The alarm of my phone says it’s 6 but I don’t want to get up. It’s just about to to get light outside. What a difference with only 3 weeks ago when I got up at 5 and dawn was already there. Even the air feels different. The last evenings have been cool and the morning now feels cool as well, almost crisp. My muscles and my mind protest for the first kilometres. I have given myself a hotel with swimming pool and a massage for my birthday yesterday. The receptionist at the hotel told me to go to the massage by taxi. ‘You won’t find it alone’, she said and she was right. Through run down streets where you don’t expect any decent business in front of a broken wooden gate: there it is. An immensely well built Bulagarian young man turns out to be the masseuse. On a sheet of which I am sure I’m not the first costumer. But oh it does me well. He unties the knots from my shoulders and my leg. After a couple of rounds at the pool my whole being has forgotten that we’re on a walk. So now there’s protest. My mind is slow as well, it is still at the pool.
Luckily it’s a fine walking day. When the sun is out it’s nice and warm. My tactics here are to get a couple of kilometres away from the highway and then to walk from village to village. Villages is all my map shows at this point anyway so more planning is impossible. People are not used to walking. The only ones who walk are cowherds or strays. Every time I ask for directions they show me to the highway. Many times they don’t even know the way to the next village if it isn’t a paved road. Also not that man who suddenly remebered he speaks Spanish, from working for seven years in Valencia. But doesn’t know the way at home! It creates hilaric confusion and a lot of fun.
an So I have to find my own way, through rural roads and tractor trails. It’s hillside country with sunflower plantations in the morning and herds of cows in the afternoon. The latter are being preceded by thousands of little flies that have already found me and hunt me for kilometres after. Also a herd of geese at the end. Where do you still find that? And yes, I go wrong, don’t find a village and have to go back or go round. But I enjoy my walk today and again I am not alone