Tour05 Day

The expressway to Shkoder

Today was the first, but probably not the last, day of this tour to use buses - minibuses actually - and a taxi to cover more miles than I could have covered with my bike.

I didn't do any more bicycle riding in Albania, but I did ride from the Albanian border to Ulcinj, Montenegro. I did this because some of the road between Durres and the border was horrible - like 20 km of the beginning of the road from Elbasan to Durres - and the rest, while OK, would have been a pain to ride because of the wind. And then I rode, in a taxi, from Shkoder to the border, since Pete had to take a a taxi there. That was about 100 miles of being transported. Then I rode 20 miles or so in Montenegro to get to Ulcinj, which is a beautiful city at the southern end of the Monenegran coast.

To get to the border, I converted from bicycle tourist mode to backpacker tourist mode. this was, in part, inspired by Pete, a Kiwi backpacker who was staying at the same B+B in Durres. Pete has been on the road for ten months, coming from New Zealand to Albania through Asia.

After breakfast and paying and saying goodbye to our hosts, Pete and I walked - he with his backpack and me with my loaded bike - down to the bus/train station in Durres. There was a bit of confusion because the directions Alma had given about where to get the minibus to Fushe Kruja were wrong. She also told us to ask the police for help, and that turned out to be very good advice. By 9:15 AM, Pete, my bike, and I were on a minibus to Fushe Kruja.

The first part of that ride was fine - we rode on the expressway to Tirane - but the second 25 km or so was on on a road that was worse than anything I rode on in Romania and, unlike the Romainian roads, it had heavy traffic. I have no images from that part of the trip because it was all much to rough for me to have taken unblurred images. Besides, I probably would have been injured if I tried to ride without holding on with both hands.

In Shkoder

The road to the border

We were let off when the road to Fushe Kruja crossed under the expressway from Tirane. Then we climbed up to the expressway and caught another minibus to Shkoder. In Shkoder, we had a coffee break and then took a cab 13 km to the nearest border with Montenegro. My loaded bike fit nicely in the back of the minibus and suffered no damage on any segment of the trip

In Montenegro

On the way to Uncilj

The border crossing was easy, and then Pete and I walked to the nearest village. I rode on - 30 km of nice road - to Ulcinj, and Pete hitchhiked. We arrive about the same time and met at the travel agency which handles most of the rentals on the beach here. We have a stunning apartment with lots of room and lovely views for 40 Euro with breakfast.


Looking north from Uncilj

Tomorrow, I head up the coast to Bar and check on my options for going to Sarajevo. The mountains of Montenegro are beautiful and the route to Sarajeveo goes through them. The coast is also beautiful, so I may contine along the coast and then, possibly, go to Sarajevo from Dubrovnic or Mostar.

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