Sorry to keep things hanging for a few days…
So in the end I didn’t end up having to sleep out on a cold, wet park bench. Once again things worked out better than I could have imagined.
Ailsa, a friend from motherland England, emailed me a while back to remind me about couchsurfing.org. This is a community website that allows people willing to have travellers stay in their houses, to meet travellers wishing to have a place to stay.
I signed up on the 27th of February (Day 219, the day when I was sheltering from the rain in Thessaloniki in an internet cafe), and managed to get a spot on a couch the very same day. My wonderful host, Nasta, replied to my email 10 minutes before I was about to leave to look for a park bench to sleep on.
It’s great how things work out.
The rest is history, and I have had a wonderful time here at Nasta and Vasilli’s place. They are both students, and are very active in the Couch Surfing scene. I didn’t realise it at first, but apparently there are over 100 Couch Surfing hosts here in Thessaloniki alone.
I have spent the last few days hardly even leaving the house, reading a great adventure novel by A. B. Guthrie, Jr. called The Big Sky (Bantam Books, 1975). A story of living wild out in the open against the elements.
However, all good things must come to an end, and I am planning to leave Thessaloniki tomorrow to head towards Macedonia and Albania. Whenever I mention to Greek people that I am planning on going to Albania, my words are met with raised eyebrows, and sometimes “Are you sure you want to do that?”
Apparently all Albanians are thieving criminals.
Looks like fun times ahead.
Speaking of fun times ahead, I have been in contact with Peter (website), a fellow recumbent rider from Slovenia who is very active in promoting recumbents in Slovenia, and we have arranged to cycle together during my time in Slovenia. He has a great route sketched out.
“This will be a trip of lakes, brooks and history and Kras – a very interesting landscape with vanishing lakes and brooks and many, many caves. A very well known red wine and dried pork meet – they have special weather conditions here that allow drying meat in the wind – only in this section of Slovenia.” – Peter, from one of his emails.
I should be in Slovenia in less than a month, so do keep tuned!