So on July 29th, I packed up my stuff in my brand new backpacker’s bag, and began to head out into the great unknown…that is until after 10 minutes of walking, my first strap broke, and then I realized I had accidentally thrown my train tickets in the McDonald’s garbage at the train station…just minutes after buying them…lets just say, the workers ended up dumpster diving, as I was no longer at the station.
Okay, attempt number two, I decide my laptop is weighing my backpack down, so i buy a smaller backpack for it…then the zipper on the bigger pack breaks in half, impossible to fix. I’m really not off to a great start! Finally after feeling like I am about to “turtle” (fall on my back from the weight) I finally make it on the train.
On the 30th, as we are entering into Belgrade, Serbia (my destination) I attempted to grab something out of the smaller back pack, the zipper broke on that as well, and as I began trekking the two mile uphill (no joke) road to the highway in Belgrade, one strap tore off the smaller backpack.
Now, all of this seems to be full of bad omens, but, turns out, its better to get all the bad out of the way, that way the rest of the trip will be good, in theory.
Anyway, I get to the motor way, and my main objective is to hitch hike (or Autostop) to Plitvice Park in Croatia. So the first driver picks me up, after waiting for 1 hour, I don’t seem to be off to a great start. He takes me 5k, and I begin to wonder if the rest of my tip will be full of pitfalls and shortcomings.
I get to the truck stop that the driver leaves me at, and I slam my pack on the grass, sitting and having a hard time breathing, partly from me being out of shape, and partly the heat…as well as the bag being just too damn heavy. Before I know it, a guy sits his pack next to mine. “You in the same boat as well?” I asked him. And yes, he was, only not so deep, he was just hitching back home to Poland. I told him my destination and he referred me to a trucker that was headed there. The trucker seemed nice enough, he was old and Serbian.
We made it to Croatia, all the while he is paying for my food, he didnt have to, and I told him as much, but I guess he was glad to have the company. As we began to sneak up on Plitvice in Croatia, the driver says “One kilometer to Plitvice, or a few hundred to Rome, Italy, your choice.” And so, as he was slowing down to let me out, I yelled out “Rome!” so off we went, to Italy.