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Day 27-30, Velika-Rankovce (FYROM)

September 21, 2013

tag_27-28  Day 27, 27.8, Velika-train station Rapsani

I got up  before 7am because I really wanted to make it to Macedonia that day. It didn’t work. I always waited for very long time only to be taken for three or four kilometres. I got really frustrated and at 2pm I was only 36km from Velika – in 6 hours.

The last drivers took me to the train station Rapsani where I waited at its parking lot. Till 11.30pm then I went sleeping on the train station bench.Because I waited so long at this train station, in the evening an old woman came and brought me some bread, vegetables and fruits. I was really touched due to this kindness.

Velika (D) – train station Rapsani (E), 36km, 14h, 3 cars

Day 28, 28.8, train station-Rankovce

I got up at 5.50am because the first train arrived at 6.10am and I didn’t want to see any passengers. I noticed that at night another person joined the second bench in my accommodation. However 30minutes later I started trying again. But at 8am I gave up and walked down the road…..if someone of the locals just told me earlier that there is a toll station only one kilometre down the road. On my way there I found 1,25€ on the street. I don’t understand, why the Greek throw the money down the drain. Anyway just after I put down my backpack I stopped a car to Thessaloniki. It was Bill, a social worker who recently lost his leg at an accident.

Ok now I was near Thessaloniki on the highway that went to Skopje. But I waited for about 7 hours again.

Once I thought I caught a ride: a car with a German number plate stopped, of course I went to them. They asked, whether it’s the way to the border and I confirmed it saying that I’d just pick my stuff. But when I carried it and turned, they were already gone. Damn was I angry, I ran after them screaming not very nice words, but that I guess it’s hitch-hiking as well. Waiting, failing, still someone will stop.

Fortunately it got better. Some hours later a summer thunderstorm cased me to crouch beside the road, because thunders were striking not far away….When my clothes were dry again two French guys stopped. They were heading to Belgrade the same day, but we stopped in Skopje for some hours to eat something. At the Greek-Macedonian border they had to pay 20€ bribe because their green card for the car was not original. So the border guard told them the official fine would be 500€, but with 20€ he’d turn a blind eye.

At 11pm they left me at Kumanovo 60km away from Rankovce. Many people say, it’s not safe to hitch-hike during night and few people stop. I cannot really agree. After 15 minutes a woman stopped and she was alone in her car.

Unfortunately she didn’t speak any English and I guess she was a bit suspicious. But with my low Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian I think I could convince her that I didn’t want to harm her. Though she called the police. So when I arrived in Rankovce at midnight and started eating a bar of chocolate a police car approached. One officer talked to me – not in English.
I had absolutely no clue what he wants. I explained that my friend (CS host) I. who is living here will pick me up in some minutes. In the end I realized he just wanted to tell me that in case of I. not showing up, there would be a hotel 3km down the road; so he just wanted to help.

Still I couldn’t reach I. because of the wrong number and of course I didn’t want to sleep in the hotel so I just went down the road in the opposite direction till I found some path into some fields and after 15 minutes I decided to pitch my tent.

train-station (E) – Rankovce (F), 391km, 15h, 3 cars

Day 29, 29.8, Rankovce

So in the morning I went to the village again to finally meet I. and we ate breakfast together. Then she showed me the little village, where they have a factory (sweatshop?) where the people produce jeans for Germany.

Later we went by bus to Kriva Palanka. Don’t you ever dare to open a window in – especially – Macedonia! The wind can break your neck…
In Palanka we hiked to the Joakim Osogovski monastery. Because it was a Orhodox holiday many people were there and celebrated.

On our way back some Roma children followed us. I though I.’d knew them, so I made some fun with them. It turned out she didn’t and they were really rude to both of us. Later we went to eat ice cream and buy some stuff like LinoNada (one Balkan version of Nutella). We didn’t take the bus back to Rankovce, but I convinced I. to hitch-hike, which I was really sorry for eventually. The guys were complete idiots and only wanted to get I.’s number. She told them she wouldn’t have any phone, but the next minute a friend called her…

In the evening we made vegetarian Mexican burritos and went with some of her friends to an empty fish restaurant to drink some Cognac. Back to Rankovce we stopped a car again, although it was just a tiny path and we were 6 people.

Day 30, 30.8, Rankovce

It was a relaxing day – like the ones in Andrijevica. We ate breakfast, walked around the village and to the river. In the afternoon I read and in the evening I made some pan cakes. Later I.’s boyfriend arrived from Bitola and we went out to a bar just next door.

< previous # Day 25-26, Larisa, Velika (Greece)
next # Day 31-34, Rankovce-Prishtinë (Kosovo) >

< previous # Day 25-26, Larisa, Velika (Greece)
next # Day 31-34, Rankovce-Prishtinë (Kosovo) >

From → Greece, Macedonia, travel

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