347-352: to Sokobanja
pics #1643 - #1673
Saturday October 15th - Blue Solar Eagle
After lunch, I am leaving the family of Ana and Schljuka. They give me medical herbs and home made bread. I hope to come back in order to give a presentation of Vinyasa yoga, to meet these kind people again, and also to go to Nicola Tesla Museum, for which I did not take them time yet. I have a soar throat, a cold, sneezing, due to my late return yesterday in the cold night, while I was not wearing a jacket. I follow the main road going south, in a cool and clear weather.
Sunday October 16th -Yellow Planetary Warrior
In the morning, I hear hunters are in the surroundings. While I brush my teeth, I see a hare fleeing in the field and in the bush. Later appears a dog and a man, and further, more bright colored caps, certainly something to help hunters recognize fellows from wild swines. A bit further on the road, I meet another group of hunters, from their empty bags it seem to be not so bad for wildlife. Weather is clear and cool, as yesterday was. Higher hills appear. While having lunch in the sun, on a square, a man invites me for a drink. He wants to talk because I am French and the Giant Douche of the French Republic recently said that Serbian are violent and aggressive. Even thousands of kilometers away from the Elysees, that dude can still annoy me! As everything politics say, it is far away from reality: I experience much friendliness and hospitality from Serbian. By the end of the day, it goes slower, riding in the hills.
Monday October 17th - Red Spectral Earth
I do not have the feeling to ride much today. It goes up and down. By the end of the day I take a side road to pass by a monastery, a small one, far in the mountain. I see no religious there, but the church feels like holy is floating, like in many other orthodox churches. It is small, narrow, secret. I camp soon after, from the hill I see the valley and villages lights.
Vujan monastery church
Tuesday October 18th - White Crystal Mirror
I enjoy going down the narrow road, crossing three-wheeled scooters having difficulty to climb the slope. Corn is harvested by small trailers attached to the tractors, that cut to or three rows at once, certainly not intensive agriculture. I stop in Čačak to refill the water bottles, the barmaid offers me the tea I ordered. Simple and nice gift to start the day with! On the road, as I noticed since Romania, there are quite some dead animals in morbid poses: cats, dogs, pigeons, hedgehogs, foxes, rats, elephants, albatross... There is apparently a military base close by , seeing helicopters which are maneuvering. I am expecting to see tanks, maybe war started in Kosovo again, who knows, recently the situation got more tense. In Kraljevo, I get cereals, nuts and dried fruits -my breakfast- easy to find in bulk in small health/organic food stores. Even in small cities, isn't it great? Further there are baths/spa, where I want to go tomorrow, therefore, I camp nearby in the forest on a hill.
Wednesday October 19th - Blue Galactic Storm
Camping under sapling has a good side: it is warmer. This morning I do not feel the bite of the cold as I get up. Going down to the spa, a place that the Romans had spotted too, of course. Two hours, spent mainly in the sauna, make me feel good, and my cold is weaker. In a pizzeria, asking for something vegetarian, while there is none on the menu, the chef makes me something on demand, very cool! Which restaurant would make such effort for a one time customer? Starting in the afternoon, I ride in the plain, between a range of hills on the left, a range of mountains on the right, in the distance, going East.
Thursday October 20th - Yellow Magnetic Sun
This morning, I feel light, the sun, the nice landscape, and it is warm enough so that long sleeves are unnecessary. In the distance, I have a glimpse of Rtanj, a mountain with recognizable silhouette. Schljuka tole me some of the legends about it: it would be a pyramid, and a vertical well goes from the top. Valleys are narrow and narrower. Fields have been burnt, maybe in order to destroy brushes? I even get off road for a time -it has been a while-. For a moment cycling between mountain that hide the sun, I feel a strong cold. After that appears a long lake and then it is a wide plain again: Rtanj appears in its totality. In Sokobanja, I am going up the mountain to find a quiet camping spot in a picnic zone.
Bales of corn plants