Our route to Albania

written by Frieder in Albania on Monday, the 28 August 2017, last update on Tuesday, the 29 August 2017

We arrived the day before yesterday in Albania. We arrived on the 26. of August in Albania, after we stayed two nights in Podgorica with our warmshower hosts Lela and Zarko. Shortly in front of the border I got extrem exhausted and could not even cycle on as the stoker (front). We stopped at some countryside shopping mall. I had to recover from sun and high speed cycling on tiny slope up. We are not used to cycle long distance, as we had donkeytrailed up most hills and all mountains in Croatia. We hadn't started cycling hills before Corcula Island.

It took me a few hours to recover and we hit the road quite late again. We all wanted to arrive in Albania on the same day. We passed the border and got no stamp. We skipped looking up if that one is normal or not and promised us to do so for all country from Geogria onward.
Next to the border were many spots to camp, but none we could take. We were still to close and there were some old bunkers. We watched them from the road, but it was somewhat to scarry to get close or to camp next to them. They might be from the Balkan war times in 1990ths.
Albania is very different to Montenegro, which already had no western flair anymore. All tourits came from the Balkan and Russia, but now there was no touristic flair at all. There were many cars filled with workers going from Albania to Montenegro - which were hard looking man. Albania is different, very different. The cars are older. Every square metre in the garden is used for farming, even when the houses look rich.

We left the large road which had even one metre for cycling, motorcycling and other slow transport. We left the road to get to some camping spot. We thought that would not be easy, as most places were fenced or used. We had luck as we found nice bushland close to the village and far away from bunkers. We thought there could no body tell that we were spying the border or would shoot around, that close the houses. The camping spot was sheltered by bush and the campin spot was covered with grass - perfect. To the point Elisabeth found some used but contemporary munition. She was scared, but the next campsite was with 25 km to far away. We were already used to the idea that everybody has a gun. On the Balkan and byond. But we did not plan to meet some shooting teenager. We stayed anyway and left the next day at 6 am.
We met on the same day the son of a local shop and bar owner, who invited us. He was very happy to add us to his collection of private tourists he had already collected. He treated us with drinks and offered accomodation, more drinks and food. The two hitchhikers told us about the last two days of drinking beer, raki and gun touching.
We left the same day, not wanting to drink. We found a campsite for 5 Euro per day (which must be a very nice high price for the campsite owner) with electrcity and Wi-Fi and something looking like a bathroom.

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