September 16, 2023 – Hrvoje Juric is a young man from the tiny village of Vrbica in Slavonia who rode a bicycle and two dogs 2,100 kilometers through icy Norway. As one should, he is now publishing a book about the experience: “It is not only the goal that is important but every detail that led to it.”
Hrvoje, Ena, and Max. An unusual three-member group, consisting of one man and two dogs, went on an adventure last winter. They cycled a 2,100-kilometer journey from Oslo to Nordkapp in the very north of Norway. Unbelievably beautiful landscapes surrounded them all the time, numerous challenges brought by the cold and ice of the north, crises, moments of happiness…
All of the above will soon find its place in the book Put Sjevera (To the North). Hrvoje describes every moment of this incredible journey, including 300 fantastic photos. Putni Kofer spoke to this photographer, travel writer, and cycling enthusiast about his latest book.
Not another Journey Without His Four-Legged Sidekicks
Hrvoje Juric already has three books under his belt, as well as several large projects that he is proud of. He travelled the world on a bicycle, participated in the routing of the Via Adriatica Bike path, mapped out cycling routes in all Slavonian counties… At one point in his life’s journey, he was joined by his faithful four-legged companions, Ena and Max. Since then, he has not travelled anywhere without them. Naturally, he took them on the adventure called “Giant World Tour: Norway” as well.
They traveled on an electric bicycle with a trailer, where Max and Ena rode most of the time. This means that Hrvoje was hauling equipment weighing more than a hundred kilograms at all times, which makes his feat even more impressive. It took them about 45 days, and they encountered the biggest challenge at the very end, in the Arctic Circle.
The last 13 kilometers of the road were closed due to the storm, and at first, it seemed that they would have to give up. “When nature says no, it means no. Until then, we had been traveling focused and prepared for days, and I would never have risked our safety by making the wrong decision at the very end,” says Hrvoje decisively. But the road was opened at the last minute and the adventure ended at the place Hrvoje had originally planned.
Hrvoje started working on the book at the end of last year, before leaving for the trip. As he says, the trip was preceded by thorough preparations, which he also describes in the book. “Readers will get an insight into the entire course of the trip, from physical preparations in Gorski Kotar, collecting equipment, all the way to Oslo and the start of the cycling journey,” the author describes the concept of the book.
While working on this book, Hrvoje “returned” to the north, and relived all that happened in those 45 days. As always, though. the point of the trip was not in the finish line, in the north, but everything that preceded it. All the small steps that led to the finish line are important.
This one differs from his previous books because he wrote it from the perspective of the three of them as a team, giving both Ena and Max human characteristics to bring their special relationship closer to the readers. “The story is built around our relationship; it describes how Ena and I found each other, how Max entered our lives, that is, ran into them, it includes our mutual conversations…
It describes how we go through life together, with Ena being the most interesting character among us three. Max and I are more, like, a bit clumsy,” describes Hrvoje with a laugh. The cover photo for the book was also chosen carefully. It faithfully shows their relationship, the warmth between them in contrast to the icy environment that surrounds them.
Hrvoje Juric Has Decided: This Was His LAst Extreme Journey
The book does not end at the moment when Hrvoje “conquers” the Nordkapp. It also includes the time after the trip, the long return home, recovery, and winding down… Part of the experience that is an indispensable part of the story of such a demanding trip. In the end, Hrvoje reveals that this was his last such extreme venture and that is why he will write the book the story deserves.
“This is my last such extreme trip, on which we were also quite lucky. I don’t want to risk my health any further, although I was always ready to give up if something went wrong. Ena, Max and I continue to travel, next year we plan to spend two months in Iceland, but it will be quieter and less demanding trips,” decided Hrvoje.
On his way, the support of people who followed his every step on the Giant World Tour by Hrvoje Juric Facebook page meant a lot to him. During the trip itself, he couldn’t follow the page that much, but he did see that everyone was cheering for him, Ena and Max all the way.
Order From Hrvoje’s Page
“Words can be very powerful and hit where it hurts the most. A photo can convey to you all the coldness and effort we went through. And in combination, these two are the glue that, I hope, will hold the book in your hands until you reach the end,” Hrvoje announced his book, which is just coming out of print. The book Put Sjevera will be sold at the price of 30 euros. Negotiations are underway for promotions that will be held throughout Croatia by the end of the year. You can pre-order the book in Croatian on Hrvoje’s page. That is also where you can follow all news about his projects.
*all photos courtesy of Hrvoje.