Day 230 – MACEDONIA and ALBANIA: From Bitola to near Qukes-Skenderbej

What’s going on here? Another 100km plus day ends in Albania, pushed on by the wonderful gusty tailwind. I can’t comment much on Macedonia. I was only there for a day, and didn’t bother changing any money, since I had all the food I needed.

Bike seat (near Ohrid, Macedonia)

This was one of the few photos I took in the country.

The border into Albania is at altitude 1,000m. It was a stiff climb up to the border, but getting through was not an issue. As per the information I had gathered, a 10 Euro entrance tax is required, and a receipt is issued.

The descent down into Albania is impressive. Remains from conflict all too evident.

Welcome to Albania (close to Albanian border, Albania)

These little shelters were all over the border area, and can be seen throughout most of the country along the road.

Descent down to Librazhd, Albania)

The road descends steeply through a deep valley, flanked by massive mountains. It reminded me of Tajikistan, on a smaller scale.

I stopped in a small town near the border and had my first Albanian food. A warm fresh pastry with an onion filling. Cheap and nasty, but good enough. The locals in the cafe were a hospitable enough lot however. It was tough not to know the language, and conversation was limited.

Afterwards, I continued on down the road looking out for a spot to sleep. The pickings were thin, until I spied some scrap metal near the railway tracks, up from the road. I pushed the bike up the slope to the tracks and set up. A perfect place to spend the night, out of the still very strong wind.

Sleep spot near railway, near Librazhd, Albania

Sleep spot near railway, near Librazhd, Albania

I was too tired to play with the Coffee Can Stove Mark 2, so I cooked up some food with Malcolm’s MSR stove, and went to sleep, the wind lapping at the steel walls of my shelter.

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