Posts Tagged With: wild camping

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

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

Ohrid

Ohrid is a beautiful city. Before coming here, we heard some contradictory opinions about it. “It is a really nice city, you have to see it”, versus “It is so turistic, it is  hard to stand”. Now we really have to see it, we thought, and decide on our own what we think about it.

Just when we got here we already knew it is a little bit of both. Just us we got of the car, we got “attacked” by the locals offering us private accommodation. With every step the price got lower. The cheapest offer was 5 euros per person, not a bad deal, but not at all attractive for us, we felt still fresh and clean after having the last bath in the river, and we wanted explore some cool camping spots in Ohrid.

When we got to the city center we got honestly surprised by the beauty of this small city. We  did not expect a typical mediterranean town with small white houses spread around two bushy hills. With a beautiful view on the Ohrid lake. The water in the lake has color as lasure as the mediterranean sea at the Lasure Coast, but with refreshingly fresh water.

Ohrid lake

Ohrid lake

We were so charmed with the city, we couldnt get bothered with looking for a place to camp before the dusk. We just sipped some beer admiring the views and wondering what is waiting for us on the other side of the lake ( we could see the hilly Albanian shore of the lake).

somewhere in Ohrid

somewhere in Ohrid

When we finally decided we should look for some place to camp, it took us about   ten minutes to find a good place to camp, quite remote from the houses, with a lot of trees around and some flat places to put a camp on. When we already decided where we wanted to stay, we saw some men with torchlights. Our imagination started to produce macabre images  in our heads, of serial killers hunting for victims in the forest. We had to run.

At the bottom of the, on the cliff coming down to the lake, we found a nice church with a pretty an appealingly flat lawn. There were still people visiting the orthodox church, some couples making out and some kids drinking probably their first beer, and the church was pretty illuminated, but we decided that this is our place. We took out the guitar and practiced a bit our travel song.

In the morning we knew it was a good decision:  the views were better than in any other place, there was a stone bench with a great table, where we could have  our breakfast of champions, and a potable water point, were we could refuel our water supplies and even (a complete luxury) clean our teeth and faces.

In the house of our Lord

In the house of our Lord

The Church

The Church of St. John at Kaneo

One of the best breakfast spots!

One of the best breakfast spots!

Just below the church, there was a small beach, where we spent our whole afternoon.  The most of our attention drew a local wiseman with a long white beard. We didnt actually understand what he was saying, but he spoke with a such a low, deep voice, all he said sounded as words of wisdom. To contrast his general appearance, his actions weren´t so sophisticated: he was gutting small sardines and storing them in an empty Marlboro box. He was accompanied by identical twins, two local sirens with long tanned legs and heads full of lovely wavy hair. We suspect the local authorities send these three to the beach as a tourist attraction.

wiseman and his marlboro sardines

wiseman and his marlboro sardines

In the lake

In the lake

Another special detail of the beach was a couple of hairy cats from a local bar. One was completely grown and was a fierceful hunter of all the insects. Other one was just a baby, learning the art of catching small animals. He was such a dutiful student, he followed a dragonfly all the way until the bottom of the lake. Once everybody saw this pitiful animal, all wet and shivering, it got more affect and attention than all the sun, beach, lake, drinks with umbrella and all the touristic crap all together.

Our little friend

Our little friend

After the beach, we hade a lunch and decided to continue our journey.
Ohrid is a nice city, but one day is enough.  And being constantly on the move is for us an addiction we can´t (and won´t) give up.

Cooking in the centre of Ohrid

Cooking in the centre of Ohrid

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Matka Canyon

Skopje-Matka Canyon

Skopje-Matka Canyon

We arrived to the Matka Canyon half past nine in the night. Even the bus driver asked us why we were going there so late. Good for us, we had someone waiting for us, a little dog that we called “Pulgi” (pulga=flea), who stayed with us until the next evening.

DSC01074

Pulgi

Because it was dark we couldn’t realize how beautiful the place  was. One kilometer away we find a small path near the river and then a lake between the mountains. It was impressive to find that in the middle of the night. Unfortunately at some point the path passed through a Hotel’s restaurant and the waiter told us that we had to pay 5 euros each to continue because the way was private. He also offered us a room for 30 euros. We had no doubt, we are hitchhikers, so we turn back. Pulgi also agreed.

It was a little bit scary because it was completely dark and deserted, but finally we found a nice spot to sleep after hiking a little bit, and crossing some goats.

