a new dress, baby

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This post is about a 24km walk from Klisura to Ravni Do. I wake up in a wet field and go to bed near an abandoned mountain cabin.

It takes forever to dry my things. And so I sit on my chair in the field and let the morning sun do the work for me. I have some bananas. I write my journal. Then I get going.

Bela Palanka

When I arrive in the town of Bela Palanka, there is a mill from Ottoman times next to a small river. It all looks quite idyllic with the trees and the little houses. There is a place where the water cascades down, and it makes a steady noise that would be annoying if it wasn’t water.

I buy some food in the town center, then I sit down at a roadside restaurant and order some fries and a salad. Two men are sharing my table, drinking beer. They want to know how long I have been walking, and then they ask the question that everybody always asks: am I married? Why not?

a new dress from China

There are two clothes shops run by Chinese families in this town. I go to both of them to look for a piece of white cloth that I can use to cover the Caboose. I used to have one that I bought in Uzbekistan, but I lost it in a small town in Turkey. Now I need a new one. She gets too hot in the sun otherwise.

The people at the first Chinese shop tell me they don’t have what I’m looking for. My luck is a bit better in the second shop: they ask me if I would mind using a curtain to cover the Caboose. I buy the curtain.


I leave the town on a quiet country road, and in a matter of hours I count five, six, seven dead snakes on the asphalt. They’re all very tiny. When I see a live one slither away from me I am happy. Snakes should be slithering, hissing, or staring at you angrily, not looking like leather belts on the highway.

The last eight kilometers are tough. The road climbs and climbs and climbs relentlessly. The last bit leads up a forest path that is so difficult that I take it in the fifty meter brackets.

the cabins

There are some buildings at the top. The map says that they are cabins for hikers, but they look like they have long been abandoned. There are pad locks on the doors, so I can’t get in.

I find a patio next to one of the houses and pitch my tent under it. Then darkness falls, then there are lights on the horizon, and then the wind arises. A thunderstorm is coming. I lay in my tent, bracing myself.


the walk from Klisura to Ravni Do:

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