Sunday 19 May 2013 – Our packing up took forever when we were leaving for Montenegro so only managed to set off at 11.00. The wind was still blowing quite fast and the road to the border goes high up right over Dubrovnik old town. I tried to get a picture from the bike, it is a beautiful view but not if you’re scared of heights. When we reached the border there was a big queue.
We both don’t know what to expect of Montenegro, nor do we know what the currency is. We usually look up the next place the night before but we didn’t have Wi-Fi last night.
At the border a guy on a BMW is in front of us. We nod and exchange a quick conversation and move on this is the first border we’ve had to show log book for the bike. We get asked for a green card, which we couldn’t get our UK insurers to issue so we have to buy insurance to cover us just like in Bosnia. The border policeman kept our passports until we had purchased it. Two weeks insurance cost 10 Euros, the guy didn’t speak English but his cat liked me so he was pretty smiley too. Two weeks is the minimum.
A group of three middle aged male Austrians pull up ask us the score about insurance and where we’re going. There reply was ‘no way, that’s cool, we’d like to do that’ They’re in Montenegro for a week tour. The Spanish guy we nodded at the border pulls up too. We have a fairly lengthy conversation with him. He is travelling around the world during the next year and you can see his blog at www.mrhicks46.com it’s a video blog and mainly in Spanish but some of the videos are in English. Compared to us I would say he is pretty kitted out with gadgets and gizmos.
We go on separately but catch up with him a few more times when stopping for pictures and then head on. He was going to Kotor and we had planned to make it to Budva. The main road is bendy, low and flanked by crystal blue waters to the right and high mountains on the left. We pass a little place that has two islands in the sea one has a small village and the other a monastery, again I don’t remember the name. The actual condition of the road varies from perfect tarmac to a surface that looks like it’s been raked plus the odd pot hole.
The next time we pass Teo a policeman has pulled him over. Paul drops me off and then turns back to see if he is ok. Turns out the policeman wanted to bribe him. Tea described it as a comedy sketch with the policeman saying ‘now what do we have here, hummmm what are we going to do about this you were speeding.’
The policeman proceeded to give him three options a) Go to court which means he would have to stay for two months b) go to the bank and make a payment of 300 Euros but the bank was closed as it’s a Sunday or c) pay him 60 Euros…he played on the fact he was Spanish and said he didn’t understand and eventually the policeman got fed up and let him go. He didn’t hand over any money and was not issued with a fine. We were certainly not expecting this in Montenegro.
We all stopped for lunch after this and then the policeman returned with his lights on. Demanding to see papers and saying you just passed and no stop. Yet we’d been sat having lunch for the past 20 minutes. He was in hot pursuit of three other motorbikes that had passed us only a few seconds before. Not entirely sure how he thought we’d parked up, removed all our biking gear, prepared our lunch and were sat eating it in what could have only been 1 minute. Off he went to try and bribe the other guys no doubt.
During lunch we decide we’d all try and find somewhere to camp for the night in Kotor, so in the end we only drove around 100 km. There was nowhere close town to camp and we were approached by a man who offered us a place. He was very smiley, but he had no Wi-Fi, was charging 20 Euros each and it wasn’t the nicest place. We try to negotiate, he shows a few other rooms which are nicer, not entirely sure why as they’re more expensive. Probably just to show us that we have the shit one. A deal was done for 15 Euros in the end.
This is where the cruise ships pull in for a few hours as it’s a beautiful old coastal fortress town. We walked up the ruins which look over the old town, only made it half way though as it’s a big hike and we’re sweating even at this point. We learnt more about Teo over dinner and he tells some funny stories about his attempt to approach girls, which usually results in him not approaching them at all.
Teo described us as hippies because of the lack of stuff we have with us. Compared to a lot of other people we probably do have very little, but those other people are mainly middle aged, saved for many years and are usually funding their trip by renting out their houses. We really wanted to do this trip but didn’t want to save for it for the next year so we only have what we could afford and so far it’s been enough.
He also said our gear looked pretty shit and worthless, which we thought was quite funny and that hopefully makes us less of a target and we won’t get robbed. His bike and gear does look big and expensive – but that’s because it is.
He plans to cross Albania in a day and then Greece in two days for his visa into the Stans so we will say our goodbyes in the morning and head for Bar.