We rode there, we walked up, we rode down and we rode home.

This weekend we played host to another friendly Austrian vegan but also one who most impressively arrived by bicycle. I prepared my signature dish of uniquely filled burek – or pita if you prefer – and he devoured them with relish and some umak! It didn’t take long for our conversation to turn to bikes and potential local rides that he could do and I find myself agreeing to spennd Sunday riding to Petrova Gora and back.

This is one of the two trays of burek that I made for Robert’s visit to Barabrith. They include my second batch of polenta based pita and were much improved than the batch if I say so meeeself!

And so after a hearty museli breakast washed down with fresh divka. With some left over burek and fresh water in tupperware we head off for the Partisan Hospital and the monument beyond.

Look at the zest and zeal of the naieve old cyclist that has yet to realise his physical abilities, strength, stamina even spirit are about to be squeezed out of him. Yes I’m talking about the git on the left who gamely took up his guests invitation to join him on days bike ride to the local sites! I can’t blame Robert he was a perfect gentleman, keeping at my pace, slowing to allow me to catch up and walking with me when I couldn’t manage the inclines. This is the definition of getting old. Still I’m perversely very glad I did it.
Some days the hospital looks quite lovely spattered by sunlight, hidden amongst the tree trunks.
The Partisan hospital can have strange effects on those who visit it. Some are moved by the natural surroundings, others wonder at the sacrifices partizans and people made fighting the fascists. And some odd folk become momentarily schizo, their other half physically mainfests itself bizarelly mirroring the originals clothes and mannerisms…. scary eh?
One of the delights for me on visiting the partisan hospital is to see what has changed since my last visit. Usually this means checking out the damage wrought by fallen trees and storms on the old buildings. This time I was really chuffed to find someone has done a good DIY job of putting up information about the hospitals history in the first building. I had intended to do something on a much smaller scale myself but this is much better.
A close up of part of the new information display at the hospital, it is in Serbo-Croatian but most is also translated in to English.

and then on upthe slow long incline to the Petrova Gora Spomniek. TBH I had to walk up the last kilometer of steep hill and Robert graciously accompanied me, even though he could have ridden it.

It’s an amazing view from the top of the monument from all sides.
Robert goes through his Hokey Cokey routine on the edge of the monuments perilously high top floor!
Proud boys with bikes – well I was having cycled to Petrova Gora for the first time. My beloved Cannondale zipped back down the hill and over the creased and cracked road surface, I love that bike.

But all good things come to an end and some rather horribly…

There was a time not so many years ago when a bike ride of 60km or so up and down a few hills and trying to keep up with the pace of a much fitter younger person wouldn‘t have been much of a challenge for me but…….. now it leaves me totally knackered, half dead and barely able to move. Sanja had a malicious look of joy when she took this pic, can‘t think why.

Sanja has been making herself useful of late helping with the neverending battle against Balkan bureaucracy and even also cooking and such things.  Now she’s also started taking photos of yours truly so maybe the selfie era is drawing to an end….!!?

It’s rare that Sanja takes pictures of me that aren’t just for her to laugh at but this one was obviously inspired by my sartorial elegance and exquisite poise, innit!
The puddle that was the result of my damn is very slowly becoming a small pool. It has rained a bit of late but the stream going through our land is still naught but a trickle thanx to the weeks of dry weather before.
Black among the leaves more than blind amongst the flowers…. a picture by Kiki.
In this case an injury would be entirely predictable and have no common cause with anyone else at all, but hey thats what posing for photos (pretending to bend metal bars etc) is all about…. daft egotism…. innit! Nice shirt though, thanx Ramsey.