Wild camping

From a gas station near Verona to another gas station near La Turbie

Verona-La Turbie

Verona-La Turbie

I woke up early, when it was dawning. I had a good feeling, I was finally on the highway, on my correct way and in very nice gas station to hitchhike. With this good energy it didn’t took me to long to get a ride. I don’t even remember having my coffee so it should have been in the early morning. I can’t remember the driver neither, just that it was very similar as the one from the last day, also an Italian middle-age guy working in sales. In my mind even the car was almost the same, a dark comfortable premium one. In my memories I mix both cars and drivers, so what I have written in last post can be applied for this one too.

Gas station near Verona

Gas station near Verona

Anyway, we were supposed to go together until Milan, but he explained me that the net of roads around this city is really huge and I could get easily lost. Instead of that, he advised me to try to go by another highway that started at the height of Brescia and was going to the south-west. It was a complicated decision. In the one hand I had the possibility to do many kilometers and be in Milan early, from where I could expect many cars and trucks going to France; on the other, do a few kilometers with this guy and put all of my eggs into one basket trying to find a long-distance truck going to the south. I thought that in any case it was better to get stuck in the middle of nowhere, but in the correct highway that in a big city as Milan. So I told him to stop me some kilometers before Brescia. As he knew well the route he left me in the last gas station just before the detour to the south.

It was a very big area with a huge Autogrill restaurant. I remember it well because I spent many hours there. However, at this point I was still quite confident about my day. It was definitely not more than 11 am, because I remember having my breakfast when I arrived. I even found a Moroccan family with a french plate in their car who apologized to not have a place for me. After the break, I went to the exit of the gas station, just in front of the restaurant and I started again.

Gas station near Brescia

Gas station near Brescia

At the beginning I thought that it was just a question of bad luck and soon or later some one was going to pick me up. Well, it was later than sooner. It started to get hot but not as in the previous days. I ate something quick in the other side of the bushes where I was standing. I also went at least twice to buy a coffee in a plastic glass. As the hours were passing I was getting more and more pessimistic. It was not a bad place to sleep, but I was very far even from France and It seemed to me that I was going to be in Italy forever (I was thinking to buy a pair if sunglasses to be more integrated into their culture). Every time a trucker was entering to the bar I was trying to convince him to take me with him (this sounds weird). In the afternoon the area was full, at one moment something like ten small Romanian vans carrying people and goods in long semi-trailers arrived. Also other people with french plates and a couple of Spanish truckers, but none took me.

Then, around 4 pm, I saw a big red truck coming and parking just in front of me. I checked the plate and it was french. Suddenly the door opened and I saw a guy without shirt coming down. He was not specially tall but definitely well-built and with an impressive tattoo covering all his upper-body. Sincerely he looked like a psycho-killer. Anyway I couldn’t let any opportunity slip so I addressed to him in French. It turned out that he was Spanish and, despite his look, he was a very nice person. A little bit crazy to tell the truth but a really interesting guy. He accepted me in the truck without any hesitation but first he invited me to another coffee and a cigarette.

Once in the truck I started telling him my story but I understood that, as a good trucker, he also liked to speak, even more than me. He was going to France, specifically to Nice. It was perfect, I had a stroke of luck. During this 5 hours together we smoked a lot and he explained me most of his life. Including his two previous accidents with a truck. He try to reassure me telling that both accident were due to the tiredness and now, with someone to talk with, he was feeling very awake. We drank another coffee in our way and it started to get dark when we were approaching the border. We were passing by a very beautiful area with the sea on the left and the mountains on the right. I really wanted to reach France this day but he explained me that he was going to leave the road just after the border taking a secondary road toward Nice.

He stopped me in the latest gas station in Italy. It was a very small area surrounded by small hills. I couldn’t see much more but the lights of the seaside were just in front of me. For a moment I had the crazy idea of going down to the beach and have my last adventure. But as I was very close to France and I knew that is one of the easiest countries to hitchhike in western Europe so I decided to have a try even being so late. Somehow knowing the language and being familiar with the country encouraged me. I started to ask to every person in a french car and after two or three attempts a young guy agreed to drive me for some kilometers, to first gas station in France. I didn’t want to go further because I was very tired and it’s more probable to find a long-distance ride in the morning.

After less than 20 minutes in his car he let me in a huge area for trucks. It was probably the biggest gas station I had seen in my whole trip, full of wide pieces of grass and a lot of parking for cars and trucks. It was close to La Turbie (one hour away walking to Montecarlo according to Google Maps. I didn’t know it). I had a big dinner with all my leftovers, I drank some beers and I went to sleep. For the first time I was able to choose where to put my tent. I could hide myself but it seemed safer to me to be close to the entrance. After so many days sleeping with the sounds of the cars in the background it would have been strange to be in almost complete silence.

