My name is Ben Viatte and I'm just like you: I'm not quite sure how I got here.
Albania: country where kindness rules
Ever since my first steps in this never-ending walk, Albanians have been the most generous, the most welcoming people. Half of my meals were offered to me, half of my “purchases” were given without accepting any money! Even the cops are nice. I happened to be sleeping in the grass alongside the road, right near a police car. As I wake up, they simply wish me a nice day and watch me walk away.
Finally, another walker!
This is Sonia from Germany, the first walker I met on my road. We happened to cross paths at a very special point: she had walked 1800 km in 2.5 months across the Balkans, and I had walked 1800 km in 2.5 months across the Balkans. The funny thing is,there’s an unwritten law: when you meet someone travelling at the same speed, you’re always going in the opposite direction!
Do you notice anything hanging from the ceiling of that tunnel? Neither do I, and that’s because it has no ventilation. How long can a man breathe carbon monoxyde instead of air? Crossing these 1.6km by foot took me 31 minutes, considering my cart was often wider than the sidewalk itself! I crashed it countless times, and did struggle a bit for my life. At some point, I thought I might never breathe air again, to be honest. Getting out on the other was liberation. Breathing has never felt so good!
Every painful experience is meant to teach you something. So don’t forget, guys: enjoy every breath, and you will never suffer again.
A kind of Snakey Story
One morning like any other, I woke up. I moved one of my bags, and realized I had spent the night with a 1m 20 snake! Non-venemous, super nice, we then chilled for a while before I saw it get out. But I have, to this day, not the slightest clue how it got in without me noticing!
My road was pleasant. The evening light shone warmly. Circumstances were perfect, and I was visited by an emotion I had long forgotten: boredom. Thankfully, the universe is always listening, and decided to pull me from that state by sending me an all-new challenge… mines! These explosives were scattered by the Serbian Army during the Croatian War of Independence. And they still work! I saw this sign just before 8pm, precisely when I needed to find a place to sleep. Lol, life!
If you see this article, that means destiny was generous towards me. But I have to admit, you spend quite a special night when you think that every time you turn in your sleep, you might just explode.