Porn vending machines

Day 3 – Sunday 31st July – From Terni to Ancona; ferry to Zadar; from Zadar to Korenica (311km)

Not so long ago I read an article entitled My 25,000 Wonders Of The World. The title mocked the Rough Guide 25 Wonders Of The World, and its writer started it describing a trip she had made to see the sunset in Ayers rock, Australia. After a very long journey, the 10-minute experience left her distinctly unimpressed and with a feeling that they had gone there just to tick an item of the must-see list that all tourist seem to carry with us. Some time later she decided to forego a visit to the Great Reef Barrier because she preferred to spend some time chilling and enjoying a beer at a beach bar, and after an initial feeling of guilt for having travelled so far and not seen the natural wonder that soon passed, she came to the conclussion that if she were to write a book about her own wonders of the World, it would contain 25,000 ones, rather than 25. The reason was, she explained, that what makes a trip special, what she really remembers afterwards, are the small details and experiences that catch our imagination and give each country its own distinct personality, like the fact that Australian bills are made of plastic, so one can spend all day surfing and then pull a few out your pocket and buy a cool beer at the beach bar.

We set off early, at 7:00, because according to our tickets we had to be at the ferry terminal at 9:30, a full three hours before departure time. I had filled up the bike’s tank in Barcelona hoping to make it from coast to coast in Italy and refuel in Croatia, where petrol is not as expensive as on this side of the Adriatic, but I did not foresee the long departure queues nor the fast ride the previous night to make it on time to the hotel, so we had to make a fuel stop before we reached Ancona. It was here where I found one of the ‘wonders’ I would include in a book: a vending machine that sold porn DVDs. Like tobacco vending machines, you had to show a piece of ID in the shop to have it activated, and standing there against the wall of a desert petrol station early in the morning it sang a sad ode to the loneliness of long distance truck drivers.

20160731024313The landscape on most of the journey from Terni to Ancona was surprisingly hilly, and with few traffic the ride was enjoyable and relatively quiet, we only saw three or four Italian drivers overtaking slow cars on double solid lines. We did too, you know – ‘when in Rome do as Romans do’ seemed a particularly well suited saying.

20160731042211Getting to Ancona early paid off, and we got our tickets and changed some money with no queueing at all, a blessing considering how hot it was. There was no queue to get the bike on the ferry either, and we boarded with a bunch of people who were, ahem, curiously equipped for the crossing.

20160731051403_120160731060010We found a nice table by a window, in a deck with air conditioning, and got ready for what seemed to be a quiet crossing, with the ship far from full. No sooner had I had had thought than my peace and quiet were shattered. By whom, this time? You might ask. Wailing babies? Drunken truck drivers? Hordes of overexcited teens? Nope. A group Italian Evangelists.

20160731082950They started pouring into the dining area where we were sitting and soon we were surrendered and with no possible way out, as we were in the oposite corner to the exit. We had just started having lunch, and to our dismay a guitar and a pair of bongos were summoned out of thin air and they started singing, raising their hands, shaking their heads and generally praising the Lord rather loudly. As soon as we had finished eating we waded our way through them mumbling a few ‘scusi’ and went for a coffee somewhere quieter. As they say: ‘Religion is like a penis. It is perfectly OK to have one and be proud of it, but please don’t flaunt it about in public.’

20160731125710We got to Zadar right on time, and at about 19:00 I hit Croatian roads for the third time in my life. The road network seemed to improve with each visit, and it did not take us long to reach our destination in Korenica, but one thing that had not changed was the heat – it was well over 30ºC even this late in the evening. Fortunately, Korenica is in the mountains, at about 700m above sea level, and the temperature was a lot more bearable.

20160731133706Our accommodation for the next couple of days was a small three-room guesthouse, House Tony, where Marine, hour host, welcomed us with a couple of beers and a plate of chocolate cookies.

20160801131610p.s. I hope that using the word ‘porn’ in the title gets this post more traffic. Porn.

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2 thoughts on “Porn vending machines

  1. Have a cool trip Kili- sounds like a great time ahead. With the new bike and well accompanied, life couldn’t be much better, eh?
    Enjoy!

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