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Categories: Beach, Gas station, Hitchhiking, Mountains, Wild camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From a gas station in Ljubljana to a Church in Villesse

I didn’t die.

Ljubljana-Villesse

Ljubljana-Villesse

As I was still alive, that day I woke up with a lot of energy. It was a sunny day, still early in the morning and I was in a perfect gas station to hitchhike. I was planning to arrive as further as possible in Italy. After packing and drink my coffee, I checked that the others hitchhikers were still sleeping and I went to the end of the gas station to start my work. I wrote “Italy” in my cardboard and I waited with my thumb up, every now and then I was doing a round around the trucks but none offer me a ride. Finally, around midday a young guy with a old car stopped, the rear seats were folded and all the space was full of things including a bike. He was a very nice guy. He explained me a lot of thing about Slovenia and told me that it was a shame I couldn’t spend more time there because is full of nice places to climb and hiking.

My idea was to cross the border through the south part but my driver was going to a village close the northern border, near Gorizia. I checked the map and It looked also a good place to hitchhike. He assured me that it was a very common pass for truckers. In fact, it was a huge industrial area full of trucks. Then I learned that it was a kind of check-in center for European trucks. He let me in a gas station from where I could see the border with Italy. I was quite confident about the future because of the great amount of trucks. I tried to hitchhike for more than one hour but none stopped. A lot of Slovenian truckers were turning back to Slovenia and the ones with long distance routes, generally coming from the Balkans, used to take the southern way.

Slovenian-Italian border gas station

Slovenian-Italian border gas station

Around 3 o’clock the sun was burning my skin so I decided to eat something and have a little rest. No more than half an hour later I was already trying to hitchhike again. Some people stopped but any of them was going to Italy following the highway. A little later a friendly Italian guy told me that it was a complicated point and offered to drive me to the train station from where I could take a train to the south, to somewhere close to the main highway. I accepted. I arrived just 5 minutes before 5:30 pm when the train to Monfalcone was leaving. I was trying hard to remember the map from my mobile phone. The train was going more or less parallel to the highway so I decided to stop in Sagrado, the second stop, in order not to waste any more time.

Unintentionally, my day was turning more and more complicated. Once in Sagrado, I was a little bit disoriented so I went to a coffee shop and I ask for the closest entrance to the highway. I learned that I was quite far from everywhere and they advised me go to Villesse, “only” 5 fucking kilometers away. I started to walk. I was worried because the sun was already going down and It was going to be complicate to hitchhike at night. My only hope then was to enter again to the highway and sleep in a gas station, even if it was not far from there. During my walk, I tried to hitchhike but none even slowed a little. I had heard that Italy was a difficult country to hitchhike and I was starting to check it. After an hour walking I saw a highway entrance under construction on my right, at least I was not far. I arrived to the village soon later.

Villesse

Villesse

Following the signals, I crossed a bridge over the Highway and I arrived to a roundabout with a sign pointing Udine and Venice. That was my way. But I also found this:

No autostop! No fun!

No autostop! No fun!

It was around 7 pm, I tried to hitchhike the best I knew but none stopped. It was getting dark and I didn’t have any place to stay. At 8 pm I surrendered and turned back to the village. I forgot that I was in the north of Italy where the schedules are more European. I only crossed a couple of persons that led me to the central square. I found a hostel on the way so I asked for the prices just in case, strangely, they told me that they were full. I still don’t believe them. They also advised me to go to the main road where I could find a big hotel. I passed by the main square with a church where only one small bar was open and I continued my way to the right. I was more focused in find a piece of field to put my tent than in anything else. I saw one or two nice spots without fence but I wanted to ask in the hotel mainly because I needed a shower. I didn’t see a single person in my way since the central square but surprisingly, the Hotel bar was full. They had a terrace with Caribbean style and trendy music. There was even young people in there. I asked to a waitress and she told me to speak with the girl on terrace-bar because she was supposed to speak in Spanish. I asked her for the prices but it was too expensive for me (more than 1 euro) so I turned back to the Village.

Caribbean terrace

Caribbean terrace

I checked again the piece of field I had seen before but I thought that having a beer in the only bar opened in the whole village was a good idea. I wanted to see what kind of people were living there and envisage if they were going to shoot me in the morning or something like that. When I arrived to the central square I realized that the main church was surrounded by grass without any fence but it was in the offing of several houses indeed. At that very moment an old man carrying a bucket noticed me. In order not to appear rude I approached him and explained that I was looking for a place to sleep. I was not very confident about his reaction but as if it was the more logical thing in the world, he ask me if I didn’t like the church field. I answered him that for me it was more than enough but I was concerned about the neighbors. His answer was still better: “if you have any problem, tell them that I told you to sleep there”.

