Back in high-spirits, we headed across to Macedonia, knowing that as it was the first non-EU country we were visiting and the first that my insurance did not cover, and it was a Sunday, so we were expecting to find the border crossing difficult and lengthy. This couldn’t have been further from the truth, in fact the only issue was the stupid fact that we had no cash, having not wanted any Bulgarian currency left. I finally managed to agree with the insurance man that he would write me up a policy to satisfy the border police and he would keep hold of my passport while I nipped into town to get cash.
He drove us first to his house to show us where to drop the cash off and when we came back with the cash, he was more than insistent that we came in for a drink. We were a little hesitant at first as we had not been greeted with a particularly warm reception in any of the other countries we had been too and we had yet to find a place to camp and find out feet in this new country. Still, we said yes to one drink and quickly realised that it was a brilliant decision.
I struggle to think of a time in my life or even a scenario where someone could be more welcoming or hospitable to strangers. The extended family were there for traditional Sunday Dinner they all greeted us very warmly and then plied us with wonderful home grown food and home brewed drink made by his father (Fire water), when our bellies were finally full he took us down the road to the house his grandfather had built which they had beautifully restored, he gave us a bottle of wine and his keys and insisted we spent the night; an offer we gladly accepted. We had never before felt so welcomed by a country or people – Tony from Delchevo and family if you are reading this, we thank you yet again!
Having fallen instantly in love with Macedonia and its people we headed down to Berovo Lake where we had been informed that the fishing was great. We found a beautiful spot by the lake shore and although I didn’t catch a thing we have never felt safer wild camping having been greeted almost as warmly by everyone that passed us by as we had been the previous day by Tony’s family.
Whilst enjoying the scenery and relaxing we were greeted by the most friendly and needy stray puppy we had seen, Ross quickly grew attached to him. He looked as though he hadn’t eaten in weeks and was in need of a good meal, which he later received as we dropped our entire dinner out the pan which he was all too happy to lap up as quickly as possible. He barely left our side and as we drove into town for a drink he followed our car down the lake’s tracks. When we returned from Berovo later that evening he was waiting eagerly to greet us on our return and even guarded our car that night from other strays passing by. The following morning, we reluctantly left
him, at least safe in the knowledge that we had helped fatten him up before we left. A few miles down the road, we pulled in to check the map and saw a sight that has to pull on the heart strings of any sap like me – he was bounding down the road as fast as he could after us. Knowing he wasn’t surviving where he was, we decided to take him with us for a few days until we found a place where we thought he had a better chance. Unfortunately it is now 2 days later and I have only grown more attached to him and he more to me. I have even napped while he cuddled into me:
I will have to let you know in a few days what I have decided to do with him as every time I try and leave him and see him running after the car while his eyes say “why?”, the pussy inside me has to let him back in.
We are now camping on the beautiful shores of Lake Ohrid where we plan to spend the next couple of days before either moving on to Albania or Greece, Greece was certainly the original plan but having learnt that the inflation means that fuel is now around two Euro’s a litre and that the supermarkets are now charging some of the highest prices in Europe. We are now thinking that there may be a better time in the future to visit. Also, we have a lot of countries and distance to cover if we want to make it home in time for Christmas.