Saturday, September 6, 2014

Corfu Road Trip 2014 - Day 4

After delicious breakfast we packed all our stuff and left our hotel (Hotel Blini) on Shköder lake in Albania.
Hotel Blini in Shköder - Albania
We continued to Albanian capital city Tirane. Unfortunately maps for GPS were very bad. At least for TomTom. Well at least the main roads and Tirane was done pretty good. The main problem in Albania is that you usually don't have any direction signs, not even the town signs (when you enter the town, you have no idea where you are). We got about 60 km somewhere else. The local people told us that we should come back or continue about 30km on a road without asphalt and then continue on our original route. Well... it was worse than we expected:
"Road" in Albania
Rocky road full of gravel (sizes ranges from small apples to big oranges), not much space for two vehicles - well one is sometimes enough.

The same "road" after another 300 meters
Josef had some problem when he tried to change the trail. Unfortunately he dropped the bike (fortunately without any damages). 

Josef has some troubles
Support team is here to save the day :-)
We helped him and after few minutes we got about 500 meters further. We stopped there - since the road enabled us to do that. We tried to recover ourselves little bit after that dropping of the bike. And we were thinking about comming back since we just reached about 3% of this road and we already dropped a bike and it cost us a lot of energy. Whats more - the rain started again.
It is starting to rain - after 1km out of another 30km (of this road)
This picture was taken about 30seconds after the above one. So really heavy rain that turned the road into muddy and slippery nightmare. We were really glad when we were back under the hill - unfortunatelly completely wet since we were not able to dress the rain suits on on time.

Nightmare in Albanian mountains
It got even worse in another Albanian mountains - even though there was asphalt (huge holes, disappearing road, landslips...) even havier rain started. The road changed into a river (really about 20cm of water with wooden sticks, plastic bottles...), the water ran pretty fast so we stopped at one gas station for about one hour till the rain was acceptable - but still heavy... we continued about 180km to Greece - in complete darkness of the night and GS doesn't have good headlights :/
Albanian / Greek border
Finally we passed the Greek border and continued about 60 km to Ioannina and our luxury and perfect hotel Filokalia. We reached our destination at 11:00 PM local time. It was really nice change since we came completely wet - we imediately took hot shower, changed into dry clothes and the receptionist ordered us some local food for us that we had in dining room together with some good Greek wine. We went to bed at 2 AM. 
Our perfect hotel Filokalia in Ioannina - Greece