After that, I told him that I was thinking to go to the bar to have a beer and he insisted to go along with me. In the bar there were only four people, a middle age guy playing on the slot machine, the waitress that was a young girl, my new friend drinking a expressssso and me. He was the typical tall, good looking and stylish Italian man with very kind blue eyes. I ordered a beer and the young girl joined our conversation. They seemed very interested on me and I like to speak a lot so by this time I was already engaged to tell all my adventure. At the end, he invited me to another beer and he paid me a coffee for the next morning in advance. I thanked him a lot before he left then the waitress, infected by this charity atmosphere, gave me also 6 small sandwiches that were left over. When I finished my drink I also thanked to her and left, it was before 11 pm.

The backyard of the church was shared with a row of flats where most of the lights were on. In soite of this, everything was in a confusing silence (or maybe it was just my impression because I am from Spain). I tried to put the tent behind a ridiculous tiny tree but, obviously, everybody could see me anyway. Later on, I smoked my last cigarette and I saw someone on his balcony doing the same thing, we looked at each other but none said nothing. I went to sleep quite soon. I was feeling safe because god was taking care of me.

Villesse central square (Church and bar on the left)

Villesse downtown (Church and bar)

PD. Man from Villesse, If you are reading this, thank you so much for everything and I apologize for not remembering your name.

Categories: Church, hiking, Hitchhiking, Village, Wild camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Zagreb to a gas station near Ljubljana

Zagreb-Ljuljana detail

Zagreb-Ljuljana detail

I woke up around 8 o’clock when a lot of people was already on the queues for the first flights of the day. I got surprised when I saw that Aleksandra wasn’t there, I checked that Pulguita was OK and packed everything quickly. The airport was already full of people and I discovered that the wiser sleepers were on the second floor that still remained quite empty. The only visible socket was engaged by someone so I went straight to the coffee shop and asked for a big coffee to wake up, there I could charge my mobile phone and look on Google maps for the nearest highway. Apparently the closest highway entrance was at 8 kilometers from the airport so about hour and a half walking.

Zagreb Airport exit

Zagreb Airport exit

I started my walking as soon as I felt awake, unfortunately I got confused in some point and I did an unintentional touristic tour around a village called Gradići. In total, I made an extra 5 Kilometers but at least I found a LIDL and I have to say that people was specially kind with me in this village.

Gradići miners tribute?

Gradići miners tribute?

Then I undertook my way back having to stop every 15 minutes because the sun was starting to burn and also taking advantage to feed Pulguita. After an hour and a half I arrived to a place that looked as a highway entrance so I decided to have another coffee in a gas station before start the hitchhike but the waiter informed me that the road was under construction, still not open, and that it remained me half an hour of walk to reach the main entrance. I was exhausted but I hadn’t any other option. When I arrived to my destination it was already around 3 o’clock, the place was not very good to hitchhike but at least there was a traffic light lowering down the cars. At first, I wrote down “Spain” in my cardboard but I realized that the Croatians didn’t share the same sense of humor as me so I tried with “Ljubljana” (yes, I had to check the map to not misspelling). After an hour a car stopped, I’m so sorry but I can remember the car or the driver even though I’m quite sure that he or she was nice. Anyway, the mysterious driver took me to a gas station just before the border with Slovenia.

Gas station close to the Croatian-Slovenian border

Gas station close to the Croatian-Slovenian border

There I had my third coffee of the day and I made a quick friendship with the waiter, he was a young guy originally from Algeria (I think) that spoke french and was also traveler, we had a short by intense conversation. When I started again my hitchhiking I saw three guys coming down from a car with a strong hitchhiker looking, I decided to approach them, I was right. There were two French and a hippie guy citizen of the world, I spoke for a while with them specially to be sure that they were not going to steal my preferential place but they were respectful hitchhikers so they agreed. Soon after I saw a middle age guy with a friendly face and I had a feeling that he could be my lover driver, I was right again. He took me from that gas station to another one just to the height of Ljubljana, a really big one. At this time it was already 6 o’clock so I had my fourth coffee very quick and I crossed the whole place to reach the opposite side trying to get a ride before the sundown. I didn’t succeeded but at least I made those amazing pictures:

Amazing picture I

Amazing picture I

Amazing picture II

Amazing picture II

Then, I asked to a truckers if there was any cheap supermarket around the gas station and he sent me to the village through a small path. After passing a group of houses I arrive to a riverside full of trees and I got to an even smaller path with bushes at both sides, it was dark and a little bit scary. On the other side I saw the big sign of the supermarket so I run to arrive on time. When I got in it was 7:55 but the supermarket cashier didn’t let me in…, stupid bitch!  Anyway, I keep walking because from there I could see a LIDL signal a little bit farther but when I arrived It was also closed. In my way back through the deserted industrial park I found a caravan selling kebabs and burgers, the guy was the only person in a square kilometer so I decided to stop there. He was Turkish, we were speaking for a while and I spent 4 euros for a beer and a tasty kebab, then I bought another beer just in case and I traverse the tunnel of terror back more relax because of the alcohol.

