Balkans 2016 – Day 21 : Shtip to Negotino, Macedonia

The complimentary breakfast was omelette with cheese and ham served with coffee. After finishing breakfast I started to pack to leave for the day. It looked like a wet day ahead as the rain or rather drizzle started late last night and continued even as I set out. The good thing is temperature is not too low at around 14c. 

I had my underlayer on just in case and after awhile I found it too hot and decided to stop at a petrol station to remove it. It also would be a good time for a brief break. The manager there was a friendly chap and we chatted for awhile and he even made me coffee. He introduced himself as Trajanco and mentioned to me that he took his family to US before but it didn’t work out and he came back instead. He also lamented that the Macedonian economy is not doing too great and salaries are decreasing while cost of living is increasing. He plans to go back to US , this time alone to see if he can make it. I wished him all the best and after a selfie with him I pushed on. 

In order to get to Negotino I had to negotiate a hill climb of around maybe 15km. It was not too steep but gradual. As I ascended higher and higher it became foggier and foggier. Eventually visibility dropped to around 100m. Interestingly the temperature remained constant and I did not feel cold at all. 

I felt the cold only when decending. It would have been the best part but it was partially dampened because my rear wheel started to wobble quite a bit.  Before I left Malaysia , the bike shop had some difficulties in setting the Mondials properly and I noticed both the back and front wobbling slightly.  A day ago I increased the pressure of the tires and maybe that caused the problem. 

Anyway it was not serious, just a bit annoying. My immediate focus is to get some lunch. The interesting thing is there is actually nothing much in between the petrol station and Negotino. 

At lunch I was asking the restaurant owner of places to stay and at some point they told me the cheapest option would be to try the monastery. 

So after getting some directions I headed to the monastery to check it out. On the way there I saw a huge convoy of trucks laden with grapes waiting to deliver to the winery nearby. The line must be around 1km long. I spoke to the young man on one of the grape truck and he told me that he has been here for 2 days! Waiting for his turn. 

Upon arriving the monastery I went to register and paid 9 Euros for room with double bed and attached bathroom. Later on I deflated my rear tire and try to reset the tire and reinflate. It seemed to wobble less now. Let’s see how it goes. If it gets worse I will bring it to a local bike shop for them to have a look. 

I am hoping for a sunny day tomorrow. Fingers crossed. 

Lions Project  : RM 97.56

This region is known for its wine grapes.

A very friendly Gas station manager Trajanco.

Misty mountain ride
Lunch time !
Wine grapes by truck loads.
Long queue!
Monastery at Negotino

Author: krankster

I am an avid cyclist that loves mountain biking, bike commuting and most of all bicycle touring. I am a freelance leadership coach and hope to inspire others through my cycling adventures.

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