the canal road

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Today was going to be easier than yesterday. Less km, less traffic on the road. Someone had told me about a village with a hotel about 30km to the West and about an alternative road that ran about 5km south of the main road.

So I went looking for it:

looking for the other road

I could see the mountains in the distance, and I felt very optimistic about everything:

One time I passed by a vegetable stand that was propped up next to the road, but there was nobody there and no sign indicating prices, so I didn’t really know what to do if I wanted to get some tomatoes:

vegetable stand

I really would have liked some tomatoes.

Then I found the other road:

the other road

It was very quiet:

One time I had to make a little detour around a bridge:

sign

This was because the bridge had collapsed, and even the other bridge (the one that was part of the detour) had partially collapsed:

collapsed bridge

The road ran next to a canal:

water wheel

I noticed some young men swimming in it:

canal

You swimmin’? I sheepishly asked them.
“You walkin’?” they asked back.

swimmer

Then, after a few hours of the quiet road and the canal, I saw my first little village:

first buildings

And then I saw what looked like a mine:

mine

Eventually I was left with two options: either keep walking on the quiet road, camp out for the night and eventually run out of water, or go back to the main road with all its traffic (and with all its shops, food places and hotels).

I decided to go back to the main road:

back to the main road

Traffic seemed pretty bad after spending the day on the quiet road:

It wasn’t far to the village with the hotel, so I put in my earphones and listened to some angry music. My steps were long and striding.

I passed a place where a guy in a car was selling honey:

honey stand

I passed what looked like two very romantic loos:

loo + mountains

I passed people using the last light of day to finish up their work in the fields:

work in the fields

Then night fell, and I was still walking:

When I finally got to the hotel in the little village I had heard about, they told me that they were completely booked. No rooms. No beds. Nothing. They didn’t smile or anything, they just shook their heads.

I looked around:

first hotel

Their parking lot was almost completely empty.

I shook the dust off my feet.

Then I kept walking.

People were out having dinner:

I was hungry too, so I got myself a nan:

bread vendor

It tasted like it was from the morning: old and dry. I washed it down right there with a bottle of strawberry juice. I didn’t care.

Then I went back into the darkness.

One time I passed three drunk young men who asked me if I was “from here”. No, I said, look at me, I am not from here. They looked at me with glassy eyes. Then they stumbled on.

Another time I passed a drunk sleeping next to the road. He kept mumbling in his sleep. I kept going.

After a while I reached a second hotel:

second hotel

They, too, told me that they were fully booked. I looked at my watch: 50km. I didn’t know what to think.

I kept going.

In the next village, I decided to try my look in a small roadside shop. Is there a hotel anywhere here? I asked the owner.

“Come with me.” he said.

this friendly shop owner showed me the way to the third hotel

He took me to this place:

third hotel

I would have never recognized it as a hotel, but it was one.

The owner, a lady called Sveta, was a bit serious at first, but after a while she apparently made up her mind that I was a likeable idiot, and she was very nice.

We stored the box in the corridor:

Sveta and the box

…and the Caboose in a back room:

storing the Caboose

I got a room, let my stuff drop onto the floor and stepped into the shower.

The water was cold, cold, cold.

But cold was good.



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