When I arrived again to the gas station I was exhausted, it was already around 11 o’clock so I fed Pulguita and I decided to put my tent anywhere in the huge pieces of grass. In that moment I saw another tent and people partying around but I was too tired to join them and instead of that I thought that it was good idea to settle a little bit far away. When I was finished all the process of fixing the tent and keeping things inside, I sat outside to drink my beer and I saw again a couple of guys that I had been seeing the whole evening. They were going from the bottom to the top of the gas station and sometimes to the other side of the road with an old Volkswagen Golf approaching and speaking to all the truckers. They were definitely doing something suspicious, that night I decided to use the small padlocks for the tent’s zipper because I had a bad feeling about them.

(You will know if I died… in the next post… chacha!)

Categories: Gas station, hiking, Hitchhike, hitchhikers, Hitchhiking, Wild camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Donji Vakuf to Banja Luka to Zagreb

Donij Vakuf-Zagreb

Donji Vakuf-Zagreb

When we woke up, we were quite cold because even in the summer the temperatures drops near to zero in Central Bosnia due to the elevation and the steep terrain. We also had to wait for a while till the tent dried from the dew.

Bosnain dawn

Bosnian dawn

Tent drying up the dew

Tent drying from the dew

Then, still in the early morning, we started to hitchhike just on the main road, but we had to wait at least two our to get a ride.

Hit the road Jack

Hit the road Jack

Meanwhile I was filling up the time improving my invented song “Land mine, wild camping” (coming soon), finally an aged man took us in his old truck. He was the typical old person with the body wasted because of an entire life working,  but with those bright honest happy eyes, I really liked him. It was Sunday so, as we were going to learn, Bosnian people drink during the whole day. The old little man offered us a beer in the truck, then he stopped in a small bar and invited us to another beer and just before let us in the road he passed throw his house to show his wife that he was carrying foreign hitchhikers, it was touching. We started again to hitchhike (I can’t identify the exact village in Google maps, it was probably Babin Potok) in front of a big house with children playing and the family members staring at us.

Somewhere in central Bosnia

Somewhere in central Bosnia

Somewhere in central Bosnia II

Somewhere in central Bosnia II

We needed again some time to be caught but a little later we were carried by two young heavy metal Bosnians that were also drinking in the car. We were talking about music and then they insisted on hearing me playing Spanish music with the guitar so I had to play “Nube the pegatina” the song I used to keep for that kind of situations. They dropped us in the entrance of Jajce, a very beautify city famous because of its waterfalls where the Pliva River meets the river Vrbas. We were in a busy crossing so we decided to walk a little bit, following the road that borders the town to the north. Happily some meter away we found a very nice view to the waterfalls, but unfortunately all the gaps were in that left side of the road and any of them in our direction.

The waterfalls are just after the cabin... I swear!

The waterfalls are just behindthe cabin… I swear!

...OK, just a little bit further...

…OK, just a little bit further…

We kept walking and started to feel hungry, but any shop was open. After a quite long walk we found the first suitable place to hitchhike in kilometers but a local suspicious woman was already taking over the place. We tried for a while to share the space with her but she “suggested” us to go away so we obeyed, scared about her threat. A little bit later we were so tired that we started to hitchhike in the first small gap we found on the road.

Overview of Jajce

Overview of Jajce

Overview of Jajce II

Overview of Jajce II

The uncrowded roads and the fact that it was Sunday was making our day harder, we also started to feel thirsty, very hungry and worried about the chances to be on time in Zagreb. After one or maybe two hours a young strange guy stopped and agreed to drive us to Banja Luka. As you probably already guessed the guy had the car full of beers (It is definitely a Bosnian tradition), so we recovered our hope in this long day full of ups and downs (this was still nothing, keep reading).

When we arrived to Banja Luka our driver stopped to fill his fuel tank in the first gas station and we decided to stay because we saw a big supermarket and we really needed to eat something. Before saying good bye we insisted on inviting him for a coffee in appreciation to the beers. The guy was in a hurry so he swallowed his coffee at a gulp and left two minutes later.

Filler Pulguita's picture

Filler Pulguita’s picture

We ran to the supermarket like malnourished dogs, but  again the luck got us in the back. We bought a big peace of cheese, a bag of sausages, bread and some garlic. I don’t know how to explain it, but we both really wanted to throw up. The sausage was disgusting, but the cheese…. the cheese was the worst thing I have eaten in my life, the producers should be in jail, not even joking.