DSC01029

Our home

The next morning we had a coffee in the only bar to charge our mobile phones and camera. I got very amazed when, “Caballero” a Julio Iglesias song sounded in the speakers, the weirdest and cheesiest singer and song ever. That’s my style, I like the place!

Then we were hiking for an hour and a half with all our stuff to reach a monastery on the rocks (St. Nicholas Monastery) . It was worth seeing. Pulgi stood there, probably praying for bones or some other delicious snack.

DSC01057

Monastery

When we came back to the riverside, the place seemed like Jersey Shore in Macedonian Style. It was full of people, including families and groups of teenagers. To be sincere it was full of rubbish too. We were kind of upset to see how they don’t care about such a beautiful place. Even though it still remained interesting for us to see how Macedonians spend their Sunday.

We had our lunch on the river and  the Macedonians started to light their barbecues on the early evening. When the sun started to go down we walked to the nearest corner shop. The owner was the typical old woman you expect to find in a place like that. With a permanent smile on her face she managed to communicate with us with means of signs. She even gave us two chair for the time she spent to look for our change.

DSC01048

Matka Kanyon

Then we came back praying that no one had been occupying a perfect hidden spot we had seen in the morning. It was a magic place just near the river  but only accessible by crossing a bridge and walking 10 minutes trough the bushes. The perfect place for a wild camp. We got it, and just when it became completely dark we lit a fire in an already prepared fireplace. We drank some beer and we also started to write a song about our trip (soon worldwide available).

DSC01095

“The body”

The next morning we said goodbye to this special place with a morning naked bath in the river. Once clean and fresh we returned to Skopje and charged our food handbag in another strange shopping mall. Then we started to hitchhike.

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Inđija to Skopje

Inđija-Skopje

Inđija-Skopje

Upon leaving Inđija, we had some coffee and ice-cream for breakfast. One scoop was a size of three normal ones and cost 40 dinars – 0.35euro (I might have mentioned that before, but I’m still in owe). Although my banana flavour tasted like lemon, it was still really good. Coffee (70 dinars = 0,50 euro) was crap, but you know, you can’t always get what you want.

Our ice-cream. So big, so cheap, so good!

Our ice-cream. So big, so cheap, so good!

So let’s go back on the road! Next stop: Skopje! (?)
This time it wasn’t so easy. We had to walk all the way from the city to the pay toll. It seemed much less in the car. And with Igor complaining all the way, it seemed even longer. OK, we are here. Let’s begin.

Part1: From pay toll to Belgrade. Waiting time: 20 minutes.
A really nice, but a bit crazy driver from Zadar took us. wanted to make sure he’ll leave us at a right place, so he called his wife so that we could explain here where we want to go in English. Really fun ride. By the way, as it turns out, it’s completely normal to use rear gear at Serbian highways :).

Part 2: Belgrade – Vranje. Waiting time: 30 minutes.
After a short while Marian, a Serbian truck driver stopped to take us with his truck. He was going to Vranje, a city close to the Macedonian border. We felt bad all the way we couldn’t communicate well. We tried some Polish-Serbian mix, but it which worked more or less, but it wasn’t enough for a decent conversation.

We got out at the outskirts of Vranje. It was already late and dark, no way we could continue today .Marian left us at the exit to Vranje, so we had to walk about 500m to the gas station. The way wasn’t illuminated and we didn’t have any reflective bands. Tip for backpackers: it’s really important to have something to be visible at the road, better safe than sorry. It’s decided – it’s our next purchase.

We slept directly at the gas station. By now, we don’t care anymore about hiding.

Our camping place next to Vranje

Our camping place next to Vranje

Dinner: Noodles with bread crumbs - Yummy!

Dinner: Noodles with bread crumbs – Yummy!

The next day everything was going quite smoothly. We arrived to Skopje in two goes: first we caught a ride to Serbian-Macedonian border.

We passed the border walking. We were so busy arguing, we didn’t even realize we are stepping on the Macedonian land.
We were stopped by the policeman, who concluded we are Polish-Spanish backpackers mafia. He let us through anyway.

