Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Pilgrimage from Struga to Ohrid 25/04/08

I wake to the sound of voices on the street. It is light, but I am too lazy to get out of bed and check my mobile for the time. I sneak a peak and see Sabine is still fast asleep…Great! I roll over and get comfortable…

The next time I wake I feel that it is lunchtime and figure I better make a move, Sabine is probably just being polite and waiting for me to get up :) Luckily it is only 09:30, all my stuff is strewn around the room still waiting to be sorted. You (or those that don’t know me anyway) would think that somewhere in the month leading up to today I would have got all my shit together, but no…that was never going to happen :) Here I am the day I am meant to be starting, shit strewn everywhere, trying to fix a puncture in my sleeping mat that I knew was there before Albania.

But finally we hit the road!!! The pilgrimage begins anew!!!

It feels strange to be back into it again. My pack feels twice the weight that I remember and my legs start to hurt after 100m. It’s going to be a long day.

The weather is perfect though, not too hot, not too cold, with a few clouds occasionally blowing in to give us some relief from the sun. I am in good spirits. And to top it off the view over the lake is spectacular!

A few kms down the road we spot a little restaurant, it’s time for breakfast. The meal is amazing and just as we were heading out the door the owners show up…

“Raki? Raki?”

Only one hour into it and we are already getting treated to our first real “pilgrims experience”! Sitting there, sipping raki for breakfast next to these two old Macedonians merrily chatting away really bought back all the other wonderful experiences I have had over the last year. It was the perfect way to start! ;)

The raki also helps relieve the sore legs so we make pretty good time to Ohrid. I had been told that Ohrid is a decent size town, but as we walk in I start to feel a bit worried. Where were all the shops and people?

I still have a couple of things with me that were meant to be posted off weeks ago, and my pack (with them, close to 30kgs) could really do without them. After asking after the post office, we discover it is Orthodox Easter and nothing will be open till Tuesday! Shit!!!

Finally we round a corner and find the center of town…Ohrid is pumping! There are people everywhere and being a holiday, there is a carnival atmosphere in the air. I’m feeling the urge to go out and party!

After checking the internet, we decide to see if we can get a room on the edge of town, and if not camp close by. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be…all the rooms were full and the walkway out of town was also busy with people. By the time we find a place to camp we are already too far out of town to go back for a night out…but oh well.

I’m sure I will have plenty more chances :)