Sunday 29 July 1984
Laktasi. Yugoslavia. 63km total 3419km.
An early start along a frustrating road that is a long line of houses with the country hidden behind so that you never see it Breakfast of three courses eaten on the wall of another silvery domed church. Later course two is in a slasticarna, where an old man with a white skullcap serves coffee and cakes. I am bad tempered all day. I need to go to the toilet and am frustrated by being unable to get away from the houses, and people to find a suitable bush.
We arrive at Laktasi very quickly before lunch along the road that is so busy with traffic. It is a spa town, a grotty crossroads shantytown; miserable cafes and woody patios. Piles of crates and debris itinerant people carrying their loads. Men who stare. This area of Yugoslavia seems dirty and foul tempered compared with the clean beauty we have seen in the pinewoods.
In the afternoon the site fills up, and there are people hammering and pumping near and far, squeezing into small spaces and staring at each other. Only the children are happy, playing in mud with pebbles and a bottle, or singing, swinging a stick.
The only advantage this place offers is that the water is hot, and we have been able to wash our clothes. Later in the evening we go for a meal as we have no food, and are served with a plate of cheese. There is live music, and people dance in a circle. It is busy and noisy and we relax and enjoy it.