At last, I think we’re ready to go! And not before time, Shkoder is getting way too hot, and although the beer and food is good and cheap we are starting to feel the need for some exercise to burn it all off!
So we were very relieved when our border permits arrived today, allowing us to cross from Albania to Kosovo, Kosovo to Montenegro, and Montenegro back to Albania via border crossings in the middle of nowhere (thanks due to zbulo.org who organised this for us). So no matter what else might crop up on this hike, at least we shouldn’t get into trouble with the police!
We have also got ourselves sorted for stove fuel – not white spirit, that didn’t work, but we eventually found some meths in the local pharmacy. We have finally finished manually entering over 100 GPS waypoints from the information on the back of our map directly into our GPS (quite a long slog!) And we’ve stocked up on food too. Most hikers stay with villagers along the way, which costs about 30 euros for dinner, bed, breakfast and packed lunch. We’re hoping to include a few homestays, but hope to camp for most nights, and top up our food supplies with vegetables, cheese, yogurt and eggs bought from shepherds and villagers along the way. We have plenty of pasta, couscous and olive oil so we know we won’t starve, but we’ll let you know how we get on!
However I’m afraid we’re not going to be able to blog as we go. We have no mobile data coverage here in Albania that won’t cost us a fortune, and the chances of getting WiFi are next to zero. But we are planning on coming back to Shkoder for a rest and write-up afterwards, so we should be able to post something in about 2 weeks time.
So we’ve booked our places on a furgon (scheduled minibus) for 7.30 tomorrow morning, which will take about 6 hours to get us to Thethi and the start of our walk.
So for our last night in civilisation we treated ourselves to a slap- up meal – kofte with cheese, tzatziki, salad, garlic roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables (aubergine, courgette, peppers and carrots), freshly made bread, all washed down with a large glass of lager each – all for less than £10 for the two of us! We do like this place!