S2 Ep8 Albania

In writing my blogs I upload the pictures first to jog my memory and I choose what I think are good. Albania was spectacular and I’ve cut the photos down to just the 60 or so…..

This is what I expected of Albania, a little bit run down. This was just past the border
And to be fair this is also a preconceived view
This was the first trail on the TET, it ran behind a village for about 2km past a grave yard and scrap yard.
Yup that as well, was this going to be dire?
I fuelled the bike and me at a cafe. The owners were lovely..
The road improved towards the mountains
So did the scenery
I was headed for Teth on a ribbon of tarmac laid through the most wonderful mountain scenery.
At Teth there was a cafe and I filled up on greasy chips and coke.
The road turned into a track then rocks and a huge never ending climb to 1750m
The further I went the more tired I became
I can’t explain how steep this is
The bike was incredible powering up the mountain
At about 5pm I came across an old campsite. Shortly after I was joined by 3 guys from New Zealand on a cycling holiday and two German back packers
It was a very cold night. Two sleeping bags, thermals, wooly hat and socks cold
But firing the bike along the tracks in the morning soon warmed me up
Truly stunning scenery
And great riding
Towards the end of the morning this crystal clear stream was beautiful
Weird lighting but a small cafe supplied a amazing lunch
Up until I came back from the toilet that is!!!!
It’ll be fine!
It was as much fun as it looks
I dropped down into Tirana where €30 got me a huge gated house to myself
I felt a bit like I was Albanian mafia
Goodbye Tirana
Back on the TET
Much needed salad and water stop
It was just another fantastic day.  I stopped ina village for a breather and was given bunches of grapes to take away
A welcome break and hair wash to cool down
The last part of today was to cross a dried river bed of sand and rocks. I was turning round when I dropped the bike. As ever I had to unload it to lift it and repack
10 minutes later I dropped it again
I just need to get to the other side

I decided to get to the far river Bank and find somewhere to pitch my tent. As it happens there’s quite a steep climb out of the river and up a hill almost straight after. I told myself as soon as this hill levels I’m pitching my tent, I was exhausted.

At the top of the hill without any warning appeared a square with a shop, restaurant, bar and hotel.

I couldn’t believe it. I checked into the hotel and ordered a coffee. Moments later 3 Germans arrived from the other direction and then 2 French guys who I’d met in Croatia arrived as well. It was great. I also slept very well.

Leaving the hotel I was the last one away after a bit of maintenance
There’s a huge adventure bike in this picture
The trails were fast and twisty with light gravel
There was also a 50kmstrdtch of stunning road
An old monument to Russian soldiers from WW2 crumbles into the ground
There was a protest by goats who locked the road
Biking heaven

I ended the day just a short distance from the Greek border. Albania had delivered beyond all my expectations. It was thrilling, beautiful, friendly, challenging and rewarding. A cultural mix of modern and rural living. I met new friends and bumped into Old friends. I made memories to last a lifetime. Albania was so much better than I thought possible. So Greece, get your ‘A’ game on, because I coming for you tomorrow.

Author: benjackson63

A new adventure biker just starting out on my blogging adventures.

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