25km – Groznjan to Motovun
Although we hadn’t stretched after yesterday’s walk, surprisingly we weren’t overly stiff. Due to the extreme heat and the distance we were about to embark on, we’d been advised to take extra water. There was a good chance we might not find anywhere along the way to get extra water. With extra bottles of water stashed in our backpacks we bid Casa la Parenzana farewell.
Relaxed and ready to start the day
Paying close attention
Ilija transported us to Goznjan , a small arty village. We did a brief walkabout but concern about the distance we had to cover urged us to get started.
The route was very clear, an old disused train track, we were confident that we were making good time.
We encountered a group of youngsters heading in the opposite direction and asked them to take a photo of us.
And feeling even better
One of the many tunnels we walked through - nice and cool
View from the top - Groznjan where we started
Taking a break is a rare spot of shade
One of many bridges we crossed
Another banner photo op - enjoying the view
Despite the route being level with the odd tunnel that gave us respite from the baking sun, as we approached midday the heat was taking its toll.
We reached the old train station Zavrsje and I began to feel quite nauseous.
The old Zavrsje Station
My head was pounding and although my legs felt fine, the rest of my body was sending a clear signal that it was not able to continue. We continued a short way further and came upon two houses in the middle of nowhere and stopped under a shady tree. I announced firmly that this was it, I was unable to continue any further.
Sharon couldn’t find her phone, she was the only one with a working SIM. So she, Carol and Janet approached the one house in the hopes that someone was home.
There was, my angel, Stella. She invited us in, gave us water and biscuits and offered us some wine. We passed on the latter.
My guardian Angel - Stella. Biscuits, water and more water. I think we wiped out her stock
She allowed us to call Ilija who was not happy at the prospect of having to fetch us.
He pointed out that the forest mentioned in the Road Book was no that much further up the road. Good point but my body was adamant it was not taking another step in the relentless sun.
I felt bad that I had let the others down. Janet reassured me that I had ‘rescued’ her by throwing in the towel. Sharon and Carol would more than likely have completed the route, but Sharon was nervous about navigating the route. I had taken on the role of map and instruction interpreter and hadn’t done too bad so far. The constant challenge of trying to match what the book said to what we were actually seeing often made us doubt that we were heading in the right direction.
The first plan was for him to drop us in Livade so we could at least finish on foot. But when we got there being a Sunday, there wasn’t anything going on. Seeing where the end was, we decided to get a lift all the way to Motovun . Just as well. The end bit was quite a climb. We were relieved we hadn’t tried to walk up. Motovun sits on a hilltop. Cars that are not resident have to park at the bottom and walk into the village. So we still had to walk the very last bit up to Hotel Kastel. Our base for the night.
It was a relief to reach the hotel which had….an indoor swimming pool! It took us no time to get changed and into cool refreshing water, with spa jets. It was heavenly.
Trekking up to Hotel Kastel
Enjoying the spa pool
Drinks in under the trees in front of the hotel
No we're not praying, we're having a belated stretch.
We took a walk around Motovun and settled on a sidewalk restaurant for supper. We were getting used to attracting attention in our matching walking shirts.
After supper the owner approached with 4 grappa varieties. Honey, Cherry, Herb & Truffle. Potent and lethal! We politely tasted all of them but none of us were capable of drinking even a small sherry.
A beautiful sunset at 9:30pm
Complimentary grappa: Truffle, Honey, Herb, Cherry. Carol bravely sampled them all.