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Chapter 3: The Riders of the Zodiac.

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We went on until we came to a dead end, but we could already see the trail so we took the bicycles and went over the gate, cut a path and finally took the road towards Montenegro, my eleventh country, counting Monaco and the Vatican as countries, how odd that they're called as such. We stopped at a roadside market in front of a gas station, near Dubrovnik airport (Zračna luka Dubrovnik doo), bought a yogù (our beloved yogurt), some food, and carried on. And then another border approached, this time the one between Croatia and Montenegro. We cut the line and crossed to the Montenegro side of the Force!

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Montenegro is beautiful, with plenty of mountains, it should be called "Mountown" instead of Montenegro. We pedaled along the E65, passing through several villages, towards Kotor, another place I had no idea even existed, an historic place called Kotor, thanks to Sabrina, the German from the bar in Dubrovnik, who told us to go there, and so it was and soon we were cycling through Kotor bay, another bay, another Old Town! But before going there, we decided to stop to eat something, we saw someone tending to a barbecue in a place that looked like a restaurant, or a butchery, I don't know. We saw people stopping there to eat and decided to stop as well. The place looked like one of those roadside bars, everything was modest, but, man... What a delicious and big sandwich we ate, and it only cost 2 euros! Before eat that DELICIOUS SANDWICH... I was sitting there waiting for the DELICIOUS SANDWICH and noticed that there was a man looking at our bicycles, and with a poor but passable English he approached, very excited, and started asking me questions, so I told him we were from Brazil and he broke into a smile and the conversation flowed as if we had known each other for years!

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(...) Oh, dear Montenegro, what a great welcome you gave us, now we only need nymphs, oreads in great joy, bounding towards us (...)
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After daydreaming about Montenegrin nymphs, we headed towards the ferry that Beja had recommended to us and which made our lives easier. Kotor is located across the bay where we were, so we would have to cycle there, going around the bay until we reached the village. From our location to Kotor would somewhere around 27 kms at the pedal. But our friend Beja told us to take a ferry that crosses the bay in 10 minutes, and that the place to take it was right next door - that was too much luck for just one day - and off we went!

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In the morning, while drinking my warm coffee, we ran into a Malaysian gentleman who, curiously, was also traveling with his gal, but he was going in the opposite direction from us, he was cycling from Turkey and headed to Switzerland! That is, I was running from the cold towards the south, and he was going towards the cold in the north! Amazing Foo C Young or Mr. Miyagi (we obviously had to assign him a nickname), 55 years old and another living example that is possible! So, you there - my dear reader -, move this fat ass and do it! Whatever you have in mind, DO IT! Just, please, don't kill yourself, for God's sake... and if you do, do it alone.

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And after our "morning of wisdom" with Mr. Miyagi we went on to visit the beautiful wall of Kotor. We climbed a slippery and quite steep stone staircase, stopping halfway up for a breather in a little church, and the view from there was already worthwhile, we took some photos and kept going up. There were no less than 1350 steps - quite tiring - to the top of the wall that snakes around Mount St. Ivan, we reached an altitude of 1200 meters with a breathtaking view of the bay of Kotor and its fantastic fjords! This region of Kotor, once inhabited by trillions of different peoples, was first inhabited by the Illyrians (who called this region "Dalmatia [Dalmatian dogs also originate from this region]), from the 3rd century BC through the year 168 BC, when Roman occupation began and lasted until the fall of the Empire in 476 A.D. Several mountain fortifications were built in the Illyrian period. In the Roman period, Kotor was known as "Ascrivium", and after the fall of the Roman Empire, the area came under the influence of the Byzantine Empire and Kotor assumed a relevant role, mainly due to the caravan road that was built there, leading to the interior of the region...

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And as it was already dark, and the world was raging outside, but it was still early due to the change of schedule, I had time to sit down and catch up on my map and travel log. The sky remained overcast and hostile almost all through the night, and the news on TV were already forecasting snow in northern Montenegro... #scary.

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