Day 31 Podgorica


Day 31 Tuesday May 3rd, Podgorica Montenegro. Today was a Bill Bryson day. I should have known, when my hosts served me chocolate cake and cream buns for breakfast. I left Split at 9am and my GPS said I would be in Bar by 1.30pm. It was lying, or else suffering from delusions of grandeur. The morning went okay, but then I decided to stop in the historic city of Dubrovnik for lunch/gas and a look around. Bad choice. The tourist hordes had already taken over the city and everything was in gridlock. I got in.. but I couldn’t get out. So I’ll just get gas while I’m here. Another bad choice. The driver before me had done a runner, so when I asked the attendant why the pump wouldn’t work things went into immediate lock down. He whispered something to a worker, and I picked up just one word: Police. They thought I was the one trying to get out of paying for gas. The attendant got very stern at this point, while I protested my innocence in broken English and simple hand gestures. They looked back through the video footage and eventually freed me to continue my crawl out of the city.  Then I hit traffic.. slow traffic. Camper Vans travelling at 5kph with pretty strings  of cars trailing behind, like tails on a kites. Then it started to rain, and I saw panic on the face of the GPS. It started setting and re-setting, trying to work out why I was travelling so slowly, but I reassured it we still had plenty of time to reach rendezvous time & place. We didn’t. Sent txts to my host but with no reply (he later told he had given me the wrong number). Got to the ferry across the bay, missed by 20sec, Murphy’s obligation. And sat & waited. Checked my email, found my host’s correct mobile no, and tried to practice practical Christianity (staying cool under pressure). Next was the Border in Montenegro. Long queues to get to the checkpoint, where grumpy police send you various silent messages: You are stupid. Why are you here? We don’t want you here. I smiled, but.. was informed I needed the Car Rego Papers. I had no idea what this was and could find nothing in the car. He told me to turn around and go back to Croatia. I parked the car, called the Car Rental Company and proceeded to search every nook & cranny but in the end decided that God didn’t want me in this country for some reason. As I started the car I thought of one  more place to check, and yes, Car Rego Papers were there. I got through the border in less than 2hrs, and now have resigned myself to the fact that I am hopelessly late, and in the light of eternity that was okay. Got to Bar and here the GPS excelled itself. It led me through every narrow back street of Bar to an address that did not resemble the hotel I was supposed to meet at. More drama. Called my host, he is bewildered where I am.. and why.  I tell him I will drive around Bar until I see a landmark and he can meet me there. We meet. Then… we pack up his car and drive one hour to Podgorica (pod-gor-itza, rhymes with pizza) for the evening concert. Small turnout, and I struggle to hold it together. More than once I question God about my call to itinerant music ministry, but He is strangely silent. Then we drive back to Bar one hour (where I am staying) and look forward to just falling into bed, but wait there’s more.. the key does not open the door, so have to go looking for local help. Got to bed very late, the longest most tiring day on tour, if not in the history of music ministry, but one I can tell my grandkids about one day.

One thought on “Day 31 Podgorica”

  1. Dear Jules
    Thanks for taking time to chat to us. Good to see you again. All the best with the rest of your tour. Till we meet again, and thank you too for the cd.
    Phil and Tanya Smythe
    (Estcourt, South Africa couple in Bar)


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