Bosnia and the capital and administrative center of Republik of Srpska which forms part of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s sits along the Vrbas River and is well known for being a green city. 

Anyway I must make my way tomorrow to Gradiska which is the boarder passing to Croatia. Rain is forecasted tomorrow so I hope it’s not too heavy and cold. 

Lions Project : RM 249.50

A foggy start
This Church complex caught my eyes
Interesting modern design but unfinnished. i wondef if they ran out of money
Fog lifting with a hint of blue skies
Still foggy in parts
Yay blue skies on the way
Many tunnel passing around this area. Good thing is they are mostly less than 200m.
Dramatic gorges
Hydro electric generation inside the caves systems
Hydro electric generation inside the caves systems
These parts of Bosnia has its own administration
Time for a much needed coffee break
I wonder if these are caught in the river around there.
Fantastic view after the climb to the peak.
River Vbras
Canoeing and kayaking comptetion course. For night as well
I am heading into the fog but i like it.
Delicious lunch cooked by my host Malinic
Wonderful Bosnian whites. We polished off both of them

Author: krankster

I am an avid cyclist that loves mountain biking, bike commuting and most of all bicycle touring. I am a freelance leadership coach and hope to inspire others through my cycling adventures.

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