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The QUEST

 

 

 

The horizon is our target! Physically, mentally, emotionally and socially! That is how most of our travel destinations are picked and this time, we seem to have looked South for too long, so we can't escape the fascination of Greece. So we decided to walk there, and since it is a little bit boring to simply walk, we will reach our targeted destination on 7leagueboots. With those, the 1400 km won't be shorter, but more interesting for sure.

The preparations for this "multi-day travelling" (we planned 6 to 9 weeks) end in another night without sleep and after a breakfast, we try to get the last few important things we need for our tip, before leaving Graz for the wilderness.

 

Finally on the go, we run towards our first big goal: the Austrian - Slovenian boarder. Here is the start of our planned route, because the 70 km, following the Mur was simply a warm up to us.

 

Even this early in our project, we literally stumbled over our first obstacle: a tree fell during a storm and blocked our passage. After climbing over at least 10 hindrances like that, we take of our 7leagueboots and try to pass that "jungle". We even collect our first followers; an elderly gentleman is very interested in our stilts and accompanies us for about 20 minutes.

 

It really is a bit frustrating, if you watch the river and see all the water, that keeps flowing faster than you can walk, so we decide to built a raft. After a short period of time, we give up again, because of the mosquito population and get back to the originally planned character of our trip, walking on 7leagueboots. After a round of ointment for our feet, we continue with the goal of catching all the little, blood sucking beasts and eating them - dinner was done.

 

 

The next day, we have our next premiere: we provoke our first car collision. A biker looks at us a little bit too long and finds himself deep inside of the trunk of a white VW Golf. Completely serious, we ask if our fan is alright, who luckily only lost his front wing. Of course, we discussed this event extensively before we went to sleep. Thanks to a nice family in Strass, Styria, we were guests in their home, and also got breakfast and some snacks for our trip, THANKS!

 

 

We reach the boarder to Slovenia the next day, but before we leave Austria, we come to an official stop. At the boarder, we finally see that no one is interested in our passports, but our 7leagueboots are very interesting for the personnel working there.

 

 

 

 

 


So we give our rafts to the first kids we meet in the next town and are very happy to be invited by the next Croatian retiree to take a break at his place. As a farewell gift we are allowed to take a ride in his original US-Army-Jeep.

 

On our travel, many cars stop next to us, ask us about our 7leagueboots and our travel and even offer us food, drinks, chewing gum or transportation to the next city as a gesture of kindness. Of course we are happy to thankfully accept food and drinks, but offers like lifts, we have to show strength (especially towards ourselves) and decline them.

 





Once again, we notice a significant change in the landscape and also the people: the streets get worse, as well as the economic status, but the people themselves are even friendlier and very open.

 

We reach Banja Luka the next day and try to find out something about the landmines. Because of what people tell us, we decide not to take a single step off the main roads, until locals tell us, it would be safe.

 

Since we found a nice location for a fotoshooting, we stay a little bit longer than expected and bounce around in an old and abandoned castle and spend the night in a girls dormitory!

 

NM!W must have stolen it, and we have to get a new one. Furthermore, all the pictures, we did not safe by s

Our journey leads through narrow canyons, over bare mountain tops and through thick forests. At first, we try to avoid inhabited regions, but after the second day without food, we are happy to find a small grocery in an even smaller, but growing skiing area. Finally having put enough space between Banja Luka and ourselves, we start to have our snack.

 

 

We are very lucky that we only have to carry around our food like that, since there are enough streams and springs where we can fill our Camelbaks with around 3 litres each. We finally get closer to Visoko, close to Sarajevo, walking through Turbe and Travnik, where the landscape is characterized by mosques.

 

 

Now we need to solve completely different problems: Since two pyramids have been discovered in Visoko recently, we feel like being in Gizeh, surrounded by tourists, more interested in our equipment, than the pyramids. After looking closely, we can honestly say, the whole pyramid story is a big hoax and we are finally on our way to Sarajevo.

 

 

But in the next supermarket, we experience the same thing as last night: at least fifteen salesgirls surround us and look like they would like to take us home immediately!

After that, we decide on our first route change: To reach the ocean earlier, we take the route south of the lake Shkodra and walk along the Adriatic coast. There, we also enjoy our first salt water washing

and afterwards a fantastic meal.

 

Albania is a mysterious land. Also, we were warned by everyone in Bosnia, Croatia and the rest of our visited cities and countries, to be careful with the Skipetarians (Albania is called Shqiperia in the local language). But, arriving in this country, we find out that the people here are as friendly as everywhere else. Only a bit poorer and the houses seem to bit even more rundown.
From the beginning of our expedition, we are thinking about going to Durres, the old seaport or to Tirana, a comparatively modern town. We have to make a decision now, so we agree on going to Durres.

From here on, I (Michi) have to carry my 7leagueboots for 2 days, because of a failed attempt to flip. The knee itself does not hurt, but it feels unstable for quite a while. Back home, I was diagnosed with a partial laceration of both collateral ligaments, a hyperextension of the crucial ligament and a bone marrow oedema of the right knee.

Afterwards, we finally start in the direction of our final destination. A little wistfully, we start to walk into the day, since this also means the upcoming end of our independence. We literally got to know every single step of our journey and also met many interesting people. Now we are standing (half a meter higher than the rest) proudly in Igoumenitsa and take a look back on our route, because here in this port, we are waiting for the ship with our friends and family and our travel ends with a romantic sunset.