Day 22 – Via Egnatia – beware the dogs!

We started our day at 7:30 (after coffee and our picnic breakfast of course) with a taxi ride about 15 km along our 45 k route for the day. We knew there was no way we were going to try to walk 45 km but there was no accommodation between. Essentially we covered three days in one. Fairly tiring. Mostly a nice walk off-road along a canal. At one point over a collapsed bridge. At another point through deep soaking grass. All was well until the last three kms. We had just crossed a main road and were walking up a gravel track when a motor cycle came roaring up to us and the driver stopped. He seemed quite worried. Where were we going he wanted to know. We told him and pointed. This guy spoke no English but he began urgently telling us “no way.” Through mime he showed us there were at least 15 big vicious dogs. We must not go that way. Our option was a longer unpleasant walk along a really busy highway. We followed the man’s advise. It turned out he’d seen us walking  by his place of work and come after us to stop us from getting into difficulty. Act of kindness number 8 in Greece! His warning has been confirmed by two other people that we’ve met at separate times and places. 

Seems that people have let their dogs loose outside the city for various reasons, the economic crisis being one, the dogs have bred and created their own packs of semi wild dogs. There have been a few reports of attacks on humans. Great! Pat and I now wonder if this is a common situation around other cities. No reason to think otherwise I guess.

Pat’s walking poles have been giving her problems. They got stuck and wouldn’t extend properly. She’d asked several people for help pulling them open. Today we stopped at a car repair place – along that busy highway – and a kind man took the poles out back to a vice machine and he fixed them. Much joy and many smiles. Another moment of joy for us! Random act of kindness number nine!

Tonight we are in Giannitsa. (With weary feet – me and legs – Pat) Tomorrow we’ll take a taxi to Pella (Alexander the Great’s home town) then walk to Gefira.

Today we covered over 30 kms. We arrived at out hotel just before 5pm. Pretty long day. Tomorrow should be just over 20 as long as we don’t have to detour around brambles, fierce wild dogs, or God knows what else that might crop up. One thing we know with absolute certainty is that just about anything can happen on this trip!

Good night! Yup we’ve made it to dark we can go to sleep now.

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