It’s 6.33am and, halfway up some unnamed mountain on the Pelješac peninsula in Croatia, I think I might be dying. My bike, Ronnie, is showering in a torrent of sweat, each drop making it heavier than seconds ago. I wish I hadn’t decided that three swimsuits were absolutely essential for this summer holiday. With each turn of the pedal, I curse geology, climate change and the sunscreen that’s dripping into my permanently squinting eyes.
This is our last day of cycling into our final destination – Dubrovnik – and when I say cycling I mean cranking up a series of windy mountain roads whimpering pathetically to myself and, upon finally reaching the apex of yet another hill, my wheels give way with reckless, gleeful abandon to gravity. I clutch desperately to my brakes singing the few words of Despacito that I know – namely, ‘despacito’, ‘conmigo’ and ‘poquito’ – because it somehow quells the fear of getting knocked sideways into the corroded, knee-height guardrails, slipping beneath and flying off into the Adriatic abyss... [read more]