 Therewith, we went again to the supermarket to buy some juice or something to cover the taste, but it was already closed so we decided to eat pieces of garlic instead. After that we still wanted to throw up, but at least for a different reason. We where tired and with a slight diurnal hangover but we didn’t have any other option than keep hitchhiking to the north, because our fly was going to take off the next day at midnight. Banja Luka is the second biggest city of Bosnia, is quit big and interesting but we didn’t have any more time for tourism. We followed the road searching for a place to hitchhike but we were exactly in the southern entrance of the city and we wanted to go to the north.

The only picture of Banja Luka we made

The only picture of Banja Luka we made

After one hour or more we had one of the most unpleasant experiences in our trip.  Just after passing a gas station we were walking on the big avenue and we heard a big riot. Right after that we saw a group of young people shouting and walking in our direction, and when we approached a little bit closer, we realized that they were raising their arms just as the unfriendly German dwarf with a funny mustache used to. I imediately took Aleksandra’s hand and I told her to turn around and go to the gas station as fast as possible. In addition of our hippie traveler look we had painted an anarchist “A” on Pulguita’s travelbag, so we had a lot of chances to be in trouble.  Luckily, we reached the gas station’s cafeteria, we sat in the most hidden table and ordered a coffee. From there we could see some of the retarders going in and buying cigarettes but none of them seemed to realize about our presence. We stayed there for a while a little bit scared and very desperate, because the sun was going down, and we really wanted to leave Banja Luka to, at least, wild camp somewhere in the countryside. When we ensured that the road was clear, we went out. The roundabout with the Zagreb highway exit was only some minutes away but we had a very few sunlight left so we did it as fast as we could. During the walk we realized that our Nazi friends were probably coming from the nearby football stadium, were intellectual people normally have their meetings. Once there, we tried to hitchhike the best as we could (if there is some technique) but no one stopped.

Filler Pulguita's picture II

Filler Pulguita’s picture II

The day was turned to be the hardest in our trip but, on the other hand, that is the point of hitchhiking, to never know what is going to happen and be able to overcome all the adversities. Anyway, even if we had had good references about Banja Luka, we really wanted to be out of there quickly so we decided, not without arguing, to take a bus somewhere to the north and we started looking for the bus station. It wasn’t too far, but atsome point we took the wrong way so it took us around one hour to get there. At least something good happened: we discovered that there was a night bus going to Zagreb leaving at 22 and the station minimarket was still open. We ate something and we waited for the bus, it was already completely dark.

Filler Pulguita's picture III

Filler Pulguita’s picture III

When we got to the bus we had again some troubles, it looked that the day was endless, we had bought the ticket and spent all the money we had left in the shop, but the driver wanted to charge us an extra amount to put our backpack in the trunk of the van (yes, it was a van). I started to argue with him but thanks to a friendly guy who got in to the conversation, the driver allowed us to put the backpacks in the van with us. By the way, we were hiding Pulguita at the same time so we didn’t feel relieved until the bus left the station. The next challenge was to cross the European border going into Croatia. The bus was stuck there for at least half an our, everybody showed their documents. From all the passengers, we only had one loss, an innocent young girl who was probably an international terrorist carrying guns into Europe to kill our children. The important part – we smuggled Pulguita in. 

Filler Pulguita's picture IV

Filler Pulguita’s picture IV

Anyway, we arrived to Zagreb on time, around 2 am and some of the shops at the bus station were still open. It was a big station with a huge space with seats on the first floor, and even if the gate´s entrance was open the whole night and there was no security guards, it looked quite save… or not, we were too tired for quibbling. We had a quick sandwich (actually it was a disgusting old greasy Burek, fitting quite well to our days menu) and we found a perfect hidden space in a corner, so we settled with the bags at the bottom and we finally had a deserved sleep, it was a round 3 am.

Categories: Animals, Hitchhike, Hitchhiking, Mountains, Valley, Wild camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From a random Croatian beach to Mostar

