Our first day out walking and we were in the North of Montenegro walking around a large lake where Tito had organized the partisans in the last war. I make that sound simple but it certainly was not. The terrain around here is large high mountains and it is still very much undisturbed nature.
Lunch started and so did the rain. We’d found a spot near the side of the lake ( or to be more accurate our guides had ) and unknown to us they had brought enough stores to feed a small army of partisans. Cheese, wine, bread, cold meats, fruit and red wine ( red as in the colour not the political affiliation ) As we sat by the lake on a handy table and bench a small Japanese chap wandered towards us seeking shelter from the rain under a tree. He stood there with no rain gear and a rucksack that appeared to have nothing in it. We were in full rain kit, useful to protect the picnic, and the couple with us, had brought umbrellas! How terribly British, how typically Japanese!
He eventually moved off looking like a lost fell runner who’d lost his emergency rations from putting the rucksack on upside down, but was unfazed by it all.
We met him in the village a day later, still in the same singlet and shorts and British Tony in his typical friendly way approached him with greetings of friendship just as he’s stuffed some rations into his mouth. He looked at us with shock, bowing gracefully and losing some of the mouth borne rations at the same time. I suspect he did not recognise us. He now probably thinks it’s normal to greet anyone with a mouthful, if you get my drift, just as we will now think it quite normal for the Japanese to go out hiking with an empty rucksack and no rain gear.
Our brilliant guides Misa and Stefan told us all about the area and halfway around the walk, we came across this rather smaller lake. From some distance away we could hear sounds, that we thought were ducks, but on seeing the lake there was no sign. ” It’s frogs!” we were told. We wandered closer to the lake and I asked for complete silence from the small group so that I could record the sound and the place. They all fell into a respectful silence, including the frogs!
I let the party wander off as the frogs no longer wished to perform, and waited. These shy creatures then gave me a short chorus.