Blog 14: Aussie Serendipity In A Most Stari Mostar

Isn’t it wonderful when life shows you how small the world really is? I cherish the moments of supposed coincidence and the feelings of surprise and often of gratitude they come with.

It was hard to secret my excitement when yesterday, we had a most lovely chance-themed re-meeting with our friends Zenna and George. If you’re not familiar with out last meeting six weeks ago in Innsbruck you can read about it here. It was one of Aussie enjoyment in Austria, where we four and two other Australians (Sarah and Steve) larrikined around and learned about each other. In fact. We learned enough to find that Zenna’s life and mine are already strung together by the stars of the universe – she babysits for some family of my dad’s best friend. The family, Lowanna and Kevin, who crazily or coincidentally did a very similar bike tour to ours in the years 1999 and 2000. Talk about the ways in which the world is connected!

To follow in these unlikely but fortuitous footsteps, it is in fact on Zenna’s recommendation that we are in Mostar, Bosnia. How very lovely that during our second outing for the day yesterday we heard a somewhat confounded calling-out ‘Alex?!’ And upon turning around we’re greeted by the warm orange glow of familiarity in the faces of Zenna and George. We shared another night of zealous Zen with Zenna and getting out gadabout on with George. We ate blissful Bosnian food accompanied by cute waiters and cuter kittens. Cats are everywhere here!

So Mostar, Bosnia has become the location for our adventure into our eighth country and our second (or THIRD, if you count our connections and reconnections with Paul van der Ploeg, which of course we do!) instance of re-meeting with new friends. On the ferry from Mali Losinj to Zadar we made friends with Rebecca and Iain, an English couple who have been skipping around Croatia for Eleven days of sunny holiday fun. By the time the six and a half hour ferry ride had finished however, we’d managed to gain their friendship but lose them – we were armed with names and information but couldn’t find the view for a good shot at organising a meet up the next day somewhere in Zadar…or, in other words, we took too long getting our bikes off the boat and hadn’t arranged to meet them anywhere and sadly resigned ourselves to only getting a little of what could have been a lot of fun. Luckily though, the next afternoon we were sitting on the sea organ, listening to its mournful song about the ocean when who should walk up but Rebecca and Iain, flush again with flagons of friendship potential (and beer!).

It is these unlikely but likely events that keep us guessing, the world has so much for us to explore and through friends we can learn even more than we dare imagine.

Alex balancing the Stari Most (Old Bride of Mostar) on his head…


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