AusTouring.com  


Go Back   AusTouring.com > General Viewing > Out and About
FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes Language
Old 16-10-2018, 01:42 PM   #21
glitch
Mapping the next ride...
 
glitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,228
Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Panichishte Ski Mountain (Bulgaria) -> Skopje (Macedonia) -> Mavrovo -> Lake Shkodra (Albania)

https://goo.gl/ZRHrMd




Claw-Back Day


The early start (and resulting frozen fingers) are the first step to try and make up a little on what we missed out on yesterday. We'll see how it turns out, there are just no fix+firm rules in the Balkans.

There are also borders to cross, another Capital along the way (Skopje, Macedonia) and all that entails, very few main roads....and the usual warm-to-hot temps by the looks of it.














An hour and a half later....








A quick crossing this time...luck's on our side.





__________________
Cheers
Pete
glitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2018, 01:42 PM   #22
glitch
Mapping the next ride...
 
glitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,228
Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

....and we keep tacking westwards towards Skopje.












We hit the on-ramp of the toll-way just east of Kumanovo and the homework pays off, a pocket full of small
Euro notes and shrapnel make for fast progress through the tollbooths every 20km or so.
The freeway-ring circling the capital is a blessing....but also comes with a few surprises.
While the going is quick, the road climbs up the hillside into a wide valley east of the city.

With traffic going at 110-160kmh, those lumpy, dark bits spaced along the emergency lane only get a second glance
as we're getting close....and the "lumps" start to move, holy shit!!
What looks like gravel-dumps turn out to be young boys with piled boxes and crates of grapes, offering and selling in the emergency lane of the freeway
The adults are picking the fruit in the vineyards up the steep clay embankments above, shouting encouragement and latest prices down to their youngsters.
We hammer past barely 4 feet away....while getting overtaken by a few big Audi Diesels.
Oh man....

What about the local riders?
They LOVE their flip-flops, loud T-shirts and shorts....and screaming Kilo-Gixxers clawing skywards, howling past the apathetic cops.
Just another day in the Balkans, yaawwwn...






The going is good, the mid-afternoon twisties along the valley floor of the Vrbanj-Valley are a cool-ish delight, the gleaming minarets of the mosques in those tiny glued-to-the-steep-slopes villages keep calling out
"STOP and check me out!!"....and we're skimming south, not far from the Albanian border.

Lake Debar











Through town and up a potholed side-road past the tip...and yet again, the border crossing is nearly over before it started.

Made Albania!!








__________________
Cheers
Pete
glitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2018, 03:12 PM   #23
glitch
Mapping the next ride...
 
glitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,228
Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

....and it doesn't take long for roads not just to turn into absolute traffic chaos...
....but also into barely rideable tracks, spine-crunching pistes and goat-tracks spiced with craters and various remnants of some former being....as a riverbed, maybe!

Holy Schmoly!! gulp!


We're down to barely 20kmh...and the afternoon is fading away from us.

Along the way, a cute, little restaurant in the middle of no-where





...then some good and quicker bits sparking some hope and upping the speeds...











...until you come around that lefthander, blinded my the low sun, and your entire lane has literally "disappeared", buggered off, sunk, vanished, ceased to exist....and all without the smallest of warnings
How was that about bowel-movements??






Salvation!! The lil' Baby-GS were starting to gasp....





Lost the run against daylight, bugga!!....






The Grande Finale??....or....just a desperate wish for things to simply finish?

This can't be the road to the "Lake Shkoder Resort? "






It IS!!


And unbeknownst, we also gained an hour due to crossing a timezone....and that means there's still an hour of food and drink at the on-site restaurant, HOORAY!!! And Hans and Elisabeth are there, too.














Nearly 700k's of Balkan roads, one tough day on the bikes....





and now well and truly stuffed and pickled....that bed looks damn good!








Lights out!



Lake Shkodra Resort, home for the next 4 nights!
And one of our best stays of the trip
__________________
Cheers
Pete
glitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2018, 11:19 AM   #24
glitch
Mapping the next ride...
 
glitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,228
Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Lake Shkodra-> Shkodra -> Rozafa Castle -> Rruga Kolė Idromeno (Albania)

https://goo.gl/BYDvy8





Welcome to Lake Shkoder Resort
where A$50/ night buys you this little treehouse with balcony, tables/chairs and hammock/ banana lounges in the shade underneath, power, good wifi etc.




Just as cute (fixed floor/ proper beds etc) and even cheaper





Hans comes for an inspection on the way to breakfast at the onsite restaurant
Mornin', chief!






The Tree-Lodge...the Maxi version of the little single room variant. This one with full kitchen, loft and washing machine etc.





...where strange things happen...lost yer socks, mate?





Let's go for brecky...














Black cat in the morning and all that...








For simplicity, just add half again to the listed prices for Aussie-$$....





....which makes for A$4 Egg+Bacon sandwich(es) on freshly baked bread!!

Check the double-whammy on the bottom right!!
Anyone is welcome to get some fresh bread here in the mornings...at A$1.20/ loaf




6 bux for the "English breakfast"...





...and just over a Dollar for a cuppa. And ALL THAT comes with a friendly smile, a bit of a chinwag and some info
of what to do with the day, as well as an invite to show up again for dinner. WHOWWW!


Time to follow their advise and have a lazy day, snooping around Shkoder- town for a bit, get some local Rubels and get prepped for an early start the day after.
__________________
Cheers
Pete
glitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2018, 01:18 PM   #25
glitch
Mapping the next ride...
 
glitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,228
Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

Finding your way to the Rozafa Castle carpark isn't the easiest job, Bob-the-Builder from a-few-hundred-years-before Christ most likely didn't think off some weird clowns crawling up the hill just to have a look, but rather counted on "visitors" to bring their swords and muskets for a week of head-lopping, rape and pillage.

Lets have a poke around...this is looking impressive!





Shkoder Hinterland to the south...








Shkoder Hinterland to the north...











Albanian flag





I wonder how many feet and boots went up that hill...























__________________
Cheers
Pete
glitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 04:47 AM.


All information contained on this site is © 2007-2008 to Austouring.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.