We enjoyed another really great walk today. Including an extra 4 k to a hotel at the end of our day. A couple of days ago this would have brought us to our knees but today we just shrugged off yet another change of overnight plans and carried on walking. We are now used to things working out differently than anticipated! And this is OK because it’s all part of our adventure. Perhaps the lesson here is to anticipate nothing other than surprise.
This morning a driver from last night’s hotel drove us up the highway to a trail access road. When we offered to pay him he refused. We bought a few supplies and headed off up a fairly steep gravel road with very little traffic. We were changing the planned route somewhat to avoid a land slide section of the trail that is reported to be very dangerous in wet weather and pretty scary in dry. As it rained heavily last night and was continuing to do so as we departed our hotel, we decided this revision was a sensible thing to do. The GPS – we now call her Gypsy – makes this sort of change easy. We met up with the via Egnatia route after the dangerous area and enjoyed a really pretty walk along a high ridge for the rest of the day. Our lunch stop provided much entertainment for local shepherds who sat up on a hill above us and watched us much away on our crackers, cucumbers and tomatoes. Today we added chocolate as it was cool enough to to carry it! The views of the valley below were lovely, the rain wasn’t constant, the cooler weather was a welcome change to the withering heat of the past few days.
Our day was supposed to end at a women’s house in a small village. Well we were offered a really filthy floor of a school. No mat. No blanket. We decided our old bones don’t need that kind of punishment. The school room was so dirty I can’t imagine what the bathroom may have been like. We happily walked down to the valley and a short distance along it to a humble but very cozy little hotel. The owner has offered us room, beers, dinner, breakfast and a ride back up the hill – all for 30 euros. Seriously. The water was hot, the beer is cold, there is no internet but the cook has hooked us up on his cell phone, (so likely no pictures to day) dinner is being prepared. We are happy.
Good night from somewhere near Dardhe Albania although we’re not too sure of exactly where!