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Archive for May 14th, 2012

Which Way From Here?

Posted by TravellingStrom on May 14, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

I woke up a tad seedy and way too early, but dragged myself down for brekky, a light one only though 😉 Then I did some research and packed and headed off quite late, Borce had said come around midday, he would be sleeping in, I wish I could. The trip only lasted an hour or so, but some nice bits of road in there, and some bumpy bits as well, but I got to the servo outside his town and gave him a call, he came and met me there. I had stopped to get fuel, and found a couple of very useful paper maps, of the Balkans and Europe as a whole, and checked my front tyre, it was low pressure again. But, as I did not have a tyre gauge I could only guess the pressure when I filled it last, but this shop had one so I bought it, I lost mine back in Oz somewhere, probably in Saabs garage.

Borce owns a restaurant and as it was lunchtime, I had chicken and rice, very nice it was too. That is Borce to my left and his brother to my right, the other couple were also club members who I met last night. I don’t have your names sorry, so please contact me so I can spell them correctly 🙂 I was also gifted a club Tshirt, thanks 🙂

I spent a few hours here relaxing and discussing a few things, like where to go next. For one thing I had heard that Albania was very expensive to get a green card(100Euro for a transit pass) and also not quite so safe, due to mafia activity etc. But, it was on the other side of the lake, I would need Euros and here the machines only dispensed Denar, so I would need to find a money exchanger. Then we got my new map out and they showed me a few places and from memory of what I had seen on my GPS, it looked like the best bet would be to go back down into Greece, about 50km or so, head to the coast and then enter Albania there. Greece is part of the EU so the cash is not a problem from their ATMs, then I can head north along the coast through Albania, then Montenegro etc. After that was sorted, I headed off for one the lakes in Galicica National Park and there was a cache up there as well.

So, the road I was advised to take took me through rural areas and some nice mountain areas, so it was worth the small detour. That was until I entered the village of Krushevo, where I got myself into a sticky situation. My fault, I was following the GPS up these streets, but had entered the wrong destination, so I was was trying to fight it and well, see for yourself.

I was stuck facing downhill, on cobblestone surface and steps in front of me, bad! I stalled it(on purpose) and parked and went looking for help, and found some young fellas who helped me back it up and turn it around and then pointed me in the correct direction, thanks, that was hard work! I then tried to get out of town, I went around in circles for a while because even with a new destination in the GPS it was being stupid. I found out why when I got to the exit road and according to my GPS I was nowhere, that is a bit scary!

But, I noticed while taking the photo, there was a cache just there, so I went for it and happy me found my first in Macedonia 🙂 Only a small hike this time up that hill, and I reckon Mr Bean would go crazy at this small car, there are many of these in these parts 🙂

A bit later on the road matched the GPS so that was all good. I went through a small town called Demir Hisar where there seemed to be a memorial to a local champion ten pin bowler I thought, but the gun had me confused. When I asked the young people sitting nearby, they said it was to commemorate the massacres during WWII, sad, but a very intriguing statue.

It was not long after this I went through Bitola and arrived at the lake shores, I was nearing the start of the twisty ride I had planned. Once I got into the park, it was as I expected, steep and narrow roads with many many corners and hairpin turns, great stuff all the way to the top where I stopped to locate another cache.

After that it was all downhill from here, literally 🙂 But it was only a short ride and I ended up at a friend of Borce, who owns some rental apartments here by the lake, where I had been pre booked in, and at 10Euro a night it was great, 5 times the size of the that pokey place in Veles and a 1/3rd the cost! Once my bags were in I rode down to the small village about 1km away and had a great Bacon Carbonara, and was given a glass of Raki as a welcome, I had to wash it down with a Skopja beer as it was mighty powerful!!!

Once the sun had disappeared behind the mountains on the other side of the lake, I headed back, grabbed a couple of beers and after chatting with the son of the owner for a short while, before heading upstairs and had a quiet evening, with my hairs of the dog 😀

Cheers from Macedonia

Posted in Around The World, Eurasia | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

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