Our house is situated on the outskirts of Kocani. It is about 2 km walk into the town center, which even on a hot day is certainly doable.
Away from the town center there are houses and a small mountain range which offers a nice walk through partly urbanised area into the shady forest at the start of the mountain range.
We walked up the hill past the houses to a newly developed area, we had considered living up there as the views are even more stunning but there is a problem with water pressure and sewerage so decided not to.
We walked past a church which was being built. The most common religion praised by North Macedonians is Orthodox Christianity. This church has been being built for a number of years and there doesn’t seem to be much progress.
We wandered along the streets, climbing slowly upwards and noticed the fast flowing stream rushing out of the town towards the rice fields. This man-made canal is built for this purpose and collects water coming down from the mountains outside Kocani and ensures that the rice fields are supplied with enough water.
We walked through the shade of the pine forest, inevitably bumping into goats resting from their climb and hearing the dogs barking in the distance.
As we came out of the forest we were awarded views looking down into the valley where our house is. The air is so clear and you can see for miles around, the only haze is the blistering sun shining on the mountains.
As we came down the hill we were met with an area of so much waste and rubbish piled up, its a shocking contrast to the beautiful surroundings.
At this particular building there was a dog barking ferociously, foaming at the mouth and baring its teeth. I was very hesitant but Johan said just walk, the dog can smell your fear! (I thought the dog can probably smell more than my fear at this point, but was rendered speechless). Fortunately the dog was attached to a heavy duty chain and couldn’t get anywhere near us.
I have never been so relieved as to hear the barking recede into the distance.
We headed to the nearest cafe and treated ourselves to a well deserved ice cream.
It was only then that Johan admitted that he had been looking around for a big rock to throw at the dog when it broke loose from its chain. It obviously wasn't only my fear he could smell!
We wandered back to the house, passing bushes of elderberries en blueberries and wishing we were knowledgeable enough to know if they were edible! We did pick a couple of fallen nectarines on the way home, the trees are everywhere and we reckoned if the fruit falls onto the public road its okay to pick them up! They were delicious.
We are thinking which trees we are going to have when we finally get round to landscaping the garden and nectarine sounds pretty good to me!
I’m already checking out recipes!