Albania – Day 5

I woke up to the odd sound of a bell in the distance. I laid there a little bit trying to figure out what that sound could be, since we were in the middle of nowhere. Finally curiosity got the best of me and I got dressed and stepped out of the tent. It was a beautiful day and I was look forward to more riding. I took a quick look around. I saw something in the direction of the bell sound, but it was so far away I couldn’t be sure what it was.

I watched a little bit but eventually gave up as the animal disappeared around some bushes. The mystery would have to be solved later, now it was time for breakfast!

After we finished eating we starting packing up our things. As I was rolling up the tent suddenly an old lady all dressed in black walks by on the road. I thought it was odd to see her here, and I think she thought it was quite odd to see us! Not far behind her was following my little alarm clock, the mystery bell!

Little did I know it would not be the last animal we would see on the road that day!

Just as we were about to leave an off road jeep came up the road. In it were a French couple. They asked us the way (there was only one way) and I got to use my terrible broken French. Fun! We said goodbye only to run into them often during the day on this one way journey back to civilization.

We started off on our motorcycles, assuming we did not have far to go. Ops, how wrong we were! All the better, lots of fun dirt twists and turns to try. Every once in awhile we would come across animals in the road…

Some even being herded by children!

We also got to enjoy so more gorgeous views of the Albanian mountains.

There were also some great places for waterfalls, but unfortunately in the middle of summer the weather was simply to hot, and the falls were all dried up.

After about two hours of some nice off road riding we reached a peak with a small… it wasn’t a restaurant… it wasn’t a bar… it wasn’t a stand… it was some place that had drinks and a person working there! So we took a break, sat down, and stared at the bee hives.

Suddenly we realized… do we have enough gas to get back? Yesterday was a full day of off road riding and today was proving to be another one. How far was the nearest gas station? Radek has a larger tank, but I only had a 9 or 10 L tank, same with Mrazik. We tried asking the guy who worked at the…place. He showed us 4 fingers… 4 km? Or 40? We had no idea, so we decided to conserve gas, meaning.. down hill, motors off! What an adventure! Luckily we had a lot more down hill to go, with some more amazing views.

After the road flattens out a bit we come to a river. Yes, water! By this time the noon sun was high and we were hot. We find a nice place to stop, head down to the river, rip off most of our clothes, and relax in the cool, refreshing water.

The formation of the rocks caused by the water was beautiful, yet dangerously slippery!

After cooling off in the water a bit our French friends in the jeep pass by, honking and waving. Unfortunately it will be the last time we see them! We decide it is time start off again, and reluctantly get dress in our gear. Off again once more!

Not long we start seeing some signs of civilization. “Buses” pass us full of people, going who knows where (where we just came from!). Soon, we see a tower of a…?

Not long after the road turns to pavement. Just then, as if on cue my engine goes pooottttttt and dies… Ah reserver tank, I love you! And we hit a town, Shkoder.

Yes! Food! Gas! We immediately smell something delicious. A restaurant that is grilling meat outside. Our stomaches growl with hunger.

Inside the restaurant it is quite impressive. Only men (I think Albania is populated only by men, women were far from few in the cities), and oh yes, me! The decor was also very nice!

The waiter asks us what we would like to order. I look over at the table across from us. They have something that looks good. So we say “Some meat, and whatever that guy is eating.” Little did we know that we were ordering a feast. No worries, we had room for it all!

It was all delicious! And half way through our meal a guy came and bought us drinks. He said “I was in the U.S. once. Here, on me!” Right on! I like Albania.

We thanked our hosts, said goodbye and headed off. We quickly found a gas station and tanked up. A young boy was there, spoke to me a bit with excellent English. He told me that in school they are teaching English so now most young people know it. It was surprising how many children throughout Albania could speak English.

I said goodbye to the child and we headed off, going through Shkoder to get to Komani where we will take a boat up river. We get a little lost as there are absolutely NO SIGNS at all. And I thought Czech Republic was bad! Not only that, the drivers are completely crazy, passing and honking like they all have an emergency. No worries, we survive and get to see some city highlights!

Finally we are heading in the right direction. The roads are nice, but it is hot and we are exhausted. We stop only once for Mrazik’s nicotine addiction. At the end of the day we are almost at Komani. We decide to stop right before the damn and get some refreshments.

I have to say, so glad we did! They had just the coolest (and stinkiest) toilet there! And I got to use it! Hey Mom, look what I can do!

We head off, only about 1 km of road left. We go through this long dark tunnel, and my headlight is not working properly and I can barely see! But we make it out alive! The Komani port is… one building? Yep, a restaurant/bar/hostel. We get a room, small, but only 5 Euros per person. We quickly change out of our stinky clothes.

And then we head down to the port for a swim and bath and some fishing. We don’t catch anything, but no matters.

We have a bit of something to drink by the port, watch the sun set, and then head to bed as we are completely exhausted… and we have another long day ahead of us tomorrow!