I left Bleiburg, Austria, on Saturday with a light hangover and the Alps to cross. I stopped at Eisenkapell, a spa town at the foot of the steepest section leading to the 1216m Seeberg pass into Slovenia, for some sustenance before the climb. As I munched a schnitzel sandwich I noticed a broken spoke on my rear wheel. I wasn't sure whether or how quickly the wheel would deform but with no bike shops anywhere near I decided to press on. To take my mind off the effort I began an imaginary conversation with myself about what I would find at the pass. My sceptical side said there wouldn't be anything, but my imaginary interlocutor laughed derisively and predicted at least two monuments or memorials of some kind. Yes, after six weeks on the road this is the mental state I've reached: one spoke short of a trued wheel in more ways than one. In any case I thought it was a pointless conversation because it would be dark by the time I arrived and whatever was there would not yield to my cameras. But to my surprise I made it to the top without really breaking a sweat and quicker than planned. I was helped by the road, superbly designed to keep a steady bike-friendly gradient. Civil engineering rules OK again. The quick ascent had a huge positive psychological effect and carried me on another 60km in the dark to an overnight stop in Radovljica. The first 20km was a glorious downhill following a cascading mountain stream whose white water i could make out in the moonlight. There turned out to be nothing at the pass but border markers and two small border control offices (redundant and abandoned, of course, like all the others I've passed through on this trip). On the way up, at a cluster of mainly abandoned houses called Vellach, on one of the bends in the road below, I met Ignaz Wutte, who described himself as the last Austrian. He lives alone in the most southerly inhabited house in the country, a few hundred yards from the pass. He was walking a fierce Dobermann that definitely wanted a piece of me, but was himself a placid and friendly character. Relations with Slovenians over the hill were good, he said.