This post is about a 15km walk from Niš to Malcha. I hide from the rain in the Stambol Gate, then I take a dirt road through the hills.
It’s a bit hard to say goodbye to Rajko and the family. His seven year old granddaughter shows one last pantomime: she puts one of her stuffed animals in her front pocket and hops around. She’s a kangaroo.
the Gate Of Istanbul
I leave at about eleven, when the sky is overcast and a bunch of clouds are gathering on the horizon. They get darker and darker while I am walking. A little while later I am back at Niš Fortress, in the Stambol Gate. I use it to hide from the rain. And so there I sit, drinking tea, having trail mix, in what was once such a heavily guarded, fortified part of the city, in the gate named after Istanbul.
It’s a pity I didn’t see more of the history of Niš.
the bad road
The rain plays games with me. It pretends to die down in order to lure me out of my hiding place. And then, as soon as I am walking, it comes back. I hide under the thick foliage of a tree, along with two gentlemen on bicycles.
When the road leaves the city, it becomes very narrow and very busy. I don’t feel particularly safe, so when my map tells me that there is an alternative way through the hills I decide to try my luck.
the good road
It turns out to be a dirt road, but a beautiful one. There are fruit trees, fields, and vineyards. I run into Ivana, Dragana, and Lucy. Ivana and Dragana are sisters, Lucy is their dog. We walk together for a bit, talking about this and that, and then, just as the sun starts to cover everything in gold, they go back home, and I find a place to camp under a friendly-looking tree.
the walk from Niš to Malcha