Good day good day! technology is everywhere and now one may even update his blog in the bus! Instead of watching the splendid view! What a shame!!
I’ll make it short.
I entered Albania 2 days ago, on Tuesday morning, and found a host through Warmshowers.org in Maliq – Algent, evangelical christian, barber, cyclist. I met him at his shop where he was busy trimming his pastor’s hair, all the while swiftly switching between conversations with me in English, his patrons in Albanian and the drunken Greek guy dressed in Fidel Castro, spring 1959 style, in Greek. Barber shops, in Albania, probably the second most common business after the ubiquitous “Lavazh” (carwash), are social places.
We talked about what people talk about when they first meet, and when I mentioned my travel plans – going to Pogradec at the southern tip of lake Ohrid then going round the western shore until I veer east to Elbasan, then Tirana, the capital – about 3 days’ cycling in my estimate – he advised me against it: “The road after Pogradec is really bad now, because of the works. Many holes. You break your wheels. Better you go through Macedonia, through Ohrid, very good road there!”
When I reached Pogradec yesterday, I went online to check how much farther it was: not that much, it turns out; And how many days I had: too many to be going to Tirana so soon, it turned out! Besides I was so close to Macedonia now, hey! Why not give it a short visit!
Now, at this point I closed my laptop and set out for the border. Only THEN did I remember Julius’s blog comment “from Skopje”. Dear friends, as you may or may not know, Skopje is the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia, and the Republic of Macedonia is a small country, and the next day was going to be rainy in Ohrid as far as BBC Weather was concerned, and this was my 6th straight day on the bike and I could fancy a day off or two, and did I mention I was early on my plans and did not need, boat-wise, to get to Tirana just right now??
Long story short, I’m on the bus to Skopje!!