Albania was the first country where I could really overland! Going these offroad routes, finding a place to stay and live there for a while feels just incredible good to me! And in Albania there seems to be the room and the freedoms to do right that. And if you are more into lonely beaches, you will find them there as well. Because I described that a lot, I will focus on something else in this post.
In addition to the great overlanding, the people in Albania are so nice, helpful, friendly and interested in what you are doing, it’s just super cool!
For example I met Ayse @aysiji and Carsten @nykzynh, two lovely and warmhearted backpackers from Germany, on a small beach. To go to the beach, you have to walk 20 minutes a very hard offroad track. The stone steps were so big, that I didn’t want to go down there with Rosinante. Once you got down there, you had to deal with some crazy barking guard dogs going around you and once you managed that, there is a small restaurant, a small campsite, a bar and of course the beach and the ocean. Because of the winter off season, the campsite and the bar were closed and in the small restaurant you could only buy beer and some basics. When the two nice backpackers from Germany got there, they just set up there hammocks in the closed bar because it was closed, really run down but perfect for there needs. At some point they heard someone coming and were thinking that they had to leave this little paradise they found. I have my prejudices what would happen if the owner of a bar notices that you camp in his beach bar in Germany. Here it was totally different: the owners of the bar and campsite just welcomed them, talked to them and from there on they provided food to them for free, came around to talk a bit and provided them with a free place to shower and of course they let them stay in their beach bar. Isn’t that wonderful?
Aishe had some Pois with here and she let me try them and gave me lot of tips how to handle them. I quickly got into doing some basic stuff and for the first time in my life, I was spinning around burning Pois and had a lot of fun doing so. Later that night the campsite owners came along and we had some cool fire show.
Another example is how I met the owner of the Garden Restaurant: I had to buy some groceries and parked in front of a small super market in a little town. After a while Albanians came around and as always the friendly asked things and started a conversation. So met four people and one of those were the owner of the Garden Restaurant located just five minutes from the super market. He told me that he knows a lot offroad routes and if I want, I could check his restaurant and he will tell me about the routes. So I just went there, had some super delicious food in that beautiful restaurant where you get only organic/ bio food and learnt a lot about offroad routes, Albania, the culture and history of Albania and just had a great time.
These are just two examples of so many! If I will be around Albania again, I will definitely go there.
I’m very grateful for all these nice places, conversations and everything. I feel like my perspective on foreign people, foreign countries and what the interacting with others is about, is changing. It’s hard to describe. Maybe I can describe it better in sometime in the future. All I can say right now is, that it feels fantastic to me.