Friday, 2 May 2008

Pilgrimage from Gollomboc to Bilishti 29/04/08

Another freezing night! Sabine was up in the middle of the night jumping to keep warm, and I’m sure it’s not going to be too long before we are complaining about the heat, but I still hope we don’t get too many more nights like this!

It’s a wonderful walk once again and we start to get into the Albania I remember. The cars become scarcer and twice before lunch random people along the road offer us accommodation for the night. This is such a great country!

Around midday we come across our first restaurant and stop for lunch. I try to order some food but the owner doesn’t speak a word of English. A customer comes to the rescue…

“What meals have they got to eat?”

“Fish, it’s great!”

“Hmmm, do they have anything else?”

“Yes, pork…but the fish is amazing”

“How much is it?” After yesterday I’m not taking any chances…

“Hahahahaha, very cheap!”

“Like how much?

More laughs…”Less than a Euro”

“Great, we’ll have the fish”

“And how about raki?”

“Hahahaha, why not”

This impresses him immensely :) He has to drop his friend in town but assures us he will be back shortly…

True to his word, before the fish is finished he turns back up. We ask him to join us and after a few more rakis he insists on paying for our meal. What a champion! But even though we’ve explained to him ten times what we are doing he still doesn’t quite get it…

“Yes, I understand but you can just come and stay at my place and then I will drive you to Greece tomorrow”

“Thanks, that is very kind but we want to walk. It is still too early to stop for the day and we want to walk, not drive”

“Yes, I understand but you can just come and stay at my place and then I will drive you to Greece tomorrow…”

This continues over and over for about half and hour until we decide we better get going. Still not to be perturbed the guy rushes out and opens his car boot for us, looking slightly bewildered when we refuse his offer once again… :)

We continue into the hills and as we walk through the next small village I hear the sound of pool balls clanking together…after the raki for lunch I can’t resist. It isn’t long before we have a huge crowd gathered around to watch us play, they mustn’t get too many strangers here.

Feeling slightly lightheaded we head for the next big town, still 9kms away. Rain starts to fall on the hills and dark clouds are looming. As it begins to spit a hotel comes into view along our road. For €20 we figure it’s a much better option than getting wet and call it a night…

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