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Macedonia… coming and going


No more Vergina

Each day we usually try to finish the ride before it gets dark, however recently there have been a variety of reasons preventing us from doing so: fear of being shot by deer hunters, the aforementioned police hospitality etc… Anyway, our journey leaving Serbia and into Macedonia (or the Republic of Macedonia or the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) carried on well into the night and was a blend of adrenaline inducing off-road cycling through fields and escaping wild dogs. Cycling at night can be pretty tense, even though our bike lights aren’t bad, the shadowy light makes it quite difficult to see just how deep the potholes are. Pausing for a moment to check the GPS, in the middle of a vast and hilly landscape, glowing patches of post-harvest farmland burning all over the landscape around us (any farmers reading this post correct me if I’m wrong, but I think once crops have been harvested many of the fields are set alight as part of a cleansing process before sowing the seeds for the following years crops). The scene was made even more atmospheric by the echoes of the Adhān, Islamic call to prayer, bouncing around night sky.


Shepherd and his flock

It’s a travelblog cliché, but it seems that everywhere we go we keep meeting friendly and hospitable folk (not that we’re trying to meet hateful people). Riding towards the Macedonian border with Greece we got a little lost, due to one of my GPS-based time saving routes. As I was mentally punishing myself this extremely friendly bloke stopped us and insisted that we ate loads of his grapes. Thanks grape guy! It also made for a good excuse to get a snap of a local face for the blog. Luckily fate (not that there is such a thing) saved me the trouble of having to resume my mental punishment and blessed me with puncture number five.


Grape guy


Happy and his grapes

With only two nights and one and a bit days, we didn’t really experience much of Macedonia. Not that we didn’t want too, but with the goal of catching the last of the good weather before winter sets in, we’ve headed straight down to Greece where we’re currently having a great time with our new friends Stelios and Antigone in Thessaloniki, who have given us food for thought on where to spend the winter months before heading east.

Discussion

19 Responses to “Macedonia… coming and going”

  1. Grape guy is cool but not as cool as your beard. I bet you have caught a few things in that along the way x nub nub

    [Reply]

    Posted by nu nu | October 12, 2011, 4:06 pm
  2. I saw the flag an immediately thought that you’d got as far as Tibet. Looks like you are having a grape time… xxx

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    Posted by Ed | October 12, 2011, 9:41 pm
  3. Blimey – that’s some bunch you’ve got there. Don’t forget the effects of eating loads of grapes eh? xxxxx

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    Posted by Mum/Marian | October 14, 2011, 3:45 pm
  4. Love to know where your Greek pals have recommended you spend winter.

    Buzz

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    pete Reply:

    Hi Dad

    I pretty sure we’re going to make our way to Athens and catch a boat to Crete… won’t be sure until we get there but we’re thinking of spending some of the winter there. From what we’ve heard it sounds like an amazing place… amazing music scene too. I think we’re going to take in a round-a-bout route to Athens via Mount Olympus, Kalambaka (amazing monastery there) and an area called Pelion.

    Keep you posted… fancy a winter trip to Crete?

    [Reply]

    Posted by Jerome | October 16, 2011, 4:46 pm
  5. that is a long way from New York City!

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    Posted by william robertson | October 17, 2011, 10:06 pm
  6. Just try to keep me away. I see my mate Bill from NYC is following you guys.

    Buzz

    [Reply]

    Posted by Jerome | October 19, 2011, 10:20 am
  7. be careful of the rave culture in Crete (like Ibiza), just kidding

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    Posted by william robertson | October 19, 2011, 5:12 pm
  8. Hi guys – I’ve just caught up on the last 3 or 4 posts. What an amazing adventure I can’t take it all in. Love the beard Pete!

    No change in little old Guernsey apart from going from heatwave and swims every day to b***** cold and heating on full bore in just two weeks!?!

    Cycle safely

    Mxxx

    [Reply]

    Posted by Your ever loving Godmother | October 19, 2011, 5:16 pm
  9. Bit of a random aside but I’ve just discovered this place exists.

    http://www.cornwall-online.co.uk/westcornwall/mousehole.htm

    It’s pronounced Mousel and I really think Mary should live there.

    Hope you’re both having fun :) xx

    [Reply]

    Posted by Elle | October 19, 2011, 8:13 pm
  10. Hello Mary and Peter,
    we met the third time in Beograd, do you remember? We are back in normal life an have very nice memories to Hungary and Serbia. We think to you and hope you are well. All the best for you! Veronika and Hubert

    [Reply]

    Posted by Veronika + Hubert Flack | October 19, 2011, 8:23 pm
  11. Hi

    Met with Jerry & Marion last night & they were telling me about your amazing adventure. I must admit I was slightly jealous, especially now as I type this from my work desk!

    It is very inspiring. All the best

    Paul

    [Reply]

    Posted by Paul Woodland | October 21, 2011, 1:31 pm
  12. Hi

    I also saw Jerry & Marion at the Tav last night for the launch of Jim Delbridge’s CD.

    Jerry was telling me all about this amazing trip that you are on and how he joins you for some cycling!

    Hope that you don’t have to many punchers and stay safe.

    Kevin

    [Reply]

    Posted by Kevin Taylor | October 23, 2011, 2:08 pm
  13. Hello Hello Hello!!!!

    How are you both? hope you enjoyed your grapes…

    Thinking about you lots, have just been looking at your route map and you are doing so well.

    Take care

    Sending you lots of love and kisses, Lizzie, Spence and Freddie xxxx

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    Posted by Lizzie Mizen | October 24, 2011, 2:00 pm
  14. Hurry up and do another post – your fans are waiting!

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    Posted by Mum/Marian | October 24, 2011, 2:40 pm
  15. Hey you two,
    Adventures in South Eastern Europe sound grape fun.
    We are very impressed with your daily mileage – your legs must be like rocks.
    Got your text from Mt Olympus the other day and replied but not sure if you got it or not? Let me know and I’ll send more.
    No new baby news as yet…She is due on Sunday so watch this space but I’m sure she’ll be late so could be waiting another couple of weeks at least.
    As Roberta says though: ‘out soon’.
    Take care of yourselves.
    The BuckWhits xxx

    [Reply]

    Posted by Lucy, Eddie, Roberta | October 26, 2011, 7:08 pm
  16. What a fantastic blog and journey… winter is posing a similar question for me too… have a lovely invitation in Sicily,so I am cheating and getting a flight from Budapest! but hope to be riding again before too long… Towards Turkey! Any idea what weather will be like in Greece in the new year?
    Will add your blog to my favorites and be very interested to find out how you deal with the next couple of months. Have fun!
    Warm wishes, Jenny (nanny on a bike)

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    Posted by Jenny Quick | December 4, 2011, 9:20 pm
  17. Thanks Jenny. Enjoy your winter in Sicily! The weather really depends on where you are in Greece. We’ve been in Crete for a few weeks and have experienced such a range of weather from beautiful sunny days on the beach to snow in the mountains and heavy thunderstorms! Drop us a live when you get to Turkey. Who knows… we might be somewhere near by.

    Thanks. Pete

    [Reply]

    Posted by pete | December 8, 2011, 8:40 am
  18. Macedonia?? No way!!!! THIS IS FYROM!!!!!!! travel the world but learn something!!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted by Anthony | February 22, 2012, 9:17 am

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