Saturday, 17 November 2007

Pilgrimage from Labrazhd to Qukes 15/11/07

Waking early I’m dismayed by the rain still pouring down outside. My cold has moved down to my chest and I am not keen on getting out there.

The guy at the internet place told me that he opens at 8am, so I head off down there. Sitting in the café next door waiting and waiting he finally turns up at 09:30.

I talk to Steph, my sister, Tobe (who will produce my film), and express that I’m thinking of calling it quits for the winter. Walking in this weather is just ridiculous :) I feel that if I go and study Arabic, Turkish or best of all both over the winter months it will change my pilgrimage greatly. They are all really positive and as the rain keeps falling outside I start to plan my escape route…

If the rain stops I will still walk to Greece, but if it keeps on the way it is I will be lucky to make it into Macedonia! I’m just going to plan it day by day.

It’s lunchtime by the time I get back to my hotel and after a quick meal I’m ready to leave. The rain has finally stopped, so even though it is now 1pm, it was worth the wait.

By 15:00 it’s pouring again. I want to make it 20kms more to Perrenjas so with head-torch on I keep marching.

Passing a bar I hear a guy yell out “Hey, do you speak English? Come in for a drink”. I look up and can’t quite make out who is talking through the rain but then I see a smiling face waving me in. And really, any excuse to stop is a good one ;)

I find out the guys name is Ziux and just to prove that the world is a tiny place, it ends up he used to live about 200m from me in Oslo…and on the same road as some friends I use to work with!

Spotting my cameras, his friends ask if I have any photos of Albania. I pull out my computer and soon have the whole bar crowded round for a look.

The fabulous generosity of the Albanians continues and it isn’t long before Ziux invites me to stay for the night. Champions!!!
His farther prepares a delicious meal of fish, chips, bean soup and salad served with home-made wine…

Sure beats walking in the rain!!! :)

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