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Old 12-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #76
Louisdut OP
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Day 8 Valbone to Shkodra (Albania)

After a great breakfast I put on my "Gucci waterproof socks" as my boots were still wet!



It was a sunny start but still very cold



It was time to retrace our route back down to Fierze (where the ferry docked)



But first we wanted to ride to the end of the road which was only about 1 mile up the road



We had decided over dinner the night before not to take the ferry, although we were sure it would be very scenic we had come to ride the trails. This is where we left the main track and headed to the mountains.



It was a good route over the mountain but the track was tricky in places as it looked like it had been damaged by water over the winter so no pictures as it was easier to keep going



The view back to where we had come from this morning you can see the whiter looking mountain in the picture





The track now turned into a good graded gravel track with a lay-by for a lunch stop





On the edge of Shkodra we stopped for a drink at a cafe and a quick check of Nicky's guide book, a phone call form Jane, a kind waiter meeting us on his bike and we were booked into Hotel Tradita G&T



After a long day its great to chill out with a beer or coke!



This turned out to be a lucky find were the made us feel very welcome















The food was also very good





Martin's hard training of drinking the local spirit came to good use tonight as he was challenged to drink an Albanian man's drink



And it was a proper measure





This days route



Now would seem a good time to say that we stayed in some great hotels, enjoyed some lovely food & spirits. We run a kitty while we're away and this always works well, this included the expenses of transported the van to Venice, flights, ferries, hotels, food, fuel (just about everything from door to door)for 18 days riding and it came in at just over £1,500 per person, which I think is a bargain, for the amount of fun we had!

Louis
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:21 AM   #77
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#76 knee braces

Bad knees and/or just knee protection? Reason I ask is; I have a couple of marginal joints and have considered those? Great report, Thanks!
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #78
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Does sound good on that budget
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:45 AM   #79
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This is a fantastic RR. Thanks guys 'n' gals.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:25 PM   #80
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Awesome pics and report, thanks!
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:07 AM   #81
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Day 9 Shkodra to Shkodra (Albania)

As the hotel was so good we had the option to have a day off the bikes and explore Shkodra or there was a 130 km loop described as " The Albanian Alps, the most beautiful mountain range in Albania and at the same time the most deserted and wildest part of the country" and we would return back to the hotel.

At dinner the night before the hotel owner told us how good the loop was, Nicky & myself were sold so we headed for the loop and Jane & Martin were going to explore Shkodra.

The new & the old



The sun started to warm up





The tarmac ended and the trail looked good



As we were riding along, the bridge in the distance looked a bit scary!







Luckily, the GPS said straight on



Nicky enjoying the view



The bacon is certainly free range!





The trail seemed to get better round every corner





But needed to keep an eye on the track as there were some surprises, just missed this truck.



Between these two photo's the track was demanding, we didn't take many photo's, by the time we got to the river we were a bit hot!



Nicky took a welcome dip





We then met the first bikers we'd seen all day, Mathias & his friend from Austria, who were doing the route in the opposite direction.



As always there was a discussion over the map, sharing information is always great (and chocolate!)





Stunning track to Thethi, as the track was a lot harder than we'd expected and time was getting on ( we should have known this as the guide book had suggested two days) we didn't get chance to explore the village. When we do this again, we'd plan a nights stay at Thethi.





How the adventure riders do it...



How the locals do it (two up on a moped!)



The hotel owner had warned us about road works and road closure between 10:00 & 16:00



The sun was getting lower in the sky as we reach the last stretch of gravel. This was a great loop, we were tired at the end of the day we were happy & contented tired have done it.



Todays route


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Old 12-27-2013, 04:46 AM   #82
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Great update. Albania looks beautiful.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:00 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisdut View Post

We turned a corner in the mountains and could clearly see a great unpaved track our route down to permit and I could breath more easily.



We rode into Permit and found a great hotel with underground parking for €10 each per night with breakfast

This was the route for Day2

So ok I admit I am a little behind with the editing, a combination of tech issues with my laptop and vimeo together with a bit of a busy time at work. Anyway here are the highlights of our first day of riding from Greece to Permet in Albania. The tracks are really varied, sadly I didnt get the hardest ones on film - too scared to stop and change batteries!! Just to repeat this is edited from the footage of just day 1 in Albania - there are just so many good trails here. Its not perfect, I'm still learning this video editing malarky, but I hope you enjoy it!

17th Sept 2013 Leaving Greece for Albania from Dr JM on Vimeo.

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Old 12-29-2013, 04:19 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by sophijo View Post
Bad knees and/or just knee protection? Reason I ask is; I have a couple of marginal joints and have considered those? Great report, Thanks!
Sorry missed this one, old knees and I ware the CTI knee braces on my small dirt bike I like the protection so decided to ware them for the trip

Louis
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:21 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr JM View Post
So ok I admit I am a little behind with the editing, a combination of tech issues with my laptop and vimeo together with a bit of a busy time at work. Anyway here are the highlights of our first day of riding from Greece to Permet in Albania. The tracks are really varied, sadly I didnt get the hardest ones on film - too scared to stop and change batteries!! Just to repeat this is edited from the footage of just day 1 in Albania - there are just so many good trails here. Its not perfect, I'm still learning this video editing malarky, but I hope you enjoy it!

17th Sept 2013 Leaving Greece for Albania from Dr JM on Vimeo.

Great stuff keep them coming

Louis

I'm going to copy the video into the UKGSer thread hope thats OK

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Old 12-29-2013, 06:57 AM   #86
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Day 10 Shkodra (Albania) to Andrijevica (Montenegro)

This was our last days riding in Albania for this trip, I'm sure I speak for us all that we could have stayed longer in Albania exploring the great roads & tracks.

But first we had one more great road to ride I had been looking forward to this route and it didn't let me down. First it was a tarmac ride form Shkodra to Hani i Hotit where we turned off the tarmac where the road followed the border up to Vermosh.



The first half of the route up to Tamare was being worked on and I think like so many of the roads they will be sealed with tarmac very soon



But still it was still a very good ride up to Tamare



Tamare



Great views all along this route



Then the road reminded me of a Moroccan piste













We even had lunch in the shade





We were getting closer to the Montenegro border now



With the defences still in place





Martin having a rest



Just before the border we were back to tarmac





This is where Jane told us this was a “border terrier “







As it was getting late in the day we rode the tarmac up to Andrijevica and after a bit of a detour we decided on staying in a hotel Komdvi where we met some British cyclists who were also enjoying the trails



This was the only time the tool kit had to come out, to repair a lose fuel hose on Nicky’s rally raid tanks



Todays route

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Old 12-29-2013, 09:20 AM   #87
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Drawn in by my hubby's ooohs and aaahs
Great report, beautiful trip, fantastic countries! Keep it going guys!
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:41 PM   #88
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Drawn in by my hubby's ooohs and aaahs
True! And I've been shamelessly steeling routing ideas for our return to the Balkans in June
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:11 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Louisdut View Post
Day 3 Permet to Berat

After having to miss out on the Ottoman bridge in Greece, I had another one way pointed which also looked like it would take in some great trails to get there
A master in understatement, Louis excelled himself with this route!

18th Sept 2013 The Real Ottoman Trail from Dr JM on Vimeo.

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Old 12-31-2013, 02:15 AM   #90
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thanks for showing me my time in Albania was way too short...
I only did the Shkodor-Shkodor loop, fantastic riding!
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