Now, after checking on the Internet I know that we were somewhere between Srebreno and Mlini, a little touristic villages five kilometer before Dubrovnik. We walked from the main road down to the sea following a narrow stairs through a forest and we arrived to a seafront promenade full of hotels and restaurants, but quite calm and depressing at the same time. To give you an Idea, a mature man was singing old american country and soul hits in a very peculiar way, while the people his age applauded him . We had spent the days before quite intensively, so we were tired and the ambient didn’t help, whole families staring at us as we were from a different planet. We had our traditional ham and cheese sandwich with beer, and then we moved to a park near the sea with perfect hidden and flat places to put our tent. We did it carefully because we were warned that it was going to rain. Indeed, it started to rain at some point of the night and it didn’t stop until the late morning, including thunders and lightnings. It was the first full exam for our new tent and it passed it quite well. The terrain and the position of the tent on a slope also helped. The next morning we decided to leave Croatia straight away, it was so touristic and expensive, and we had to return to Zagreb Anyway. Before leaving, we got to one last (and first) Croatian cafe. There, Aleksandra got a delicious frappe, while I drank a disgusting espresso and then we started to hitchhike. We didn’t have to wait to much and a nice Croatian guy (Paul) who also worked in the tourism sector gave as a lift from there to an intersection, where we could catch a ride to Bosnia. On the way we saw Dubrovnik from the car… so sad. Suddenly a grey morning changed to a very hot afternoon. We were hitchhiking for a big while and we already started to be worried, when we saw a strange van full of colors approaching us quite fast. When the guys from inside the van saw us they jammed on the breakes and stopped literally a few meters from us . It was an old English school van, decorated with colourful graffittis.

English school hippie van

English school hippie van

Attention to the sign on top

Attention to the sign on top

Three big blond guys came out from the van and invited us to go inside, they were clearly “happy”. There was also a girl who turned out to be a girlfriend of the most drunk one. We instantly received a beer and we tried to get in their mood as far as possible, I started to play the guitar while the craziest one decided that pissing from the van door while it was driving, was a cool idea. Of course we were stopped at the border, but there’s nothing that money couldn’t fix. By the way, they were Australians travelling around the world.

Australian people

Australian people

Their intention was to jump from the Mostar bridge and mine was not to die. When we arrived, it started to rain again but we already realized that Mostar was a very beautiful place, and also, that Bosnian people don’t like drunk foreigners.  The first thing that caught my attention was all the walls with bullets marks from the war.

War survivor wall

War survivor wall

Sad but very interesting. The “aussies” wanted to have a dinner in a restaurant so we joined them, but we only had a beer. In contrast, they ate a big meat grill plate that looked very tasty, as well as the bill. Then they moved to an open space out of the town and went to sleep. We were used to start the party at that time of the evening but we didn’t have more choice than to put our tent near the van and try to sleep. Unfortunately it was not a very good place for that, it was full of rubbish, stones and cars doing strange movement and in addition to all that it started to rain. This time we couldn’t put the tent so well so the front top got wet. Tent 1 – Rain 1. It was probably the worst night in our trip, but still interesting to remember.

Categories: Beach, Hitchhiking, Wild camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Kotor to a random beach in Croatia

Winter was coming

Winter was coming

After two days we were looking forward to be in the road again. We started to walk by the exit of the town which leads to the north. Some meters away we found another hitchhiking couple trying to get a ride. It was a Spanish-German couple. Kotor is definitely the most “hitchhiker friendly” town we found in our trip. Unfortunately it started to rain, so we decided to hitchhike from under a little corner shop’s roof. It was not a very good place but we needed only a few minutes to catch the first car. It was a middle aged woman (Vesta) with a good car and a perfect English that drove us to Perast, a little bit further than her destination. During the short journey the sky started to cover up in a very scary dark gray color.

Raining cats and dogs

Raining cats and dogs

I didn't care about the rain

I didn’t care about the rain

The heavy rain was waiting for us so we had to run to the nearest cafe. We didn’t have time to admire the view and that little village was really charming.  It was much less touristic and smaller than Kotor, so instead of big cruisers you could see little fisherman’s boats and transparent water, with the same crazily beautiful mountains around. We stayed in a cafe at least three hours.  It didn’t stop to rain all that time. I tried to bargain with the owner to exchange my guitar to another exposed in the bar as a decoration but my efforts didn’t have any reward.

Come on, sell me the fucking guitar!

Come on, sell me the fucking guitar!

After the storm a beautiful sunny color impregnated the whole bay, it was a magic moment. In the way back to the main road we had the time to make some beautiful pictures of the bay and the little fisherman boats.

Beautiful landscape

Beautiful landscape

Already there, we realized that there was no place to hitchhike in our direction, so we tried out the more risky hitchhiking mode: “the reverse hitchhiking”. It was fucking hard… That’s not true. We needed two minutes for a car to stop.  That’s when we met one of the main characters in our trip story: Habib. At this time he was with another Turkish friend, Emir,  and he drove us from Perast to Herceg Novi. He also gave us two CD´s of Turkish music: Burhan Öçal & The Trakya All Stars  and Gönül Sayfam . Once there, we stopped to buy something to eat in a very small corner shop with a smiley old woman that actually give as a tomato for free. She was so nice that we decided to hitchhike few meters away not to block her entrance. Soon other hitchhikers arrived to this place, leaving us in a less advantageous position. Anyway, we were caught before them by an interesting Montenegrin guy with a ruined old Golf. He drove us to the border with Croatia and, by the way, with the European Union. We crossed the border walking again and there we found another of our animal friends. We very originally called him Pulgui 3. There he is:

