Don’t worry, you didn’t miss a day – I just didn’t do anything particularly touristy on day 6!
Today I decided to remind myself why I hate cycling so much. It’s not the exercise, or the effort, it’s the bloody saddles. I write this several hours after I got back and even though I’m on a soft seat in the hostel I can feel the bruises on my bum! Regardless, for €10, the hostel rents bikes out and I decided to use one to explore places a little further afield.
The next large town along the Soča Valley is Kobarid, about 18km away. The route passes through a handful of smaller townships – the kind of places where the addresses don’t go as far as streets; you live at “number 6 in This Town”. Despite being up in the mountains, the road wasn’t too hilly with only a couple of stretches which were hard work.
The villages and townships I passed through were gorgeous. Brightly painted houses, many in a modern version of traditional styling and all with the most stunning views of the mountains and the river which flows through the foot of the valley. I stopped at a couple of waterfalls for some photos, but my first major break was at Kobarid itself where I grabbed some lunch at a supermarket (and got talking to a guy in a Huddersfield Town t-shirt who, it turned out, follows Moshville Times on Twitter!).
I took a quick detour around nearby Idrsko before heading into Kobarid and back out again to pass a few sites. I stopped off for a brief look at the Kostnica s Cerkvijo Sv. Antona, a church up a steep hill which also plays host to a war memorial to Italian soldiers who fell in the area during WWI.
I continued up the hill and onto a path through some woods, eventually (after many ups and downs) reached Kamp Lazar, a campsite with a large restaurant attached. A shame to waste a visit, I popped in and enjoyed a fruit pancake for €4 and a pint of Budvar for only €3. Surprisingly good value for somewhere which could easily charge more based on its location. The serving staff were excellent, also. I could see this as being a very nice place to stay if you’re in the area for a couple of nights.
Further on from there, I visited the Slap Kozjak, a waterfall at the end of a gorge. Close to the waterfall, visitors have stacked countless rocks and pebble into little towers. A nice walk (not a cycle-able path) and worth the time spent. Back downhill I passed the impressive Napoleon Bridge and began the long cycle back to Tolmin, arrive back around 6pm – very sweaty and with a sore bottom!
The thing that struck me was how friendly the people in the area are. It’s not just the service staff at the various shops and restaurants, it’s everyone. From the people on the street who greet you with a smile, to the motorists who know how to deal with a bike in front of them on a narrow road. This is a very friendly part of the world, making it all the more pleasant to be here.