For today it was planned to do mostly paved roads as Tom, Joe and Volker had already spent a lot of time on dirt roads and only had about 2 weeks of time to get back to germany.
So we headed out towards Tirana around 10 AM, after having a great breakfast (that local cheese
After about 30 minutes Joe pulled up next to me and asked whether I was aware that I had a flat tire.
No, I wasn't until then. Great, the one with the undisputably best knowledge of changing tires had a flat.
But, hey, I had already changed 2 sets of tires by myself and I had 3 "voluntary helpers"
With instructions and help from the others we got the tube out after a couple minutes and I took the wheel to the car washing place across the street to get all the dirt washed of (didn't want to get that in the tire).
The guy from the car wash did good work and even had something to protect the bearings,
but as I wanted to pay him, he did not accept anything, no matter how hard I tried, once again, many thanks, stranger
After patching the tube weh got the wheel back on the bike and the whole thing was done after ~ 45 minutes.
Would've taken me a lot longer all by myself.
A couple miles later I stretched the patience of the others once more, as I almost lost my spare tires twice (my fault, I didn't really tie them down too well and it was a bumpy track we took).
After all that trouble (that's not yet the end of it
) we had some great views, though:
Of course, it would've been too easy if everything went on without any further issues...
next thing that happened, once again to me, I lowsided in a roundabout shortly before reaching Tirana.
There were two different surfaces in that roundabout, on the outside it was normal tarmac, on the inside it was some very slick conrete, though.
I didn't really come to realize this and BAM...the bike slid away underneath me as I accelerated out of the roundabout.
Lesson learned: Do NOT assume that conrete offers a good grip.
I could go on about blaming the road surface, but after all I could've (should've ?) known, probably my fault, then.
Luckily I didn't get hurt and the bike also only suffered minor damage, such as loosing my right hand mirror,
tweaking my forks (loosen triple clamps, straighten the fork, tighten them again - no big deal) and slightly damaging my clutch armature (only to be discovered the next morning - I could've fixed it, but Volker had a spare with him
, so no need to waste time fixing it on the road).
From there on we took the highway to Tirana, which ended in a rather amusing way.
Basically they just stopped building it any further in the middle of Tirana.
No warning signs, no nothing, if you'd drive on there by night, you'd might end up in the bushes ahead, while going 65 miles an hour.
At the end there was no fany off-ramp, but just a small, rough, improvised off ramp.
Maybe 3 meters long (while dropping 1 meter) and with a very tight 180° turn to the right
From Tirana we went straight to Montenegro, being winked through the pedestrain line by the border control,
they didn't even check our passports.
We figured it wasn't a big deal, as it was only the exit station for Albania, but as we later found out Albania and Montenegro got a joined border, well, who cares?
After a day full of problems and delays (full with problems and delays caused by me
we looked for a camping place and found us a great restaurant close to the sea and called it a day.
I was more than surprised that I woke up the next morning and their bikes were still there,
I wouldn't have been too surprised if they would've left without me after that hell of a day
Tom and Joe took a swim in the sea while I fixed up my bike and did some routine maintenance (changed my clutch cable and lubricated the chain).
This the day we all continued to be amazed by how beautiful Montenegro is,
considering that barely ever hear about that country at all.
Montenegro pretty much got a bit of everything, mountains, deep canyons, untouched nature, you name it.
Just a couple impressions:
Believe me, in reality the scenery is even more stunning than it looks on those pictures!
Riding on some tiny, beautiful roads through the mountains we reached Kotor after a while,
Kotor lies in a bay close to the croatian border, often visited by big cruise ships which dock there.
You see that small hill to the left of the bay?
We spotted a nice track going up there from our current position and figured we'd have a great view from there,
so we wanted to see if we can figure out where the track starts.
Tom rather wanted to go down to the harbour and check if he can find a post office,
so it was only Joe, Volker and me who rode up there.
The track got rather rocky, narrow and steep towards the end, but the view was more than worth it
On our quest to find a camping place nearby, we followed the road along the bay,
maybe going a couple miles over the speed limit
Suddenly a guy on a scooter appeared next to me, he gave me a thumbs up and then passed me, going toward Volker, who was one or two cars ahead of me...wait....does his shirt say "Policija"...yep, sure does...
Looks like Volker is gonna get pulled over. Or not?
They started talking, while riding and the cop signaled us to follow him,
he ended up leading us to his house, inviting us to have a beer with him
He just finished his shift for today, he's a motocop, normally riding a 1200 cc Beemer,
other than that he got a small holiday rental in his house and a small carprenty in his shed,
as otherwise he'd struggle financially.
He was really nice and helpful, shwoing us some good roads nearby and recommending us a great, small camping place right by the sea
After we left we headed right to the recommended camping place, got something to eat and once again called it a day.
That's it for today