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Wild Dogs

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Rebekah Joy
Rebekah Joy


We were traveling around Europe on a budget. When I say budget I mean camping, and bread. My boyfriend made me walk one end of Istanbul to the other to save 50 cents on a kebab. The camping part of it was a great idea when we were planning our trip in London.....but upon arrival we found that most of the camping grounds were miles out of town. The bus rides into town were often more expensive than staying at a YHA. In fact it was cheaper to stay at peoples homes. Eastern Europe is a funny place, little old women often approached us and asked us if we wanted to stay in their spare room for about $15NZD for two. Great way to meet some really weird people, but on the whole an amazing insight into peoples lives.

Corfu was where everything unraveled. The camp ground was way way out of town and the bus didn’t come early enough for us to make our ferry to the main land. We were forced to find something close to the ferry terminal. The problem with Corfu is that the tourism industry is really aimed at Brits and the pound. It’s pretty pricey and we couldn’t find a motel for under 50 euros in the city.

"No worries", my boyfriend said shrewdly, "we'll sleep at the bus stop - done it heaps." But let me just tell you that sleeping at a bus stop or airport in Germany or France is a different story than sleeping at one in Greece. I wasn’t keen on the idea and even less so when we arrived after twilight. The bus stop was a dusty old platform on the outskirts of the town, there were no lights, the terminal was locked – the place was a dump. My boyfriend didn’t seem to notice as he unraveled his sleeping bag.

“Don’t worry babe, I’ll look after you,” he promptly fell asleep. It was dark, the bus shelter was deserted and I was terrified. A couple of boy racers revved their engines and raced on through. About 2am some drunks stumbled in and took a leak. I was wide awake for it all while HE slumbered on. About 3ish I heard the snarl and deranged slobbering of a dog. He was closely followed by another and another until there were a pack of them. They could smell our scent but they couldn’t reach us. Faint recollections of ‘the dingo’s got my baby,’ reverberated through my mind, these dogs were nasty. All that nashing of teeth must of woken sleeping beauty, because my boyfriend now had a small white Swiss Army knife in his hand. “I could get one of them in the snout,” he suggested positively. Not a bad idea - except there were nine or ten of them. We sat poised, ready to defend ourselves until daybreak. The bus master came and unlocked the station, he looked surprised to see us. The dogs scampered off at the first signs of life. I don’t think anybody has ever or will ever again sleep at that lonely dusty bus station in Corfu.

The moral of the story is, always have enough money for a room and if you’re heading off the beaten track (or bus stop) do a bit of research first. In countries like Bulgaria, there are at least 35,000 street dogs in Sofia alone. Children have been attacked by Dingoes in Fraser Island in Australia, and my boyfriend told me later that day that he had previously been attacked by dogs in India (obviously a glutton for punishment).  If you’re appalled by the amount of wild dogs in Greece, apparently you can just adopt one and take it home…..

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