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Up North to the Netherlands… part 3

My first big adventure travel has just unfolded - hitchhiking Up North on an extremely tight, almost unexciting budged, with no return date, actually with no plans at all... So, stay with me and lets see what the cat will bring... 🙈🙉🙊 (part 1, part 2, part 4, part 5)
You can also fallow the Up North trip in Polarsteps. Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.

5 September 2021 – Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

After a sleepless night, thanks to my three lately coming and all night chatting roommates, a super tiring day Up North followed unexpectedly.

I wonder when I will learn my lesson not to go anywhere on Sundays…

The first ~7 km I walked on the way out of Podgorica. The next ~7 km were on the wild uphill to the border (not the one I had planned to cross, though). The last ~10 – after the border entering into Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I wondered why the border guard was sorry about how many kilometres I still have ahead, when I mentioned Sarajevo. (The same policeman who, when I asked about a glass of water, took me to the vending machine and bought me a bottle of water, as they don’t have drinkable water on site, along with two chocolate desserts for to go!!)

Leaving Montenegro towards the "wrong" Bosnian border and Trebinje
Leaving Montenegro towards the “wrong” Bosnian border and Trebinje

According to the plan (although Up North doesn’t has any plans), I should be able to arrive Sarajevo by evening. 🤔 I looked at the navigation and it was my turn to grab my head and feel sorry as the policeman – I have been taken to another border crossing… 🤦🏻‍♀️😆🤷🏻‍♀️

Well, I had let the road lead me anyway, so, who cares…

Leaving Montenegro towards the "wrong" Bosnian border and Trebinje
Leaving Montenegro towards the “wrong” Bosnian border and Trebinje

I kept marching forward and being indifferent to the rare passing by cars. At one point I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and stopped at a (almost the only) farmhouse that looked habitable. They brought me a chair and a bottle of water, made me coffee, and I thought I was where I needed to be.

Then it turned out that they didn’t really understand my question about putting a tent in their yard. There was no point in explaining further anyway, as they were leaving the farm in an hour or two…

Leaving Montenegro towards the "wrong" Bosnian border and Trebinje
Leaving Montenegro towards the “wrong” Bosnian border and Trebinje

Well, it is what it is. On the road again. It turned out that I could still continue walking after all… At least I have taken a quick rest and refilled my water, as it seemed that I would have to go camping wildly. So I could at least have some water to drink.

At the end of the day I was lucky with a couple of travellers from Ukraine, who travelled in a civilised way by a car and took me to Trebinje. Thank you for saving my pretty ass, guys! 😉

Locals directed me to a nearby hostel. 12 € for a bed in a mixed room?! I could barely stand on my feet anymore, but somehow I didn’t like the offer at all. Although if the owners had been just an idea more friendly, I might have succumbed to the temptation to just throw myself on the bed and die no matter the price.

Leaving Montenegro towards the "wrong" Bosnian border and Trebinje
Leaving Montenegro towards the “wrong” Bosnian border and Trebinje

Luckily for me, they were not polite at all, so I took advantage of their internet to look for something else. Even if it is not cheaper, at least it will be a separate room for the same price!!

Moreover, I am absolutely aware that tomorrow I will not be able to walk after today’s marathon of 25 km with ~30 kg on my back. My legs were already seriously sore, tomorrow I will not be able to step on them at all…

The 10 euro room in Trebinje
The 10 euro room in Trebinje

Well, I was lucky again, although it took lots of walking and asking around. The room in the photos is nice, clean and just for me, it has a balcony as well and is cheaper than the hostel – 10 € (normally 20)!!!

Two nights would be staying here anyway – a little rest at my Up North heading, at least I will enjoy my stay and for descent price!

And I couldn’t remember a single name today… Sorry guys! That doesn’t prevent me being grateful for all your help, though!

6 September 2021 – Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

My pocket may protest, but in this case it doesn’t have the word. The body satisfies the whims of the soul (such as travel and motorcycles), so I take care of it and listen to it when there are complaints! There is no need to go on strike, they are always more expensive

Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

So, after a light 8 km walk in the morning (without a backpack!), the day passed by in relax and laziness.

Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tomorrow – Dubrovnik. Well, okay, maybe Dubrovnik… 😜

Up North: 7 September 2021 – Dubrovnik, Croatia

A day like any other, but not quite, not quite…

For once, I realised that the previous problem was not because of Sunday, but because of the country – the locals just do not stop! Neither in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor in Croatia, as it turned out later.

After 5-6 km I was picked up by a Serb travelling to Dubrovnik on business. We drank coffee on the way and he gave me his breakfast, saying that he had already eaten and that was too much for him. Was it a truth?..

My first ride for today, who brought me to Towards Dubrovnik, Croatia
My first ride for today, who brought me to Towards Dubrovnik, Croatia

For the first time, since I started my Up North trip, at the border they asked for my vaccination certificate and for the first time they checked my luggage – I don’t inspire much confidence in the Croats, I suppose…

Almost there - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Almost there – Dubrovnik, Croatia

In Dubrovnik, I was just shocked by the prices. A simple walk along the fortress wall – 25€, the rooms for night start from 25-30€… It was fortunate that I had the opportunity to leave my backpack with the person who brought me there, to walk around Old town and then look for a place to spend the night.

