At 4:15 AM the new ‘gentle’ wake up alarm on my iPhone sounds off. It’s still dark outside. The ferry leaves from the town of Vis at 5:30. It’ll take me fifteen to twenty minutes to get there. I pack up the rest of my things, do a “dummy check” of the apartment; looking under the bed, in the bathroom, and kitchen.
With everything secured and tied down on the bike; my gloves, and helmet on, I cringe when I turn the key on. The bright LEDs of my PIAA running lights brighten the dull dark of dusk. With my thumb, I flick the ignition switch on and then press the start button. Doc fires right up. But my exhaust is noisy. There’s a rattle in the can too. I’ve got to repack the exhaust in Zagreb. I whisper “I’m sorry.” and look to see if any lights came on in the homes that surround this lane, and tower from the other paths down the hill. Nothing. I pull the clutch, pound the shifter down and release. I proceed slow but must rev to get up the hill. The sound echoes off the concrete walls of the lane.
I ride for 100 meters and then it’s clear. I’m on the road. Phew. I don’t want to be that guy—the noisy motorcyclist. Not at 4:30 in the morning.
In Vis, there is a handful of other travelers, two on motorcycles and a few backpackers in line at the ferry office. There’s a short line of vehicles in a queue to board the ship, most of them commercial trucks. I figure this early ferry is the commerce run. There are others later this morning, but only for pedestrians. The next auto ferry leaves here at 3:30 PM. That’s too late.
A few moments later I roll the bike onto the ferry, find a cozy spot in the lounge and hunker down, hoping to catch more sleep during the two and a two-and-a-half ride.
I am very excited that later today I will meet Alen BibicH, a legendary Croatian winemaker. I tasted his wine the last night I was in Split—a reserve blend named R6 reserve. I loved it. So, after sharing with him my new “CORKS” project, Marko from Bokeria in Split suggested I visit the BibicH Winery and connect with him.
It will take a couple hours to get there, but my appointment isn’t until 1 PM. So with a few hours to kill I head to Sibenik, a small town on the coast about an hour drive from Split.
I find a small cafe on the waterfront near old town, and with some strong coffee and reasonable WIFI, I set to work. While I’d love to wander the old town and get more of a flavor of Sibenik, I must catch up and be prompt and ready to continue my education on Croatian wine and history.