Upon crossing the border we already knew that gypsy beggars were ruining our business. We decided to try our luck. Fortunately we look (and are) too poor to attract them. We waited about 20 minutes, but it was clear people were annoyed so they either didn’t want to stop or and drove away in anger. Apart from that, strong smell of piss was hard to bear.
We had to move. We moved 20 m away and all we had to wait to catch a hike was 5 minutes. A Macedonian trucker, Igor stopped to take us to Skopje. He knew some Russian so we could communicate mixing Polish, Russian and Macedonian. After 30 minutes we were in Skopje. Trip Inđija – Skopje in 24 hours.

Could be better, but you know, it’s all about the journey!

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On the road again!

Budapest-Szeget

Budapest-Szeget

Hitch-hiking is easy they said. It’s like catching taxi, they said. Well, maybe. But first, you have to get there. We started our hitch-hiking trip in Budapest. We checked the spot at hitchwiki.org . We chose the place that was indicated as „easy“, where cars could easily stop to pick up the hitch-hikers. Average waiting time: 20 minutes.

With a bit of a stage fright ( we haven’t hitch-hiked for an year now), but full of hopes, and expectations, we got to the outskirts of Budapest,. We prepared a nice banner „Belgrade –Беорад “ and we started.. Twenty minutes passed by fast – nothing, not a slightest sign of interest. The summer sun already begun to burn our skins, and our feet started to cover with dust.

After 2 hours we felt exhausted and our high hopes vanished completely. We realized that many drivers show us they go somewhere else. We’ve checked the map: our perfect road was situated before the road ring – the cars could go to any direction from there.  We also realized we’ve misspelled “Београд” in our banner, we were so proud of. Oops! We still need to learn a lot about the Cyrillic alphabet.

Finally, in the 5th hour of waiting, a car stopped. Istvan, a nice Hungarian guy, took us some kilometers ahead. We don’t even know how many, time passed by fast as we had a nice chat.

After having a fast coffee ( apparently Spaniards cannot do without it, no matter the circumstances), we started again. This time level: hard. After some time a few others hitchhikers appeared, all heading our direction.

The first car that stopped was the police patrol. They asked us a few questions in Hungarian, we just smiled shyly showed our banner and said “vacation”. They wished us good luck (that’s what we like to think) and continued to their hunting place, at the entrance of the highway. We’ve soon realized, they try to hunt down cars that don’t stop before the “stop” sign we were standing next to. I guess the locals knew about the trap, because every single one stopped. But as soon as a car with foreign plate appeared, it was doomed. We tried to show them they should stop. But who would listen to us. What happened next looked a bit like a National Geographic documentary. Poor victim passed by clueless and carefree, and just behind her back, a cold-blooded predator came out from the bushes and started to pursue  her. First slowly, to finally catch it with all his speed and strength, leaving her without any chance to survive. Oh well, at least a bit of entertainment for bored hitchhikers.

Meanwhile, we met Ivan, our second driver, who was so nice that he not only offered us a ride, but also came back for one more hitchhiker, who was going to the same city, as he was (Szeged).

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Hitch-hiking spot in Budapest. Perfect for cars to stop.

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Hitchhikers food with Hungarian accent: super sweet cocktail tomatoes and spicy peppers.

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Igor’s first guitar concert ( private, for me and the hedgehog). Szeged.

We stopped at the gas station before Szeged, a town next to Hungarian-Serbian border. 5 PM: We still have a chance to get to Belgrade. 6 PM: It’s hot, we’re thirsty, we will arrive there by night, but we can still make it. 7 PM: Strong need for a cold beer. Nobody stops, we start loosing our cool. 7:30 PM: Screw that, we’re staying here. We went for the beers. On the way we met some two guys from England, also trying to hitch-hike, guess where… yes – Belgrade. By now, we picture ourselves Belgrade as some kind of hitchhikers Mekka. We’re really curious to see it. Anyway, these two fellows had been waiting here from 1:30 PM. We’re not the worst! We told them we found a place to camp, and they are welcome to join, bought the nectar of gods we needed so badly and went to our cute spot, a bit hidden, between the trees, but really close to the gas station and all its facilities. After preparing the campsite, taking out the guitar and opening our beers, all we were missing was a company. “Let’s see what’s up with the Englishmen”. They were gone. Somebody took them Yeah, finally we’re the last. But we have a guitar, beer, cheese sandwiches with some hot Hungarian peppers and a company of a sweet little hedgehog. It’s great to be on the road again!

What the fuck... a hat

What the fuck… a hat

Hitchhiker but stylish

Hitchhiker but stylish

Where am I?

Where am I?

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