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Enough of these jokes, the time has come for a real challenge.

BECOMING A MAN

1.887 km ridden in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia.
(13.341 km in total)

summary

    It was my first time visiting all the countries on the peninsula. I must say I'm really impressed. Still, I'm not sure when to use which language (a big word for my ultimate 10 words omnilinguistic vocabulary: water, food, sleep, bicycle, ...). Luckily, people here are so kind that they forgive me waving my hands like a monkey, and making strange noises in the meat shop to describe an animal. After all, I want to know if it's pork or chicken or whatever.


    I've spent only a couple of days in each of the countries, but if I had to choose one thing to describe what I saw, that would be:


Macedonia - best water, always drinkable, always COLD. Is there a fridge underground every 100 metres?


Kosovo - the most kind people since Romania. One example: I ordered roasted chicken, ate it, tried to pay for it, but it was already paid by the gentleman sitting at the different table who said: "Du bist willkommen in Kosovo." Also drivers waved at me, not honked and I appreciate it.


Montenegro - cold country but great roads for bicycles. These are usual roads essentially, but with so low traffic I can call them bike lanes. In Montenegro I encountered my perfect downhill - couple of kilometers without touching the brakes even once. Going 60 km/h, all time in the aero position. The bends were so easy and well profiled, it was a pleasure cornering them with no energy wasted on braking. Maybe it was accidental or maybe a very smart person devoted months of life to make it so.


Bosnia and Hercegovina - looks like the chillout place, according to my tastes. Vast territories with occasional cars and villages where people live, but you can't see them. Except main roads and main cities.


Albania - saved this description for the end, although I visited the Albania first. It has many good "features" like mountains next to the seaside, good prices, kind people, but also the most beautiful women on this trip. They are even getting close to the polish girls, but still cannot rival them. Albania is definitely (along Romania and Turkey) a place to revisit in the future.


    And what about becoming a man? It was the  hilliest part of my trip with average of 4,3% among 1.700 km. But it cemented my passion for the mountains, Cycling up all day is definitely not that impressive when it comes to mileage, but leaves me with an additional sense of achievement. When I tell my friends about places they should visit, I always warn them. It will be a 15 minutes ride by car, selfie on the top and nothing really special, while for me harder tasks automatically make enviroment more beautiful.


    It was also about making something with the hair and the beard. First time in my life I have a beard and I don't really know how to take care of it. Tried something with the scissors, but went to the barber after all.

 

    It was also about making big decisions, but it will be revealed later, much later, soooo much later...