I took off with 100!!! Up North! The farther from Dubrovnik, the better and cheaper. I was at least hoping

Leaving the old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Leaving the old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia

After a nice couple of Italian tourists drove me a few tens of kilometres away, no one stopped afterwards. I decided that 3 in the afternoon was a good time to look for a place to camp – I was still tired from the previous marathon, and for hours now I was walking on the winding highway under the scorching sun.

The navigation informed me that there was a guest house nearby. I did not expect low prices, but I relied on them to allow me to pitch my tent and use some water. My eternal problem – I don’t have enough water

Walking as far from Dubrovnik as I can...
Walking as far from Dubrovnik as I can…

The Austrian couple was slightly shocked by my appearance, but quickly recovered, gave me a glass of water and easily agreed that I can spend the night in the garden. Then they went down to the beach. Unlucky for me, an old grumpy lady saw me and shouted that I had no job there and she would call the police. I didn’t care – my documents are in order, I have permission, so she could call whoever she wants.

Just pitched the tent up in a secluded spot in the yard and waited. I was sure that the grandma would not leave me alone so easily – this model lives for an adrenaline like this…

Up North: 7 September 2021 – Dubrovacko-neretvanska, Croatia

I didn’t have to wait long and two young police officers, a man and a woman, appeared, looking around. Since I had chosen a good spot in a secluded place, they almost passed by me before I called upon them.

Smiling and friendly, they had seen me on the way to hitchhike and were surprised to find me here. We talked a bit, not only officially, they checked my documents and explained that the grumpy old woman was actually the owner of the property, and the Austrians were just tenants. They will try to persuade her to let me stay for the night, but if she does not agree, I will have to leave.

I knew she wouldn’t agree, she hadn’t gone so far as to give up the final pleasure of seeing me leaving, so as they talked to her, I began to prepare. I was right. The policemen even apologised for the owner’s behaviour. I told them that so far I have met only cool people ready to help as much as they can, probably the time has come to face the other side of attitude

They expressed their sincere regret that don’t have a right to take me anywhere unless I am arrested. I don’t know why they laughed so much when I asked them to arrest me for half an hour… 🤷🏻‍♀️

They gave me their own bottle of water for the way and directed me where I could find a place with water and people to help. After another 2-3 km… Who did say Up North would be easy…

Walking by the beach in Bosnia between the two borders with Croatia
Walking by the beach in Bosnia between the two borders with Croatia

To my surprise, shortly after I got out on the highway, a Polish couple stopped on the way to the border. Great, another border, but at least I’ll be back in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it’s cheaper. Well, how much cheaper could it be by the sea in the season… The cheapest option was 15€, which was a complete misery and did not cost even 5€… 🤦🏻‍♀️

I knew that I had kilometres to walk and that my body had not recovered enough. Yet I could not swallow the prices and just kept looking for a place for a tent. (I would survive with the two litres of water I had refilled with the help of the police)…

Mile after mile and nothing. On the one side vertical cliffs up, on the other – vertical cliffs down… The sun was getting lower and lower and more and more often I had to repeat to myself that my intuition never lies

Up North - on the Croatian beach just before sunset
Up North – on the Croatian beach just before sunset

Suddenly a car stopped. It was Jacob – the first local to stop since I left Montenegro. He was going to a beach in Croatia and said that the place is really great for a tent. Perfect, going to the beach then. One more border today.

Sunset on the Croatian beach
Sunset on the Croatian beach

Really beautiful and peaceful site. I could stay there for days! But I can’t… I have food and water just for one night and should continue on the next day. The beach is more than 10km away from the main road and this time I would not be able to walk at all for at least a day or two…

Up North: 7 September 2021 – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Even as we travelled towards the beach, I shared my fears with Jacob that the place is too far away for me to return on the main road latter. Here he suggested after the beach to take me straight to my destination for the next day – Mostar.

He was living in 20 km from there and it was not a problem to him. Also he offered to help me find a place for the night so that I would not wander in the dark.

My last ride for the day who brought me to the Croatian beach
My last ride for the day who brought me to the Croatian beach

The dilemma was solved and I completely indulged in the pleasure of sunset on the shore!

I knew I would stay at least two nights. This time I was already overloaded my body and every part of it was confirming that. The next day I found out that there would have to be at least three nights stay…

Four border crossing, more than 250 km and almost 20 of them on foot with the backpack…

What a crazy day Up North indeed… 🤦🏻‍♀️

Relaxing (and grape eating) at the hostel in Mostar
Relaxing (and grape eating) at the hostel in Mostar

The postwar marks are all over the place and I expect to be the same in Sarajevo tomorrow. Even after 25 years. And, because I happen to speak with two guys participants in the war, the memories are still vividly alive. I almost saw the whole horror through their words. Although I am sure I could not even imagine the feeling and despair from those days… That’s why I haven’t photograph any of the ruined buildings. I don’t want to visually remember the stories I have heard…

Is it then that surprising that Bosnia and Herzegovina isn’t a good place for hitchhiking? If all that terrible memories are still alive, who could blame the people for not trusting strangers… Even with huge backpacks (and taser on the waist)… 🤔😇🤫


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