hitchhiking freedom

Ahhhh! Finally! I so much needed this! So much wanted to feel the spirtit of the road again, so much wished to be led by Caminho again!
Droga daje wolność.

Oh, yes. Freedom it is!

Taking adventage of the good weather that has been spoiling everyone since last Saturday,
I decided to have a small trip outside Kavadarci. It’s been already 5 weeks since I came to Macedonia and haven’t travelled in the country yet (except for a trip to Skopje on the way to Sarajevo). It was high time to change that!

My first itinerary: hitchhiking to Prilep and spending a relaxing day there combined
with some shopping.
Status: mission accomplished with success!


I woke up full of energy. The sun was shining,
a roll from bakery was in the oven, my green tea was brewing. A perfect start of a day! To recharge my batteries to the full I put on Footloose soundtrack just before leaving: I’m free! sings Kenny Loggins. So true, so true!


With a smile on my face and my ponytail being blown through, I rush my way out of the block. About 100 meters to go. So good to live on the main transit road! My hitchhiking spot is perfect. A glance at my watch: it’s 10.17.
Time for Prilep!

Three minutes and three cars later I’m just about to hop into a delivery van.
– Dobar den. Za Prilep?
– Ajde!

My driver is a middle-aged man from Prilep.
Today he’s going from Skopje to Bitola.
Work, you know.
– Od kade si?
– Od Polska.
– Od Polska?!
– Da.
– Kako e vo Makedonija?
– Super.
– Prv pat za Prilep?
– Da, da. Vo Polska, vo Germanija, vo Španija ne, no prv pat vo Makedonija.
Yes, it’s my first hitchhiking trip in Macedonia.
And it’ll be my first time in Prilep.

We’re passing some amazing views on the way. Mountains, mountains, mountains. I’m in love!
I want to go hiking! Next weekend if I’m lucky enough, I’ll buy myself a new pair of hiking boots. A Christmas present for myself. Hanwag boots stayed in Poland so I will definitely need another ones. Espacially if I aim for Pelister and Šar Mountains. My driver says that the marble extracted from the mountains we’re seeing is the best in Europe. And we can stop for a moment
if I want to take some pictures. Dobro, fala.
There’s no hard shoulder anyway.

We’re halfway to Prilep. My driver’s parents are from Kruševo. A nice city.
– Kruševo. Toše Proeski.
– Da, da. Jas znam. Jas sakam da odam za Kruševo.

I’m probably as old as his daughter. She studies in Ljubljana. She is… mmmmm… she is… she is 20. Da. Well then, I’m a few years older. It cannot be. Really? Da, da. He’s son is 18.

Just before entering the city we stop at the gas station. Few more minutes and I’m getting a ride to the very centre of Prilep. On my right side greets me Alexander the Great.
Snap, snap, snap.

Damn! I left my gloves in the van.
I’ll buy new ones.
– Poveli, srce?
– Tie.
A pair of casual black gloves.
Almost the same ones as I lost.

Such a lovely day. I think it’s even warmer than in Kavadarci. I unbutton my coat.

People’s reactions to me taking pictures are radically differentfrom surprise (mostly) through interest (sometimes) on discontent (twice) finishing. I still hesitate to take pictures of people because I feel uncomfortable. There are, however, two men who pose for me today. Fala mnogu!

Prilep turns out to be smaller than I thought so after three hours there’s no much left to see.
I’m heading the outskirts.
Time: 14.38. Ajde!
Two minutes later a car with three young guys stops.
– Zdravo! Za Kavadarci?
– Pred Kavadarci.
– Dobro!

We speed in their fancy car. Fancy as for Macedonian standards of course. There’s loud Balkan music and eucalyptus candies. The mountains are even more beautiful in the afternoon. Filip, who is sitting in the passenger seat, is crossing himself every time we’re passing a small, wayside shrine.

Instead of leaving me on the slip road that leads to Kavadarci and go straight, my Macedonian friends do some extra kilometers to put me in Kavadarci. We stop next to Tikveš winary that’s about 100 meters from our flat.
– Fala mnogu!
– Ništo, ništo!
– I dobra zabava vo Skopje!
– Fala!

Ahhhh! I so much needed this!
It was a great day!


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