11/8/2017 Bulgaria – Vidin to Korbevac, Serbia
I woke up at six as I have promised to the lady who kept this very dingy motel running. Didn´t even think this will happen, as I tend to oversleep everything. Packed my things, got dressed in wet, but salt-free clothes and hit the road. It was going to be very nice morning, sun was rising, birds singing and suddenly a flat puppy with his guts spurted 2 meters far from his anus brought me back in reality. It makes you think if someone is gonna clean that fat stain your body leaves if a lorry drives you over. I stopped at a petrol station for some coffee and pastry, Levs I got last night were very handy.
I have entered Serbia, maybe last think I was enjoying on this journey, getting out of one country and entering new one. This brought the feeling of some progress, that I will maybe finish or just get there eventually. This race was starting to be ridiculously long and always having some new surprises up in the sleeve. Since Slovakia, I thought every day is just harder than the one before. On this one came unbearable heat. I had to stop in Knjazevac as I felt something was not right with my body. I think I was slightly dehydrated, consumed there about 3 liters of fluids, just could not have drank enough, continuous thirst not possible to put away. Eventually I continued, caught up with some guys and had this epic ride with them. After midnight we just dropped somewhere in grass for power nap. Their power naps are same as mine, exceeding 20 minutes by hours.
12/8/2017 Serbia – Korbevac to Pletvar, Macedonia
We got split right in the morning, everyone entered Macedonia on his own. My mornings are hard, I am slow, body is stiff and doesn´t want to move. Two coffees are must to wake up, another two for some function. After 4 p.m. everything gets usually better, but mornings hurt. I got to Macedonia on a little crossing, asked for a stamp in my passport and had a small talk with a border patrol. In the first bigger town I got some pizza, It was round noon and heat started to be unbearable again. I continued for the rest of the day in to a mountain pass where I decided to have a sleep, hopefully last one. It was very windy night as I was climbing up to Pletvar. I wanted to have just an hour or two of sleep, but it got me again as I parked next to a little shrine. Plus this live like vivid dreams. I heard my freewheel and thought someone stole my bike, I woke up and couldn´t get out of my sleeping bag so I jumped after them. Dream within a dream. I woke up and fall asleep again. Suddenly somebody came and asked what was I doing there. “I am waiting for a light.” I mumbled. He opened the shrine either putted something in or took something out, closed it again and said: “I am looking for a Jesus.” and disappeared behind a horizon. Until now I am not sure if this was just a dream or a real thing.
13/8/2017 Macedonia – Pletvar to Kalambaka, Greece
Day started with a little cold downhill to the first petrol station. Usual drill, coffee, 7 days croissant, more coffee and after that starting to move tired mechanism of my lower body. Countrysides changes and soon I ma in Greece, last border control, last country, final destination. Sun starts to warm things up, but it is far from the heat in Serbia. Quite pleasant actually. Roads are empty, Streets are deserted, does anyone lives in Greece? Looks like all locals left. Barely a car. This country is perfect for cycling, no cars, nice wide roads with a smooth tarmac. In the evening I crossed between two groups of dogs preparing for some street fight. After that as I was passing another group of dogs I noticed the look of one of them, I knew he is gonna go for it and he did. As I was speeding up on this downhill, I left on my right side enough space for a maneuver as he accelerated from the left side of the road. I might have been doing well over 45km/h as he just missed my rear wheel. Close one, makes you forget the state you are in.
Round midnight I stopped for some more coffee, checked the position of my chasers. Shit, I will have to finish tonight. Climb to Vlachava was pretty badass and there was nothing to enjoy in Meteora either, just a strong wind and darkness. With last quiver of light that my torch produced I started to descent down to Kalabaka towards the finish line.