Distance: 85km Shanna; 118km Sam
Dried our things in the morning, wind and sun came out and made it easy! Fantastic! Boiled some eggs. Cranberries, hazelnuts and nectarines. But still hungry...
Cycled back to Igoumentia 'whatsitsname...' city. Milk with cerial, yoghurt- really good yoghurt!! Went to an internet cafe to try and figure out how to get to the Albania border, googlemaps pretty useless... Eventually decided we'd have to just try and ask people (we have maps of Albania and Greece but neither is detailed enough, and they both contradict each other).
Eventually, after asking around 15 people we made it onto a road that turned onto another road that, hmmm, where the hell is Albania, no signs anywhere, more turns, still no signs. Anyway, finally we got to the Greece/Albania border, not really anyone here, told that Greeks don't like Albanians, maybe that's why there's no signs...
Went to take out our visas and I realised I'd left the wallet back in a town we'd stopped at for some drinks about 17 kms away (and back down a few big hills). Damn it!!! Take all the bags off my bike and cycle back to the town as fast as I can. Feels amazing to ride without bags on the bike, but can't think about that, worried about finding the wallet... Phewww, a nice lady at the unopened '____' (nothing open here in Greece in the afternoon) picked it up, she says something like 'speaken de Deutcher'? No, but thanks all the same I say. Thanks, thanks.
Shanna is waiting at the checkpoint. We meet a man here who kindly gives us some water, cold water, so much better, says he's been to Newcastle, but doesn't like Albanians, he says 'they takes the jobs.'
We say good bye, and we're in Albania...
Amazing, scenery, mountains, beautiful road.
And then, no more road, only rocks, for the next 25 kilometers, bone jarring rocks, I never even rode a mountain bike track this rough, wow! Another thing, everyone drives a Mercedes, almost everyone, truck, car, van- all Mercedes.
Finally we're approaching the town, but not sure- it's dark now, sweating profusely, exhausted, arms jarred, it's really dark, and shots ring out into the night, gunfire, seems right next to us... Crap, are they firing at us, no,its OK, maybe gangs, cycle faster into the town, cant see much.
And suddenly we realise, we're in Albania!
Wow, this place is awesome we both say to each other... a little scary though!!
6/22/2010 09:50:58 am
The photos are beautiful, we are really enjoying your posts. Albania should be very interesting !! Your stamina is amazing, all that riding up and down hills on terrible roads, well done.
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Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia