World Cycle 2014: Albania

Albania was intense. I was not at ease. Albania was being circled by dogs while huddling in the tent. An overfull ferry-boat with water bubbling up onto the deck. ‘Problem’ in Bicaj with stories of throat slitting and attacks. It was also camping in front of a mosque, wonderful hospitality in Pac, beautiful mountain views, and seeing poverty and speaking to people looking for a better life.

Overview: here

Last country: Montenegro
Next country: Macedonia

wpid-20141031_144321_richtonehdr.jpg Day 49. 68km. Shtuf – Komani: Today it struck me. I think it struck James too. A weird feeling of unease. I have gone into the mountains and am in Komani, nestled between towering peaks. James is near the coast on the way to Macedonia where we will meet again. I’ve had this unease on other trips. It will go. I have acknowledged it, and have accepted it. It’s part of being on the road.
wpid-20141101_143844_richtonehdr.jpg Day 50. 42km. Komani – Pac: Today was quite a day. A special national holiday meant everyone goes back to their place of birth. Many by boat. Drahtesel just fit, with a bit of help. Ii fit on the roof. Then a spectacular valley in the evening sun, ending in a perfect camping spot on the lawn in front of a mosque. My unease has gone.
Day 51. 81km. Pac – Bicaj: Who to trust? Who to believe? After an uneventful cycle, I found myself taking down my tent in the dark, and listening to stories of rebels and stabbings in the area in front of a little electric heater in a small room in the town hall building. I didn’t sleep all night, lying on the floor of the café opposite the town hall with the café owner next to me to stop break-ins. Ouch.
Day 52. 70km. Bicaj – Peshkopi: 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.

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