Day 52. 70km. Bicaj – Peshkopi

Posted: November 5, 2014 in Albania, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

Indecision and paranoia. I ended up cycling up ‘Samsung Galaxy’ valley seeing trouble everywhere where there was none. I had to use my people judgement today, trust someone, and follow my intuition. I am still here, so I guess it worked out OK.

Some vertical metres

Some vertical metres

The bus I wanted to take on this beautiful, sunny day, was leaving at 13.00. It was 7:30, and the café where my bike was, was very smoky. Outside, where there should have been fresh air, there was a noisy generator running with nasty fumes. I went to a neighbouring café, also with a generator, and spoke to some locals. One spoke very good English, and I felt was more trustworthy. There is no problem on the road to Peshkopi. I am very safe.

(On a side note: It turns out all cafes in Albania have generators running out the front. This is because they have to pay much more for electricity that everyone else. As a consequence, they don’t pay, and generate their own electricity, spending 3 euros a day on kerosene.)

Yesterday a boy took a photo with himself, me and Drahtesel and posted it on Facebook. This meant that I was known through the valley. I understand no Albanian, but I heard ‘Samsung Galaxy’ interspersed in the conversation, and interest in my phone everywhere I went. My friend Mr. Problem had said ‘phone’, and then indicated – stolen, gone. That’s all I could think of. In reality, the kids were just being kids. Joking around, and interested in a novelty (me).

Kids said, ‘remember me?’, and invited me in for coffee or a drink. Me, Mr Paranoid just continued. I don’t like this about myself. I feel the paranoia gone now.

It was a beautiful road, but, my, it was very, very steep and it went up and down and up and down – 100s of metres at a time. I feel very fit – me and Drahtesel make a good team!

The road to Peshkopi

The road to Peshkopi

The road to Peshkopi

The road to Peshkopi

The road to Peshkopi

The road to Peshkopi

The road to Peshkopi

The road to Peshkopi

  1. sushey says:

    I really like how you name your fiets “Drahtesel” 🙂
    Good to see you overcame your paranoia. Probably, “being known” helps? I mean, since everybidy knows you are well connected, this might work for you, too?
    Keep/up your good spirit and all the best to you and Drahtesel.

  2. Ward Ramaker says:

    Alweer een geweldig verlag van vandaag,
    Nu begint het avontuur pas echt!
    Succes de komende tijd, ik volg de site elke avond!

    Ward Ramaker.

    p.s. Veel Mercedes rijders daar hè!

  3. valerievolk says:

    Hi Matthew. Great to read your daily updates, and the photos are terrific. We’re right now in Dubai airport waiting for our 2 am final flight home … sad! You’re on Day 52; we’re on Day 50. You’ll continue on; we won’t … By the way, don’t worry about paranoia – I’d just call it sensible caution. But it’s a good thing that people know you – it should help. Much love, Valerie.
    I understood you were also doing a project on sustainable living. How’s it going? We’re not looking forward to going home. We prefer travelling. And you?

  4. Sascha says:

    I`d discovered your blog just four days ago and I like to read about your journey! I`m not into sports and I`m not fit, but reading about your journey inspired me to make a bicycle tour to and through the netherlands. I drove by bicycle the last three days just because of your story and I will espand the distance constantly for that I can do such a “2-week-trip” next summer!

    However, I can absolutely understand your “paranoia” about getting robbed out. I`d like to know wether you have any “plan b” for when you really get such problems? I would get mad about the thought that anyone could steal all my money, my documents or even my bike! What would I do in a Country like Albania without anything but my sleeping bag?

    I very like that you stay cool and have contact to locals anyways! That says a lot about your character!

    Good luck for your journey & best wishes from (near) Cologne!

    • Hi Sascha.
      That’s great news! I’m really happy that you have started cycling. It’s a great way to see the world. Keep it up.
      Plan b. Well. Not all my valuables are in the same place. I have an emergency number which can block all my credit cards. I have insurance. Still, it remains a big problem if someone steals everything.
      Greetings from Macedonia!

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