Steph woke me up around 8am with the news that she isn’t going to walk today! After a lot of thinking and checking the weather, she has come to the conclusion that walking through the Albanian mountains in late autumn isn’t for her.
If we had left it any later I would be of the same mind, but even though we will probably get some snow, I don’t think it will reach extreme temperatures. And this is one part of the walk I have really been looking forward to.
Steph’s news came as a bit of a shock as it would probably mean that this is the end of her pilgrimage! And now I am back to walking by myself…
After just having a couple of days by myself coming into Tirana, I was quite looking forward to having company again. But that’s part of this whole journey, letting go of some of the control of my life and just accepting what comes…
So now I have to say a big THANK YOU to Steph for coming this far! It has been an amazing journey and it was a pleasure to share it with her…90% of the time anyway ;) And the other 10% was probably the most important, as we got to witness some important dynamics in our relationship. It was an honour to walk with someone with so much courage and perseverance, good luck for the next couple of weeks and I will see you in Greece :)
After saying goodbye to Charis, we headed down to the International hotel to finish our blogs and book Steph a ticket to Istanbul.
We took our time and I was happy to drag the chain, I was still getting my head around walking through the mountains alone. It is one thing to put yourself in a stupid situation if there is someone there to laugh with, but doing it by yourself can be plain miserable!
We had one last lunch together, played a few games of backgammon (which I am glad to say I won 3-2, but at least Steph now has some time in Turkey to practice ;) ), then Steph walked with me toward the edge of town.
It was sad saying goodbye, and still felt funny ending so abruptly. But it was good to know that Steph decision was still feeling right to her.
And then I was off towards the mountains…
Since it was already late I figured I would walk to the edge of town, get a hotel, and give myself an early start in the morning. This all worked out well, the edge of town corresponded nicely with the start of the mountains, so I was all set.
I had told one of the Albanian guys last night that if I was still around I would come out drinking with them again tonight. It was only a half an hour bus ride to town, so I headed back in.
Having just had two big nights in a row, I decided not to drink any alcohol and get to bed early. I think it was a good choice…I’m getting old ;)