Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Day 3 - Grapes, Stills and Stoners

28/08/2014 - Southern Macedonia to Stobi, Central Macedonia

Ahh, sun rise. The morning view from my hammock

Camp did look a bit different in daylight

My curious neighbor

I was in luck, grape vines, and the area was full of them! Breakfast sorted!

The motorway didn't exactly improve for cycling, despite not feeling too safe on my thin paint strip of a cycle lane I pushed on through tunnels and country roads, got lost and pushed on some more.

Lost, I stumbled upon festival in a small village very publicly selling distillation equipment!!! 

Vendor selling distillation equipment for making Rakia!

Totally took a card

Gypse music, these guys were great (unfortunately the video doesn't do them any favors)

A pub rock band seemed to be the main entertainment at the festival, really good too. With the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) having been an independent country for only 23 years (since 1991), I wonder what the more traditional entertainment might be...

Loaded with supplies I'm back on the road.

Racing locals up hills

To Skopje!

A just reward:

Stoners on a Bridge

So, I'll admit this was a bit of a ego trip. These guys asked me from the bridge where I am from and where I'm going, the usual stuff. Having spent most of the day cycling I decide to go up and meet these guys. It was difficult to communicate, but from their perspective I believe it went a bit like this:

You're on a bridge with your friends chilling out with the sunset and some random guy on a bike (carrying a lot stuff) cycles in and after a brief interaction comes up for a chat. He's scruffy, dirty, salt crusted on his shoulders, wearing camo shorts with a gay little high visibility jacket. He talks way too fast to understand... but you know he is cycling from Thessaloniki to Budapest on the far, far side of Macedonia. He takes a selfy with you and your friends, you decide to add him on Facebook... This is what you see:

First thing on his wall (I gestured to my camera):

Thoroughly impressed they ask to take pictures with me. It was quite an odd scenario, but it made me laugh. What kind of thrill seeking adventurer have I become?

Fucking love sunsets!

I managed to find a place to camp under a bridge of the motorway and set about getting fed!

I must admit, I was starting to wonder at this point, how my life came to sleeping under motorways. This kind of thing might go through you mind when you are sneaking around under motorways by twilight to find a camp... Am I now (or was I always) a traveling bum? 


50.2 Km
Southern Macedonia, complete!

Click to enlarge

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