Pulgui 3

Pulgui 3

He was specially trained to bark furiously and try to attack all the car that ignored us, specially the Germans. We finally got a ride from a very friendly Bulgarian couple whose car was already full without us. From Christian (the driver) we learned about “Dubioza Kolektiv”, a Bosnian band that we liked a lot. They wanted to leave us in a proper Camping site but we didn’t find the way to explain them that we were wild camping. After leaving them we felt a little bit upset, because we had the impression that they wanted to spend an evening with us (If you are reading that, sorry anyway). We finally were in Croatia but we weren’t very sure where exactly.

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Kotor II, drink and recovery

As Aleksandra explained, Kotor was the town where we crossed more hitchhikers, so we had to celebrate it with a proper party. I don’t know how but we managed to bring all of them together at 7,30 pm on the Old town entrance. Finally, from all of the travelers we where there, only us and a young Polish couple were enough brave to climb up the 1,350 stairs to the top of the Castle with the backpacks.

Kotor old town entrance

Kotor old town entrance

We started at night, because from 10 am to 8 pm you have to pay 3 euros and that was too much. It took us around one hour and a half and 5 kilograms each. But finally all the effort was worth it, because the view from the top was really impressing. First of all, we looked for a place to put our tents. There are several covered rooms on the castle, but usually destroyed and full of rubbish, so we decided to settle in the only  more or less flat grass field we found. Then we cooked some soup in our burned pot (for the last time before throwing it away) and ate our dinner. In a nearby roof they were two Germans drinking some beer, so after the dinner we invited them. For that special occasion we  switched to wine for the first time on the trip and it was quite tasty but not so good for my stomach. We were playing guitar all night long and we finished sitting in a roof, 280 metres above the ground, contemplating the Kotor bay.

Kotor by night

Kotor by night

Famous Spanish singer

Famous Spanish singer

We woke up the next day already surrounded by early tourists quite shocked about our presence, the same as me about theirs.  It was very hot, and we understood straight away that to come down was harder than to walk up. Once downstairs, we walked around the beautiful old town and made some pictures. We both started to feel a little bit down, so we decided to spend the day on the beach. As you can see on the map, the bay of Kotor is a piece of water into the land and Kotor is a town, that is furthest in the inner land. That also means it is the most contaminated by the big amount of boats and big cruisers that sail around there every day. The beach was quite artificial, but the surroundings were still amazing.

Morning view 1

Morning view 1

Morning view 2

Morning view 2

Our home

Our home

We didn’t recover the energy for the hole day, we even decided not to search too much and simply place the tent in the park, nearby the beach. We went to the supermarket and then straight to the park, waiting for the tourists to go back to their hotels. Then, again the hitchhikers luck came to us. We were drinking a beer and playing “I cross the border with” (very suitable for that situation) when two girls approached us. They asked if we where hitchhiking and where we planned to sleep. After a few words they invited us to sleep at their rented little place, They were two very very nice Lithuanian hitchhiker girls: Vida and Zivile. We spent the night talking about travels (they were quite experienced travelers), and the boring day turned into a great night. In the morning we also could have a shower. Thank you so much!

Kotor Bay

Kotor Bay

Nice street

Nice street

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Kotor

Hitchhiking in Balkans is like catching a taxi. It took us something like two minutes to catch a hike to Kotor. This time it was a nice couple from Denmark, who were spending their holidays in Montenegro. When I mentioned my nationality, it turns out that the Danish girl was actually half-Polish and she spoke Polish very well. By then, I’d started to think Polish grew to a rank of international languages. At least in Balkans. And Igor was getting more and more depressed that suddenly nobody cared about Spanish anymore. I felt just a little bit of sadistic pleasure seeing him suffer.

Sky after the storm. on the way to Kotor

Sky after the storm. on the way to Kotor

We got to Kotor in 20 minutes and already as we were approaching the town we got absolutely amazad with the beauty of the bay. It was amazing. When we arrived, the first thing we did was to sit down on a first banch we found (with a beautiful view on a wall of old city. A usual, old wall) and we started to dig in our lousy food. Igor was very happy about his spicy chorizo. As we were delecting ourselves with an old bread-old anything else (but chorizo) sandwiches we saw somebody is waving at us. It was another backpacker wanting to where we were going to camp. Even though we communicated quite well with in backpackerssign language, he decided to come down and talk to us.

