A Snowman Called Twinkle and a Suicidal Turtle Called Taco… Hmmm...

Kotor Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 45 › view all entries

So, last you heard I would’ve been in Prishtina, Kosovo, Serbia. Well, it’s technically Serbia at the moment, we didn’t discover until we arrived that the UN deadline for an answer on the fate of Kosovo was 2 weeks later… Maybe not a smart decision to be there at this time, but then again, maybe a shame to miss it just for the “what-ifs“!! So anyway, Kosovo was cool… I mean, for a country who has lived through so much the people are really happy friendly people, always smiling and always willing to help lost English speaking travellers in need. We were heavily relying on the internet to help us figure out how we could possibly get to Montenegro from there, but unfortunately, being an area that tourists avoid like the plague, there was nothing on the web about bus routes or even maps to help us. And that was when the internet was working… They have daily power cuts, you never really know how many hours it will be out, and sometimes it’s so long that you wonder whether it’s ever coming back! It’s a pain when you have things to do, but for us I guess it was a temporary inconvenience, felt sorry for the locals who have to deal with it every day. We spent another day there checking out the town and playing in the ample snow… I bought some new shoes that are a little more waterproof than the $10 ones that I bought from the Philippines.. Oh why oh why didn’t I pack my very expensive waterproof shoes? Idiot!!! I was too distracted by the flashy colours of my cheap-ass new shoes to think logically!!!

So yeah, I need to focus… SNOW SNOW SNOW!!! It was so exciting, I built my first snowman (his name is Twinkle, Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy J ), and threw my first snowball. Every single night in Kosovo was spent huddled in the kitchen with the other randoms staying at the guesthouse… Met some great people there, had a lot of fun drinking beer, often in the dark waiting for the power to come back on. The day we were leaving, we still had absolutely no idea where we were going or how to get there. We were still pretty adamant to get to Montenegro, so we picked up in the morning and left, figured we’d get a cab to the bus station and figure it out from there. Went for a walk around the other side of town first (with our packs and all - we stood out so bad!) Played in some more snow, I am absolutely obsessed with it! Finally made it to the bus station, found a bus that was headed to Podgorica in Montenegro that was leaving, like, 7 hours later, so we hung out in the bus station playing cards and stomping on snow outside. The bus station has 5 or so dodgy diners, but not one of them had anything vegetarian, so dinner was popcorn and coffee!

The bus was an overnighter again, but it was an absolutely horrible ride. The minute we got on the bus all eyes were on us, and it didn’t take me long to figure out I was the only girl on the bus, crammed in with 45 or so men. That’s not so bad, except that they spent the entire journey talking and laughing, clearly giving me shit. Every time I looked up they were all staring at me and laughing or talking. It was really intimidating and uncomfortable, and made the ride seem to go forever. At one point, one even went as far as walking over to me and shining a torch on me while they all continued to talk sh!t about me. I was so glad Justin was with me, although he was sleeping at the time. I don’t know what they found so interesting or amusing, I mean, rugged up in 4 layers of clothes is not exactly a good look, but I kinda look like everyone else there.

Anyway, the views from the bus were amazing, driving through hours of mountains all covered in snow. Because it had been coming down thick, there were massive traffic jams all the way in and out of town, we must’ve been delayed at least 2 hours, and then in the mountains there was a truck that was jammed in the ice. He couldn’t move, other than sliding backwards, I was convinced that he was going off the cliff. We couldn’t pass by on the narrow road, so were stuck in the freezing cold watching the whole saga. Eventually they got him to the side of the road, but the gap for our massive bus to squeeze through was so narrow, I was sure that we were going to tumble off the side of the cliff and die in the snow, nobody would have found us til springtime!

But, don’t panic, we made it to Podgorica in one piece. We didn’t really know anything about the city other than it’s the capital of Montenegro, the worlds newest country. So, arriving there at 5am with no map and no place to stay, we finally found a hotel which turned out to be the cheapest hotel in the city - 45 euros each. Needless to say, since that’s not quite in a backpackers budget we didn‘t stay there, There’s not really much to do in the city anyway, so we headed back to the bus station to figure out our next move. There’s a little town called Kotor which was supposed to be lovely, so we found a bus leaving only 10 minutes later to take us there. Woohoo!

