This stretch was described as 'scenic', and boy was it. Cliffs to the right, while on the left the view dropped away to blue sea and the brown, rugged island across the water. Howard took off and was soon out of sight around the curves, and there was little other traffic, leaving me free to cruise along while drinking in the view.
We stopped in Karlobag for pizza and in Senj, an old fortified town with cannon pointing out to sea, for 'Dalmatian' ice cream - not spotty, but flavoured with almonds, mandarin and lavender, all products of the region. The road climbed higher, past a blue and white striped lighthouse. Howard went ahead again and I didn't see him for so long I became convinced I'd lost my way somewhere, especially when I saw another stripey tower ahead and feared I'd doubled back.
Reunited, we stopped at a Lidl for supplies; our hotel was in the countryside and we weren't sure if they'd feed us, having been caught out that way before. Brands I knew from Lidl back home rubbed shoulders with strange producs like grapefruit shandy, and there were two coin slots in the trolley.
On the way to Porec, I spotted the tiny side road signed for the hamlet of Filipini. Half a kilometre up it we found a sort of chalet in the woods, with customers dining outside (so our fears were unfounded). The landlady welcomed us in a mixture of Croatian, English, German and Italian, and we were permitted to park our bikes in front of the small patio outside our room. The suite also boasted a toilet sanitised for our protection and an ancient, creaky wardrobe, which we locked for fear of vampires.