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Published: February 7th 2010
Hi there everyone.
After hiking across the border into Albania I put Andrew into the wheelbarrow and pushed him down the hill back to Igoumenitsa, then I continued on foot alone at night in the drizzle being followed by stray dogs.
I had to get to the town of Conispol to get supplies and to find some accomodation to get away from the dogs. However, I could not get into town as I was surrounded by barking canines and I was picked up by a local who was swearing at me for being there at night! He took me to his wifes restaurant and hotel-cum-spareroom. They were real nice people, and they gave me food after i apologised for walking at night near the border.
I left there early in the morning to walk northwards but I had the same problem trying to leave town.! I fought off one dog with my stick then ran a little to pass the rest. Ten minutes further on about a dozen dogs formed a formidable barrier between me and the north. I simply had no choice but stand still and wait for a ride. I jumped in the back of a pick-up
The dogs were howling....
and got a ride to the next town of Butrinti. Evermore determined not to let my four-legged friends from haulting me, I started hiking as soon as my feet hit the road. And guess what. more dogs!!!
I had to hitch again this time he was going to the capital Tirana, I opted to go and at least then i could see what kind of obstacle course was lying ahead. Dog after dog after dog after dog after dog.
They seem to form packs around the outskirts of all the towns, maybe because there's food there or just because crazy lone hikers make tasty snacks.
I realised by looking out of the car window that the dogs were everywhere and that continuing alone (or even the two of us) would have been foolish and dangerous as well as unpleasant.
For safety reasons I am now no longer walking!
I am now checking out some of the Balkan states looking for Alexander the great. Apparently he is here somewhere.
I am currently in Kosovo staying with a friend in Prishtina... All is well, and my feet feel great!
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