22-Mar-2008 -- The story starts from 41°N 23°E. This is the second out of a series of four confluences that we visited on a 5-day trip through Northern Greece, Macedonia and Albania during the Easter Holidays.
In the morning we started our approach to the confluence from the city of Strumica, which is about 100km to the south-east. After passing through the town Sveti Nicole on road P201 we took the turnoff towards Gugance (signposted as Gjugjance) on a single lane asphalt road. In the first village Dolno Gugance (4.8 km from CP) the asphalt ended and an extremely rough road continued towards Gorno Gugance. Nevertheless we tried to make it by car and after coping with some difficult passages, dead ends and dangerous turns our small car made it to Gorno Gugance – a tiny village 1.4 km from the confluence. We parked the car and started hiking.
Gorno Gugance seems not to be a prosperous place these days. Besides the poor conditions of the roads and traffic infrastructure, most houses gave an impression of abandonment. Some old farmers however, seem to hold the fort.
We followed a track that would be passable by a jeep – and almost reached the confluence this way. At a hamlet 80m from the confluence point, we turned to the right and reached our goal on a hill.
The confluence itself is on a meadow with scattered trees and bushes that are hard to identify in the winter month. The views from the confluence into the hills around are impressive. The most distinctive feature at the confluence however is the small abandoned hamlet with destructed old stone houses. However, when I approached the village in order to take a close-up picture, I quickly experienced that the hamlet is not as abandoned as I had thought: a big dog chased us away and we ran half a mile until we felt us in safety again.
We stayed the night in the capital city Skopje, an hour drive from the confluence.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 13:00 pm
- time: 1.5 h (hike from Gorno Gugance and back)
- hiking distance: 1.4 km (beeline)
- Distance to a road: 5 km
- Distance to a track: 80 m
- Distance to houses: 100 m
- Topography: slightly hilly.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
- GPS height: 719 m
- Vegetation: meadow, grass, scattered bushes and small olive trees
- Weather: overcast, 10° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: In Macedonia’s highlands, on a hill
- Given Name: The Not Really Abandoned Hamlet Confluence
Story continues at 42N 21E.