The Road To Pec
It was long before the war wreaked it’s destruction,
long before the massacres stole so many lives
that we decided to hitch hike to Pec.
Well, to hitch hike as far as Belgrade, that is.
You see, we knew the road
from Skopje to Pec,
knew it was impossible,
had already explored it’s awesome hairpins,
spent two days driving slowly,
over it’s suspension wrecking rocks and ruts.
Had already gazed in alarm
at the rusting corpses of dead buses
scattered down the vertiginous hillsides.
So we took the overnight train from Belgrade.
Uncomfortable, but at least it was possible.
And then, some months later, we met someone
who had achieved the impossible.
His lift had dropped him
near the beginning
of the rocky road to Pec,
but he had seen enough
not to chance it further.
So he clambered down
onto the track made for donkeys
and continued his journey on foot.
There was a long way to go.
Two days later he came across a horse market.
One old horse was unsold.
It had a hollow back, he said
and was coughing up green stuff.
So laughing, they let him have it for fifty pence.
He never rode it,
but it carried his guitar
and on it’s good days,
his rucksack and tent.
And so it was that two weeks later they arrived in Pec.
He left the horse in a field and began to hitch
along the briefly asphalted road.
Something seemed familiar about the approaching car
that slowed and stopped, the driver was waving
and ready to greet him with the hugs and smiles
of a friend not seen for two weeks.
So together they resumed their journey
along the rocky road from Pec.