Montenegro was a bit disappointing and sad, we kept waiting for it to get better but in never did. Same old broken down feel and we only have Albania to look forward to tonight!
Cross the border with no issues and late at night we have no prospect of a camp site but wild camping is permitted. Blimey, we thought some of the other places we had been through we a bit poor but this takes the biscuit so far. 3 wheeler motorcycle contraptions loaded up carrying plastic and tin cans for recycling cash.
WE were told the roads would be awful here but they are not so bad. So far. And then…a few pot holes, then a few more, string them together and where the hell has the road gone?!
Its late now and navigator directs us towards a river off the beaten track where it is hoped there will be a pretty spot to pitch up. WRONG! Down a small rough tarmac track, into the depths of fen-like farm territory. Tarmac disappears and replaced with deeply rutted rock and rubble track, perfectly fine if your car is a Massey Fergusson!
Deeper into pikey land and we are looking for the kid with the banjo. And I don’t even have my bass to reply with! We get to the end of the road and there is the river. No pretty place this, just dirt tracks, farm buildings and locals looking at us. A group of kids look at us with a quizzical smile – they are very confused by the appearance of Tigger and the wazzocks who have got themselves lost. They smile and wave back to us as we make the return journey towards the tarmac about 2 kilometres hence we came.A couple of farmers on bikes give us a friendly wave on our way. It’s a surreal place but I’m not sad to get the hell outFull steam out of Albania via the Capital, Terane, but we are severely hindered by the worsening condition of the roads and an unfortunate navigational error in the city where we head for the as yet un-built motorway and get horribly lost in the back streets. Even the main dual carriageway through the centre of the city is in a terrible state. Unfinished, half repaired dug up and left for now! One gets the feeling it is always like this and will continue to be so.
We come to a village at the end of a lake, the men and boys are congregating outside a bar along with the packs of wild dogs - who eventually move out of the way for us to pass, we go to the end of the road, turn around in a 9 point procedure, and head back down the lakeside road to a couple of likely but previously rejected stopping points. We pick one which is no more than about a single cars space on the outside of a bend, get approximately level and stop! That will have to do. The various old folk on bicycles, younger lads on mopeds and the odd bus give us the odd wave and don’t seem much interested so we are good for the night.
Tiggers resting place for the night
To be fair the view wasn't too bad
The follwoing day after an interesting nights sleep we decide to deviate through Macedonia to Greece as it looks slightly shorter. Tigger gets stripped searched by the Albanian authorities who are a very pleasant bunch of guys. The young lad takes our card and is now following us on Facebook. They are interested in us from a journey point of view and we have a fun chat discussing where we are from and where we are going. Apparently our cooking knife is a bit too big though but he lets us off with a caution. ( Thank you ? ).
The Macedonian police want us to pay another €50 for a green card for 1 day so we decide not to go ahead and we turn back and re-enter Albania and enter Greece further south at the end of the afternoon.
Side note from Suzanne, all Albanians drive like they have a death wish and are complete lunatics on the road. They overtake at any given opportunity, on blind corners in fact overtaking at high speed absolutely anywhere is the norm - I looked up causes of death for Albania and if you don't die of a smoking related disease (which eveyone does all the time, along with talking on the mobile phone all while driving) Then they die from RTA - enough said!
Also we passed through some beautiful countryside and interesting coloured houses!
Brightly coloured houses are the order of the day in Albania!