Into the wilderness – Albania mon amour

Me and Nigel have started to scheme on a new trip with the bike. So I thought I’d make a last post of our Balkan Tour before we set off again. With first picture starting in Berat, Albania. gbWe’ve gone through Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia and are now returning for a second time to another part of Albania (slightly inconvenient route, but whatever). Nigel and Albin where here almost three years ago, just when me and Nigel got together, so I’ve got many long love letters written from this place full of stories of fireflies and men in tweed jackets and promises of one day taking me here… and here we are, wrote one post from an internet cafe, you can read heregeMy hair had transformed into one big dread lock during the trip so I found a hair dresser I managed to communicate with through sign language, it was such an experience. Me and some purple haired old people on 10 m2. It took me about five minutes to convince her I did not want to colour my hair black. Here newly cut hair eating sweet corn in the evening. gdThe town was basically dead during the day, but in the evening suddenly loads of people came out, all at the same time. This was in the very beginning, an hour later the streets were rammed of people, just walking up and down. If you had money you drank a coffee or had an ice cream with your friends, otherwise you just… walked. And socialized. It was beautiful. giThe next day we set off into the mountains, Fuse Pestan, another place Nigel and Albin had been at. Ate home made ice cream and planned our route.glThe family living there where so lovely, they tried to help us reading the map. But a map seemed like a bit of a foreign concept, and the roads we wanted to take just disappeared into nothing on the map (but the man insisted us it was fine). So off we went.gmInto the wilderness.gqFifteen kilometers and two hours later, we arrived in Lybesh. A remote village high up in the mountains where N led a project three years ago.gsStraight away we bumped in to Adem, a man they’d worked alongside. He invited us home for coffee. gtWe communicated through Nigels four pages long phrase book. Luckily food is a fairly universal language. So we stayed until the afternoon.guThe crew.gvSnapped a shot we thought we could show our future grand kids and drove on. Arrived in the evening into a tiny town where we bumped in to two missionaries that let us stay with them over night. Drove off around six in the morning straight in to where the roads where ending…hbAfter hours without seeing any house or people we got a bit nervous. then we bumped in to this crazy thing. Some people lived there, in the middle of nothing and gave us yoghurt, honey and sweet Albanian coffee. I was so thankful I could have cried. Moved on, after some vague instructions and even vaguer promises of reaching our destination. hcA few hours later, finally seeing another human being. “That is where you’re going”.heInto this.hfAnd this.hgNigel asking some kids for advice “RUGA MIR?” thumbs up, the road is good. What a lie. hjThe road was a converted river bed. hkAgain met some kids that boldly guided us into another cul-de-sac.hlLittle scallywags.

And somewhere here we got stuck. The water in the engine boiled, we did the same. Three weeks of camping, adventuring and driving suddenly made us extremely home sick.

We arrived in Macedonia late that evening, and then drove 900 km the day after, non stop, until we got, home.hmThe last shot of the trip. In Romania.

That was that, our Balkan tour 2013!

/J

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