Trip Start Aug 25, 2007
64Trip End Mar 25, 2008
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There was a taxi driver who offered to take me to the Upper Monastery for 10 Euros and the Lower one for 5 Euros. Well you know me. I arrived at the Lower one and put my bag at the konoba (small restaurant). Another taxista offered to drive me up to the top for 1 euro, but my taxista quickly shushed him by explaining in Montenegran that he had already told me 5 euros extra. All of the taxistas then w lightening speed changed to "ya, 5 more euros". I told myself that I was here to experience the pilgrimage, not to take it easy. The typical pilgrimage was to hike up the mountain and spend 3 nights in the Upper Monastery soaking in the holiness. While I was walking the 3 km worth of steps, I passed many Orthodox Catholics carrying food, clothes, donations up. Up on the upper monastery, devout believers kissed holy relics and doorways and backed out, per their tradition.
On the way down I met two Frenchmen who offered me a ride in their cab because we were all going to the same destination. As I was getting into the car, a big band of taxistas came out and said I could not leave with an outside taxi, that I must take their taxi. They were insistent that I cannot leave Ostrog with anyone but them, even if the French had already paid for the entire day's worth of chaufering. I felt the taxi drivers were ganging up on me, which they were. I was livid. I was ready to thrown down. Thanking the French guys, I hoisted my backpack and without so much a glance backwards, I started walking the 8 km down the mountain to the bus stop. It was a combination of principle and sheer stubbornness. I was not getting into a taxi even if I had to walk 16 km with two backpacks. Of course stubborness only helped me walk 3 km before multiple ankle sprains. My thumb came in handy again and within minutes, I was down the mountain eating my lunch and sitting on a rock at the side of the road. This was the Bogetici bus stop. The entire time I was throwing evil looks at the top of the mountain (as if the taxistas could see me) and muttering, "ne dobro" (Montenegran for "no good"). I did not know the Montenegran word for bad, evil, bullies, or money-hungry pigs. I told myself that I had to learn these words for the next time I meet another taxi driver.