The wall

The wall

Kotor bay

Kotor bay

He turned out to be a Lithuanian hitchhiker traveling with his friend. Just like us, they just arrived to town and they wanted to find a camping place, where they could leave their tent with stuff inside without a worry. We had a kind of a conflict of intrests there. We heard from the Germans that a good place to stay is Kotor castle. After 8PM there was no one to charge us 3 euros for entrance and the views had to be amazing. The only thing about it was that to get there, you had to climb 1500 steps.

random photo from Kotor

random photo from Kotor

view on the bay

view on the bay

We’ve decided to look for some better camping places and meet up just before the sunset. We started the search (not very thorough though,we knew we wanted to go up). On our way we met a couple of young Polish hitchhikers with a guitar: Alicja and Tomek and we told them to come to our meeting point. “Great! We’re get fucking wasted” was the answer. I’d missed Polish mentality.

Then, we went to a shoping mall (a paradise to every backpacker, with all those free toilets and stuff), where we saw to our surprise that everybody smokes walking around the shoping mall aisles. But beware! Sitting on a ground next to a wall is strictly forbidden!

In the supermarket we saw some typical Spanish hyppies. It turned out they were hitchhiking around the area as well. Kotor seems to be a favourite hitchhiker destination, for some reason.

Anyway, when we all met up in the meeting point (some other hitchhiking Poles appeared, what a surprise!), it was the time to decide. Lithuanians found some guarded place, where they could stay, but we knew what we wanted. We wnated to write in our blog, we slept in the Kotor castle, and we got “fucking wasted!”.

So we took the Polish youngsters with us and we started to climb. I must say, it was an hour of a complete nightmare. But man, it was worth it!

Categories: hitchhikers, Sightseeing, Uncategorized, Wild camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Montenegro Coast

The first night wasn’t too interesting. At least villige where we stayed wasn’t too touristic, so we could camp at the main beach.

The next day in the morning we were quite confident about hitchhiking, because we were used to Albania, but Montenegro is another story. It was extremely humid, so we felt completely exhausted and powerless.

Tourists don’t want problems taking dirty hitchhikers, so they just passed by, we saw plates from everywhere in Europe.  Fortunately, a young Russian guy  (who by the way didn’t look Russian at all. Rather like an Australian surfer) stopped. He was very curious about us, as from where he comes from (Syberia) hitchhikers is not a common thing to see. We had a nice conversation and he left us in the entrance to Budva.

Sveti Stefan and us.

Sveti Stefan and us.

Budva is one of the most touristic places in Montenegro, so you can imagine the amount of swimming suits, towels, children and inflatable matresses that we saw there. We managed to cross the town and we started to climb a small hill, following the main road. We tried to hitchhike there for a while, but it didn’t work, so we continued walking. From the top we tried to reach small hidden beach throuhg the bushes but the path was getting narrower and narrower, just next to a cliff, so we had no choice but give up and go back to the road. Just before getting to the road again, we stumbled upon a car, obstructing the way and jumbing at the same time. Someone was making babies inside. Nevertheless we decided to pass, but we forgot to make a video (next time).

Ruins of a castle. Presently, a garbage dump

Ruins of a castle. Presently, a garbage dump

We started to follow the main road again. We had to walk something like 7 kilometers without any space to hitchhike and with the sun heating our heads. The worst thing is that we were watching incredibly beautiful small beaches only reachable by a boat. What a pitty we left our at home.

Nice view

Nice view

When we finally arrived to some civilization, we were close to death, so we bought a typical 2l plastic bottle of beer. We were sure that the wine that we had wouldn’t be enough.

As we had realized from the top of the cliff, just behind the big main beach full of tourists, plastic sunbeds and all that crap, there was another one as big as the other, but with much less people (probably most of them killers, pedos and exhibicionists).

Our beach. The view from the road.

Our beach. The view from the road.

All we wanted is to have a rest so we just threw our backpacks on the floor, crushed at the stony beach, opened the beer and just relaxed. Some ten minutes later a young blond girl approached us and asked if we were thinking to sleep there. It turned out she was doing the same thing. It was a German couple of hitchhikers, Karl and Ana, that found a perfect place under an abandoned beach bar and spent already two nights there. It was like a present for us, we were on an impressive beach, we had a shelter, good company and alcohol. We spent a great time with them. We talked a lot, we played some guitar and we made a fire place.  We also swam naked in the transparent water and saw the fluorescent plankton.  Magic night. When I opened my eyes in the morning, first thing I saw, was a naked, old man, 5 meters away from me. Magic morning.  We left the beach quite sad, having to pass next to all the staring tourists.

Our paradise beach

Our paradise beach

Our home

Our home

Our home. The close up

Our home. The close up

Fire.

Fire.

What the fuck are you looking at?!

Categories: Beach, hiking, hitchhikers, Party, Sightseeing, Wild camping | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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