Into Albania – Entry 5
Waking up in Durmitor Park fills us with serenity and the joy to be alive, being able to experience this little piece of heaven on earth alongside our trusty stallions. We’re taking the fast route through the national park because Albania is calling us, nevertheless the views are amazing and I truly understand why a friend of us, Jo, says Montenegro is a gem for motorcycling travel. There’s almost no traffic on this scenic route through the mountains, this fact makes it tempting to pick up the pace just a little bit faster than usual. I could type down some more lines about these oddly shaped mountains but they would not do justice so I’ll let the pictures do the talking this time.
We’re at the border with Albania before we really realize it, we just got caught up in the winding roads and suddenly found ourselves at the border crossing in Vermosh. Another friend of us, Trui, recommended this route to enter because there is an amazing gravel track starting from there all the way down to the Hani I Hotit. Needless to say that we are really excited to ride this 60 km trail so you can understand our disappointment when we found out that this route has been asphalted all the way to the Shkoder lake. It’s called the SH20 and placing all prejudices aside this piece of asphalt actually deserves to be ranked amongst the ‘top twenty of roads to do in Europe’. I wouldn’t be surprised that the SH20 will soon receive a name and is placed alongside the bigger names like the Stelvio in Italy , the Transfăgărășan in Romania and the Trollstigen in Norway. Anyway, we made the best of it, looking at it from hindsight we should have enjoyed it more because it was the last decent asphalt we saw until we crossed into Greece a week later. Yet again, no traffic on this route except for a cow that quickly jumped to the side when Hyp and I approached. The Albanians sure are aware of the fact that the SH20 has potential to become a tourist trap since they’ve placed enough viewpoints along the way. Some of them riskier than others –see pics.
Another hint from fellow travelers was that we needed to camp at the ‘Lake Resort’ which sounded not that appealing to us but they had assured us that there were going to be other overlanders to have a chat with. I have to admit, the sunset over the mountains whilst swimming with Jeku did make paying for a campsite worthwhile. Tomorrow we’re going for the Teth-loop, I’ve heard so many different opinions about this trail and I wonder if Hyp will enjoy this ride or not. Drambuie!
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