Fabian came with us on the walk today! He made a great addition to Team Nocab!
The plan was to walk from Budva to Virpazar (about 45 kilometers) in two days. We would camp in or outside of one of the villages on the way. The first fifteen kilometers were a bit rough because we were walking on the main road. It was much better than in Croatia because the hills weren't as steep so instead of cliffs on either side of the road, we had some flat ground to walk on. Anja understands traffic much better now and stays on the grass or the shoulder almost constantly. Almost. It was, however, incredibly hot! We left the ocean and therefore lost the cool ocean air, and we didn't get high enough into the mountains for it to cool down again. The sun was on us the whole day, and we took a lot of breaks because we were carrying absolutely everything. We did get a lot of attention from the drivers because we were a family of walking backpackers! Lots of waves and happy smiles.
We also played a super fun game that I invented. You have five options and you have to choose a country that you would have the option in. For example:
You can live in a penthouse apartment; a huge mansion; your car; a tent; and a park bench. In which country or city would you live in those places?
A penthouse apartment in New York City; a huge mansion in Austria; my car in the USA; a tent in Australia; and a park bench somewhere tropical in Asia, like Taiwan or Vietnam.
I wouldn't mind a little house out here! Just 15 kilometers from Budva.
A penthouse apartment in LA; a huge mansion in Montreal; my car in southeastern Europe; a tent in the Safari and it would be a huge, classic Safari tent with the white canvas sides and lanterns everywhere and a real bed; and a park bench in San Diego.
You can be an investment banker; a doctor; a construction worker; a cashier; and a beggar. Where would you have these jobs?
Fabian: An investment banker in China; a doctor with Doctors without Borders in Africa; a construction worker in Germany because they get paid really well and have great benefits; a cashier somewhere in the US; and a beggar in the Ubahn in Berlin because I'd have a ton of fun.
Kristyn: An investment banker in NYC; a doctor in India; a construction worker in Canada because people are so nice, they probably bring coffee to the construction workers all day; a cashier in Berlin because it's easy and I can party all night and go to work the next day; and a beggar in Texas. They stand at the stoplights and ask the cars for money. There are so many cars in Texas, you make a lot of money.
You can be single, married with kids, gay, asexual, or have a girlfriend. Where would you do all of those things?
Fabian: Single in Barcelona; married with kids in Austria; gay in Berlin; asexual in Bangkok; and have a girlfriend in Taepai, because that's where we're going together.
Kristyn: Single in Rio De Janeiro; married with kids in the countryside in Spain; gay in San Francisco; asexual in Peru; and have a boyfriend in Texas.
You can be any type of bird; any type of water animal; any type of bear; any type of cat; and any type of insect. What would you be and where?
Fabian: Swallow because I am swift and agile and I get to migrate through Europe and Africa; black bear up in Canada; dolphin in the southern US; a leopard in the mountains; and a spider so I can scare all the girls.
Kristyn: Flamingo in Miami; a seal in San Francisco; a bear in Russia so I can watch all the drunk Russians; a tiger in the jungle in India; and a cricket in Connecticut.
A donkey just outside of Budva
We went on for at least two hours! It's a great game to pass the time and you can come up with a million different things. Some of the other categories we did were different kinds of thieves, different modes of transportation, and the five adventures you would do if you had all the money and expert assistance you needed. And what's great about this game, is that even when you run out of categories, you can do the first ones over again and come up with different answers.
So at this point in our walk we had turned off the main road and we were walking on a small country road headed south. The road was about as wide as one car and we only saw a car every 30-60 minutes! We let Anja off the leash and just relaxed. It was so beautiful with the green hills around us and the dark grey, snow covered mountains in the far distance. The next village was about six kilometers away and we decided to camp there. That was our approximate halfway point.
Anja did a great job on the road. She stayed within fifty meters of us and whenever a car came, she went to the side of the road or came running back to me to stand at my side. I was so proud of her! All those stressful kilometers on the main road really taught her to watch out for cars! And she didn't even chase after them! She tried once or twice, but she stopped when we yelled at her. Sehr gut, Anja!
We found a wonderful camping spot just before the village. We had walked way downhill into a valley so we were able to find nice flat ground to set up camp. It was set about 10 meters back from the road, too, so we had some privacy and tons of space. There was a post in the ground to tie up cattle or sheep, and we looped Anja leash around that while we set up camp.
Fabian ended up letting her off the leash later and she went through about a thousand puddles of mud and dirty water so she was totally brown by the time the sun set. We ate some peanuts, beans, candies, and chocolate until it was dark and then we tried to sleep. Anja came right into the tent, which is good and bad because, like I said, she was totally brown. We only had one sleeping bag, a blanket, and a towel. We put the towel and the blanket under us, Anja in between us, our feet in the bottom of the sleeping bag, and then spread the rest of the bag over us. It works in theory but not in practice, especially if you move around a lot in your sleep, which we both do. So we were pretty cold. Fabian didn't sleep at all, and I slept a few hours. As soon as the sun came up, I took the whole sleeping bag and slept for another two hours while Fabian played his Gameboy. Sorry, Fabian! Thank you for being a gentleman!
Once I woke up, we had breakfast and Fabian went up the house nearby to ask for water while I packed up the tent. I left Anja at the hitching post but when I looked back two minutes later, she was gone. She squirmed out of her harness like a little rat and ran up the road to find Fabian. Grrrr! I went after her because I was worried, but Fabian was already walking back down the hill by the time she found him. We packed everything up and kept walking. We passed four little villages on the road: Utrg, Tomici, Donji Brčeli, and Gornji Brčeli. They were all very small and simple, with 10-15 houses each and a church or monastery. Fabian even saw a monk! I was walking too fast to catch that!
The road kept getting more beautiful. The trees were incredibly green and we could smell the spring flowers. The mountains in the distance kept getting bigger and taller and soon we could see the lake at their base. Absolutely stunning! The whole road was downhill, all the way to Virpazar.
Once we got to the last village, we turned left onto another main road and put Anja back on the leash. This road was challenging because even though it was only 8kms downhill to Virpazar, it was super hot and the combination of fast cars and an excited dog made it very challenging. Fabian was still tired from the day before so we were going very slowly. I was super excited to get to the lake and I had no intention of slowing down. However, when I walked too fast with Anja, she pulled back to stay with Fabian, and when Fabian walked with Anja, she pulled like crazy to keep up with me. What a brat! Well, actually, she was being a good mediator, but I wanted to get to that lake as fast as possible! And Fabian did not! Grrrrrrr!!!!!
We ended up splitting up about one kilometer outside of town. If we had known it was only one kilomter, we would have stayed together, but Fabian didn't believe me when I said we were almost there. To be fair, I say that constantly. It helps me! But it doesn't usually help anyone else.
Anyway, we had our first walk together and it was great! Maybe in the summer when it isn't too cold to camp with one sleeping bag, we'll do it again!
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