We finally arrived at about 8am, found a place to stay (much better, 10 euros each!) and were going to finally get some sleep except that the sun was out, it was a beautiful day and the town is amazing, so we figured we could live without sleep for a day. The place that we are staying is lovely, the people are sooo friendly and made us hot Turkish coffee when we arrived. Headed into town straight away, had an early lunch and set out to conquer the castle at the top of the mountain. The old town is still intact and is a fortress, and then you climb about a million steps to reach the old castle. We’re staying about 10km out of the town, so figure that all up we walked about 35km, mostly stairs, in one day. Because we’re away from the town, there’s not a lot to do at night, so went for a walk, cooked some dinner and drank, like, 6 litres of beer between us. It’s hard not to when it’s just over a euro for 2 litres!!! The next day was a bit colder, so we didn’t do too much, went for a walk around the bay, the town is right on the water, and the views of the mountains and water are incredible. I know I keep saying it, but I really will upload some pics as soon as I can, you’ll see what I mean. Haven’t had wireless for a long time, so haven’t been able to… L . We were supposed to be leaving for Bosnia the next day, but it was pouring rain and we were being really lazy, so spent an extra day there. More beer, and another cooking lesson for Justin, he’s never cooked a meal in his life so I’ve been teaching him how, and he’s actually doing very well! He’s also learned how to wash his own clothes by hand, I’m sure that his mother will be duly impressed!

Baaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha, while we were walking along the water one day Justin slipped on some moss and fell into the water, it was absolutely hilarious, I wish I was quick enough to get out my camera instead of helping him out of the water. His ass was covered in moss, and his feet and legs were soaking. Haaaaaaaaahahahahaha.

When we did finally leave on Saturday we were going to get a bus to town to the main bus station, but for some stupid reason we decided to start walking. So, if you could picture the 2 of us walking down a narrow dirt road along the coast with massive packs on our back in a place where I guess they don’t get many backpackers (specially at this time of year), we walked the entire 10km. Now, at this point I should probably point out that my pack is probably 10kg heavier than Justin’s, but bless him, he’s taken to swapping packs with me so that I carry the light one instead, Canada flags and all. Nice! Arriving at the bus station, we found that the bus only goes to Sarajevo once a week, and of course we were a day late because we decided to be lazy and stay that extra day. So, plan B, we thought that we could head to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and then head up to Bosnia from there. So, found a bus to Dubrovnik, and it was cool taking a day bus for once! I mean, we really got to see all the views properly for once. And the whole drive was mountains and coastline, it was an amazing day, the sun was out and all. We watched a beautiful sunset from the bus, it was setting over the islands of Croatia. So nice.

Getting off the bus was a massive saga, you get bailed up by people trying to sell you accommodation. They are ruthless, all competing for your attention and euros. I left Justin alone with the bags to go to the bathroom, and when I got back he was surrounded, they were like vultures. We were in no mood to deal with it, so walked away and figured we’d find a hostel on our own. One of the men from the bus station actually followed us in his car, and pulled us up a few blacks away. It sounds a little crazy, but he was actually really nice (at the bus station he didn’t harass us like the rest of them did, he just pointed us in the right direction to get to a hostel). So anyway, we agreed to check out his guesthouse (he’s listed in lonely planet and was offering a good price, plus a free ride there, so why not!) So, yeah, staying there at his guesthouse which is really cool. There’s a few other people my age here, so we’ve been hanging out with them heaps, drinking beer as usual. It’s such a small world that there’s 2 British guys staying here that we actually met at a hostel in Turkey last month as well. And while we were in Serbia we met an American guy who was telling us about these 2 British guys who had been travelling for over 2 years, at the time we didn’t put it together that he was talking about the guys we had met in Turkey, but then when we were talking to them here and they said that they had met him too, well, I don’t know if any of that makes any sense but you get my point, small world!

We’ve spent 3 nights in Croatia, and are going to head to Bosnia today, first to Mostar then Sarajevo. Croatia has been beautiful, and we’ll be heading back here to Zagreb probably after Bosnia. There’s an Old Town here, another big fortification with big old buildings and massive city walls that are still intact and you can walk right around the outside of the town on top of the walls. It was so nice sitting up there in the sun in the afternoon. Yesterday we went for a walk around the coastline, the weather was cold and miserable, but the sights were worth it. We found a little Turtle that we’ve named Taco, he was the cutest little thing, only a few inches long. He was completely suicidal, walking very far away from the water, and for him to get back he had to climb back down a cliff. So, we played with him for ages, he was absolutely adorable.

So anyway, hopefully we’ll have net access sometime soon again, but if not just be sure to keep missing me.

Ma, I hope you’ve settled back in at home, just remember not to be down when people don’t understand, you can save the stories for me when I get home.

Matt - I’m very jealous you had dinner with my family, I miss them sooooooooo much, but don’t tell them!

Oh, and before I forget a really cool thing happened in Turkey and made me feel oh-so-important… We’re on a public bus in the mountains in Turkey, and the drinks and tickets guy gets a call on his cellphone for us… It was absolutely hilarious, I mean, nobody in the world knows where the heck we are, and we get a phone call. Every time we got off the buses there was someone there waiting with my name to take us to wherever we were going… It was really cool.

So, again I’ll stop my rambling for a little while.

Until next time, love you all, miss you all lots.

Seh.

xox

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Kotor
photo by: benwielenga