Croatia Day 1 : stress, what is that?


We we did somewhat ask for it, but I had flown with Easyjet before and other airliners with less packed-up bicycles and I have even seen un-wrapped up bicycles getting put in the plane.

The reason for not packing my bike in the box is that a normal bicycle box is too small for a 58cm touring frame with pannier racks, mudguards and a uncut fork with a riser stem. And I didn’t fancy totally dismantling both our bicycles and then putting them back together outside the airport in Dubrovnik.

So I packed the bikes up as well as I could with the wheels still in use so that they would be easier to move on our way to Gatwick. The philosophy behind it, as others have said, is that the baggage handlers can see it is a bicycle and therefore will (you hope) not just throw them around.

But no. Easyjet would have none of that, and we had a nicely stressful time running around the south and north terminals finding bicycle boxes and re-packing our bikes up in time. Luckily we arrived nice and early in Gatwick.

Even with the big boxes that are for sale at Gatwick, and our front wheels off, and the front pannier rack pivoted back, still the back mudguard touched the end of the box on our small 46cm touring bike with 26″ wheels.

We couldn’t close the box up on the 58cm bike and therefore it would not fit in the oversized luggage scanner in Gatwick. So we had to be scanned a a different place which still wasn’t big enough! So, we had to unpack the bicycle box! The friendly fella at this security desk tried to take our mind off the problem with a joke. Which did make us laugh in horror, which subsequently made him laugh! He just wanted to see our faces when he told us that they always lose bicycles ;)

The stupid thing about this was that the porter who was helping us didn’t have a trolley. And he was asking where our trolley was and we had to go and get one. And when he told us that he would take the bicycle to the plane it was clear that he would take the trolley and a our one pound that we had put into the trolley. A porter service without a trolley. Groan.

Well, the good news is that we met a very friendly train conductor on southern trains. And a friendly fella at security who helped to take the top of our stress off. And a new one, we spotted in the Easyjet in flight magazine an advert by none other than ChainReaction Cycles! All is not lost.

Anyhow, back to our travels. I had found a few campsites somewhere between the airport and Dubrovnik. I picked one called Camp Kate. We arrived around 2130, pitched in the dark (remember to bring a rock, erm, hammer, cause the ground is hard because of the dry and sunny weather. And also the rocks).

Went to restaurant across the road called Flamingo, where I had the best pasta carbonara EVAH. Well, in a very long time, very creamy and cheesy, when cold the sauce turned hard – proof that it was the real McCoy. I even forgot about my beer, it was that good ! I was too busy going namnamtastegoodnam namthisisnamnam. Peli’s mushroom pizza had more ‘mush’ than room for them. And there was plenty of good cheese too.

camping near Dubrovnik, camping kate

The only place on the site we managed to find was quite close to the road but we slept like a rock, and the wind and traffic didn’t bother us.

Click here to read : Croatia day 1 : stress, what is that ?
Click here to read : Croatia day 2 : a marble-ous day
Click here to read : Croatia day 3 : border hopping
Click here to read : Croatia day 4 : a bit drafty
Click here to read : Croatia day 5 : Sunday day of rest
Click here to read : Croatia day 6 : a day of dead ends
Click here to read : Croatia day 7 : Thor rides again
Click here to read : Croatia day 8 : easy delayed jet

Click here to see all the photos.


  1. Hi. In the late Spring, I intend to solo cycle from Ljubljana (Slovenia) to Dubrovnik, along the coast line through Rijeka, Zadar and (avoiding the city!) Split.

    It’s around 700km and I will try to do it in 5 days, using Easyjet both ends.

    Do you mind if I collect a few questions that you might be able to help with? I will be on a carbon hard tail with road tyres and just a bumbag with a change of shorts, some euros and a credit card.

    One of the first questions is whether it’s possible to nip through Bosnia between Split and Dubrovnik?

  2. Hi Richard, yes do ask away.

    The border crossing was not a problem for us. The guards there just waved us through, I was ready to stop and show my passport, since I really wanted that extra stamp. Though I’m sure that they would have happily done so if we had asked.

    Read about it there Croatia day 3 : border hopping.

    700Km in five days, is some fast riding and long distances each day I would say. You don’t get to see much of this beautiful country. And if you can do stop over in Torgir and spend a night there, truly beautiful place.

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