180506-Tired and Abandoned

Knowing I needed to be up in time to arrive for the 10:00 am tour of the caves, I slept horribly. I didn’t need to worry about it; when the sun hit the campground valley the wildlife came alive, and woke me up. At 5:30 am. I managed to go back to sleep until 7:30, but I still arrived at the ticket office by 8:30 am. Ticket sales didn’t even start until 9:30.

The Ć kocjan caves were impressive, if overly tourist-engineered. A river runs through the center that screams First Descent. And then everyone would die; the whole thing keeps dropping into sinkholes only to emerge at a later point. The tour was over 500 steps. Not ADA-friendly.

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After grabbing a quick bite to eat I returned to pack up camp. My laundry had been blown all over the place, but at least everything dried.

I headed to Castle Prem, much of that trek in the wrong direction, and away from EV9. I expected more of yesterday. Instead I spent most of the day next to water with gradual climbs. Castle Prem was well worth the redirection, placed at the top of a mountain manned by a lone ticket agent. A castle that had migrated from fortress to manor house, while still expanding the castle walls – darned Ottomans!
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From Prem I reversed course, and the earlier up converted to down. Another 20 km of cycling brought me to Postojna. Much to the certain regret of my wargaming friends, I passed by the Park of Military History, but I stopped long enough to take photos of some of the tanks outside.

The remainder of the day was still mostly downhill, but tired and saddle-sore I’m taking a well-deserved break and spending a couple of nights here in Postojna. The IYH runs the hostel; while missing some of the hostel character, everything is sparkly and new. This hostel also serves as residential living for a nearby secondary and university education, separated by floor. Clearly a full-fledged hostel, with kitchen, laundry, and common area, although I’ve failed to interact with anyone but the host.

Tomorrow will at most be a light cycling day. The Postojna Caverns are only a kilometer outside of town. More importantly, Predjama Castle stands on a mountain about 10 km outside of town (and in line with the Postojna Caverns). I choose this route because of Predjama, so I think I’ll go there. Still 20 km round trip through mountains, but leaving my gear behind makes a big difference in my endurance.

That means on Tuesday I should arrive in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. After that Croatia, although I’m not quite certain how.

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