Blog30 -Dalmatian coast

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The Dalmatian coast is often referred to as the “romance coast”. Due in part to the quiet tranquil waters of the Adriatic, an equal measure of modest sincere surroundings, nothing pretentious or gawdy arrainged here to overwhelm the senses. Just the pure majesty of His heavenly handi-work, fringed by a crystalline blue sea. That is the Dalmation coast.

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Dalmatae: a tribe or people group associated with sheep raising culture, the origins for the final name given this eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Once a much larger body of land than what it comprises today, reaching further south than present day Albania, and on important region to Roman history. Milini, a tiny village located in todays southern end of Croatia, the birthplace of Constantin, the man credited with bringing Christianity to Rome and for Canonnizing the Holy Scriptures. Gently rolling and thouroughly rock strewn hills are carpeted in schlerophylis shrubs and plants. Few trees exceed 20 feet in hieght, and most are closer to 10 feet. It seems that every plant is designed to rent the flesh of passersby, by the thorny maw that festoons each limb. One brief walk into untamed while wearing cycle shorts will quickly hail a retreat…….only to get back to the roadside and then notice the “warning minefield” sign just 50 yards yonder.

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Attributting to the color and clarity of the eastern shores of the Adriatic are reasons several fold. For one, these shores lie very much protected from the ravenous actions of its Atlantic ocean mother-in-law. The softened and mellowed mediterranean climes produce less storm action than in other areas around the globe. The Adriatic’s far lying geographical position within the Mediteranean, ensures that it has a lower salt content, this fact combined with huge inflows of fresh water that have been percolated and purified thru limestone on its journey towards its final destination ensures its chrystaline clarity and rich blue coloration. Like no body of water I have ever witnessed before.

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The predominance of Croation soil is poor and mostly untillable, by some accounts as much as 70 percent falls into this catagory. What can be grown on this poorest of land seems to be olives and certain wine grape varietals. Though not in huge numbers, these crops are seen with regularity to be sure. Where rock strewn ground gives way to areable land, then all form of row crop and fruit tree are seen. The hardscrabble land, clotted with limestone rock, which  forces grasses to grow in clumps as and where it can find room to take root. The grass is rich, and produces richer flavor yet in the dairy product produced from its yield. One such product known world wide and much sought after, is “Pag Cheese or Paski Sir locally”, considered by many to be the supreme sheeps milk cheese in the world. Thats alot of territory to take in with one block of cheese……further proof that somhewhere along the line Croates are somehow related to Texans. Another of infamy would be “Prsut or sun cured hams and backstraps”, this rich flavor-filled regional delicacy is a part of every celebration in Croatia. Traditionally made in the fall of the year when dry cool coastal temperatures allow slow curing which draws out the flavors and richness. 

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Currently, I sit in Zadar. A city located north within the Ilurian region of Croatia. Life within Zadar can be traced back to the stone ages by way of tools, bones, fossils remains,  and some recently found concho die plates made from old washers. Gosh, and we thought we invented that stuff. Very few spurs worn here in Croatia thru days of old when horses in war ruled……no model T car axles to make spurs out’a. So, they rode into battle bare heeled, natural. The adriatic, the romance coast. Of that we shall soon findout, as my darling bride arrives tomorrow to join me for 8 days of travel and liesure, not even a fleeting thought about my trusty bike as I have found it safe harbor for it’s moorings while we take in Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and portions of Bosnia. So now you know why the wide smile, the light heartedness, the almost giddy demenour that have overtaken my rain soaked soul, the women I love and married thirty some years ago will join me on the Romance Coast.

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PS- a little heads up for those traveling abroad in Europe and close proximities. On most occasions when I need a room I simply search out a motel/hotel. In Belgrade I mentioned I found a cheap but very nice apartment right in the heart of old town and was really impressed with it. So, while in Zadar, I tried my luck again, and have to say, that for less than half the price you get a very nice homey feeling and equipped apartment. The apartment that I am in now as I sit and write this taradiddle, lays but 100 meters from the Zadar harbor foot bridge, the red tiled rooves of medievil buildings and Cathedral domes decorate the view of the sky from out my living room window. Hard to beat at $41.00 per night. So, keep that inmind should you ever be traveling over this way in the future. Good night and God Bless.

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About Jeremiah Watt-saddlemaker

Jeremiah is a saddle maker, a silversmith. He runs a small company manufacturing bits and spurs as well as the manufacture of saddle hardware. An avid cyclist, especially the loaded solo tour type cycling.
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9 Responses to Blog30 -Dalmatian coast

  1. Hello Caroline and thanks for following along with us, great having friends along for the journey. It always amazes me to see how we manage/protect our forestry to the point of stifling that which we say we want to protect. One ride thru the Dixie National Forest in Utah is or should be enough to convince anyone that our approach is not only un-natural but detrimental…..JMO, and yes I am biased because I also was a logger at one point.

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  2. Caroline McCoy says:

    Hey Jeremiah – so glad Colleen was able to join you. It is extraordinary, not only the images you choose to post, but the writing….so passionate, so real, so alive with excitement and discovery. It all should be published. I wish I could post an image here of our beautiful NM mountains which, with all the extraordinary amount of rain this year, have burst into a golden fervor of yellow coreopsis flowers (one is a cover post on my FB page), our streams are flowing with energy, the deer are fat, the elk are bugling…..and, I am very interested in your observation of forest management…..I do agree our USFS needs to get more widely educated. Happy continuing travels.

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  3. Mike markley says:

    Once again your words bring peace to our souls. you are a blessed man. I pray you and your wife have a great time together.

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  4. Don & Colleen Wudel says:

    Now that you’re all toughened up, why don’t you ride through Canada in January and February? We’d love to see you!

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  5. Jerry Holes says:

    Enjoyed your pictures and comments as always. Noticed a different look to some of the pictures and thought it gave a nice change to them. You and Colleen have a great time.

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  6. Hindrik van Dijken says:

    Hello Jeremiah and Colleen.
    Greetings from Holland.
    Gods blessings on your time together, that the days may be longer then normal……
    Colleen, it was a great blessing and joy for us to meet your husband and son in Voronetz, Romania .
    Hindrik van Dijken

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  7. Fritz Riedl says:

    Good mornin’ Jeremiah,

    I’m glad to see you in good shape and that you made it to the Mediterranian Sea. This will
    warm up body and soul. I would like to ride a couple of miles and days side by side with you.
    BUT: Bavaria is not just around the corner. So I’ll take you with me in my mind riding bikes or horses througha little Indian Summer here on our place…. Take care, blessed, Marion & Fritz

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  8. Hello Candy, if all goes well then I will be riding across USA thru january and february. So back home to california sometime near end of feb. Thanks for following along, be well.

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  9. Candy Diaz says:

    Hi Jeremiah, I just wanted to say I love your blog posts and have a great time with Colleen. I thought maybe you would be coming home with her? When will you be heading to California? Take care.

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