Day 07: Towards Macedonia
6/27/2013 10:11 PM
Had my doubts how this morning would go at the hotel when I got to the breakfast. Same guy was not working there in the morning with whom I agreed the hotel price and it looked like there was nobody else at the breakfast either, so again I was the only guest in the house…
But no worries, I got breakfast and when I was leaving got also to pay the room and dinner and price was agreed. I had even my water bag filled with really cold water from their tap in the bar. Excellent!
Next thing was to find fuel. First fuel station I went did not have any fuel, only coffee available. Next one had, but card was no-go, so needed to bargaining. Finally got the price agreed that I would get 25 liters with 30€ and I was ready to go.
Day started with 100km excellent curvy mountain road with newly done asphalt on it.
And then it started again. The Road.
In the very beginning I had my first occasion to take out my tools, right side mirror got loose again (last time this happened in Georgia 2011…). Quick fix and moving on again.
Road turned into worse and worse, had water obstacles, loose gravel, big rocks, mud. Everything I could hope for. And the views.
This continued again some 100 km and 3 hours, so I was not going very fast on this…
Then I got on better road and it started raining. Quick stop to put rain suite on and of course soon after this the rain stopped. I took these off on the border between Albania and Macedonia.
This border crossing by the lake was again really quiet, I was there only passenger. Weird thing they asked on Albanian side was that which border crossing I entered Albania? It took them few good minutes to figure out the correct one and it took even longer for me to dig my GPS to find the location… but they did sort it out and I was continuing to Macedonian side.
There passport control was fast, but customs was somehow over enthusiastic. I needed to open all my panniers and he even looked inside my bags and all. And it took time to repack everything.
But finally I was in Macedonia and it was about to rain again. But it did not.
Right after the border there was really nice mountain and of course I just had to drive over it and not take the perfect bigger road that went around it.
Other tourists were there on the top as well, so I got my picture taken as well.
Then it was just some 40 km drive to next city Bitola where I had reserved my hotel.
On one road crossing I needed to take a taught decision: To take new big highway road or smaller probably old road that goes just by this bigger road. And decision was this small one. This was just perfect 30 km at the end of day, road looked that nobody was really using it anymore, except some occasional locals.
Found almost instantly hotel again and I was done for the day.
Some sightseeing on the city.
And some tourist food:
Total for the day was 321 km in 9 hours.
For the hotel trip total is now 4751 km.