44km Zagorje to Celje

Cycling with an umbrellaThe children’s song “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day,” was ringing in our heads today as we sheltered in a bus stop by the side of the road in the middle of Slovenia. Rain is stopping play at Wimbledon and a few thousand kilometers away it’s not doing much for our cycling either. The water started to pour down just before noon, with some thunder and lightening thrown in for good measure. We had our lunch, read our books, changed our clothes, repacked our bags and still we waited for the rain to stop. We were happy enough, dry and warm, but we were going a bit stir crazy so when the rain eased a bit a couple hours later we made a dash for the nearby town of Celje, thinking it wouldn’t be long before the storm blew over entirely. Wrong! As we stopped for groceries the skies opened again and the rain came down harder than ever. We debated trying to wait it out, hoping to find a camping spot for the night, but we soon realised our chances were slim so we got a hotel room instead. It turned out to be the right move because several hours later the water is still accumulating on the streets of the town. We made one trip out of our room for food and barely made it around the block before we were soaked. One bright spot in our day came not from the weather but some good news on the radio: the release of Alan Johnston, the BBC’s correspondent in Gaza. He was kidnapped in March and every day since then we’ve listened to the latest efforts to free him, his words as he was dressed in an explosives belt and forced to appear in a video by his captors and messages of hope to him from listeners around the world. Very moving stuff and we were relieved to hear he was finally released unharmed. It’s amazing how attached you can get to someone you don’t even know.