Muntanyes i muntanyes inaccessibles, total i espessament cobertes d'arbres

Anem a Itàlia | On our way: Italy

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(English version below)

Un cop caminades Tailàndia, Birmània, Bangladesh, Índia, Pamir, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Azerbaidjan, Geòrgia, Turquia, Grècia, Macedònia, Albània, Montenegro, Bòsnia-Hercegovina, Croàcia i Eslovènia amb aproximadament uns 14.000 quilòmetres als peus, ara entrem a la ‘bella’ Itàlia.

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Slovenia, we barely got to know you, but we did appreciate our four-day, 100-kilometer walk with very nice, unusually warm fall weather.

Hello, Italy. You have been on our mind for a long time!

(Catalan version)

Després de Tailàndia caminàvem Birmània per encabat saltar a Àsia central per poder caminar Pamir, Tadjikistan i Uzbekistan evitant el seu cru hivern, així com també l’asfixiant monsó a Bangladesh i Índia. A continuació vàrem reprendre la ruta a Bangladesh, un pèl massa aviat per que les primeres setmanes ens ofegàvem de calor, humitat i en alguna que altra tempesta de final de monsó. Entrar a Índia per passar tot l’hivern ens va regalar perfectes temperatures diürnes, però poques hores de llum amb fredes nits i matinades on la boira espessa ens va acabar de congelar. L’operació quirúrgica de Jenn va marcar una important fita durant l’estada a Índia. Des de maig a juliol vàrem caminar Iran per creuar Azerbaidjan durant un agost severament calorós que ens va causar forces problemes, però després vàrem gaudir d’un molt bon setembre a través de les muntanyes, valls i rius del sud de Geòrgia. A continuació vàrem estar molt de temps creuant la llarga Turquia resseguint el mar Negre per després passar al mar de Marmara. Seguidament vàrem creuar una part del nord de Grècia, bressol de la nostra civilització i les muntanyes o llacs de Macedònia, Albània i Montenegro. Últimament hem caminat per Bòsnia-Hercegovina en paral·lel a la costa,  en paral·lel a la frontera amb Croàcia, hem creuat aquesta per la part nord i també hem fet un breu, bonic i natural tram d’Eslovènia fins arribar a les portes de la ‘bella’ Itàlia.

Mirarem de seguir publicant i informant tan sovint com ens sigui possible, però com sempre, si no podem comunicar-nos, actualitzar o publicar molt freqüentment, assumiu que estem feliçment caminant entre bones persones i sobretot, que estem bé (o molt bé).

Així doncs, faré / farem el que bonament podrem, sense oblidar-nos de tots vosaltres que molt amablement ens seguiu, us interesseu per nosaltres, ens recolzeu i doneu ànims per continuar i als que us estem MOLT agraïts.

Mapa amb la nostra ruta a través d’Eslovènia. / Map with our route through Slovenia:

Mapa general de la nostra ruta a peu per Eslovènia. | General map of Slovenia with our route marked.
Mapa general de la nostra ruta a peu per Eslovènia. | General map of Slovenia with our route marked.
Mapa detallat de la nostra ruta a peu per Eslovènia. | Detailed map of Slovenia with our route marked.
Mapa detallat de la nostra ruta a peu per Eslovènia. | Detailed map of Slovenia with our route marked.

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(English version)

We got off to a strange start in Slovenia, with three border control police checks in our first handful of kilometers.  We understand why we are stopped: We are walking the same roads immigrants and refugees hanging their hopes on getting to Germany before winter sets in are walking. The passport checks were not confrontational, but, still, the number of times we were asked for our documents in very short distances seemed excessive. They are, sadly, a reflection of the rise of “the fear of others” syndrome gripping many parts of Europe these last few years.

The rest of our 100-kilometer journey through Slovenia, our shortest country walked, was a pretty one that took us along smallish roads near streams, forests and fields.  We were in constant awe of the mountain views, and these were not even the high Julian Alps that make Slovenia a hiking and cycling wonderland. We were very lucky with the sunny and comfortable weather, which locals said was quite unusual this time of year. We’ll take a 20-degree Celsius day any day over the more normal rain and near-freezing cold. After a long, rainy summer, we feel that we rightly deserve this sunshine!

The highlight of Slovenian hospitality came in the form of an invitation to join Jan and his one-year-daughter’s joint birthday celebration, a family affair held at a local hunter’s lodge—an ironic thing since several relatives confided that they thhought being around stuffed animals and deer antlers was  rather gruesome (we agree). Despite the backdrop, we had a fun, festive evening with a great group of people. We were fortunate, too, because Jan invited us to stay upstairs in one of them dorm rooms, and we avoided a chilly mountain night in the tent.

We had only four nights in Slovenia, and, like other border crossings, we walked into Italy early in the morning at the Nova Gorica-Gorizia line. These two cities used be one, but were divided when Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia. In the Tito years of communism, the fenced and guarded border was difficult  to cross. These days, under the auspices of one of the great aspects of EU unity and Schengen visa policies— the freedom of movement, we strolled into Italy, completely unceremoniously. Not one police officer seemed to notice our arrival. That’s the way we like it.

As always when  we change countries, we have no idea what our connectivity will be like or how soon we’ll be back online.  Although being in the European Union now means we have free roaming with our SIM cards, keeping our phones charged is always an issue. Battery-sucking GPS map routing gets higher priority than blogging and social media posting. There are only so many  cafe-charging stops we can justify taking during the shorter fall days when the sun drops sooner.

But, check back here now and again. We have new blogs scheduled in the next few weeks. And, we are posting on Instagram and Facebook as we can. Our tag on both pages is @bangkokbarcelonaonfoot. The links are below:

https://www.instagram.com/bangkokbarcelonaonfoot/

https://www.facebook.com/bangkokbarcelonaonfoot/

Thanks for walking with us!

 

 

 

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