Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hitchhiking, Jazz Flute, and Sea Urchins...or, Happy (belated) Fourth, Everyone!

Once upon a time, I hitchhiked five hours south with my friend, Luke. It was awesome and kind of oddly easy. We hit up five vehicles, as follows:

1. Vinegar Delivery Man (in red)
2. Yuppie Couple (in white haha, white doesn't show up, silly. in dark blue.)
3. Bus to Orikum (aka, the only money we spent on travel the whole day!) (aka ONE DOLLAR) (in light blue)
4. Chain-smoking, Kos-loving Real Estate Agent (in silver)
5. Death-wish Çun (in bling gold)

Highlights included:

1. Sitting three in a row with back packs in the front seat of a delivery truck in 95 degree weather...
2. ..but then finding a ride with air conditioning!
3. Surviving the first stomach-churning leg to Vlore.
4. Getting picked up after waiting no longer than 10 minutes at each stop.
5. Getting coffee and sheep's kos (yogurt) in a little chalet in the mountains somewhere between Orikum and Himare but almost having our driver leave without us because Luke bought the coffees and our driver got so embarrassed and insulted and GOOD JOB, LUKE. ("I was just trying to be nice and keep our good karma!")
6. Stopping every 20 minutes on the stretch down the mountains to the coast for "photo opps" (aka, smoke breaks for the driver).
7. Surviving the last stomach churning leg to Saranda.
8. Looking for the "Africa Tree" in Saranda where everyone else allegedly was and not seeing anything remotely like a Rafiki tree (Lion King, anyone?) but finding them anyways by the GIANT NEON INFLATABLE PLAY PALACE which would have been just too easy of a landmark, you know?

It was fun, it was cheap, and it was quite the experience! Also, Mom, don't worry - I'd never do that kind of trip alone. You raised me to be paranoid well!

I spent the night with some group 15 girls in Delvine, chatted up some nuns, and ate some amazing pasta with oyster sauce. The next day was INDEPENDENCE DAY! and we headed back to Saranda and then onto Ksamil where I stayed for the next few days. The beach was marvelous. The people were marvelous. The weather was marvelous. The hostel (and owner, Tani) was marvelous. The water, the swimming, the sun, the food, the music, the parties, the everything...was marvelous.

Not the sea urchins, though. They suck.

I still have a few spines in the soles of my feet...a week later. Boo.

I'm going to post the plethora of photos from the event in another post...coming right up!

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