I was really confused when I came to Albania, it has been so hard, but now I understand. After the time with Altin I did have just in mind to reach Korce and go to Greece. But I have learnt I don’t take decisions…the road talks and shows me the good path. Sometimes it is a sweet whisper, this time a big smash in the mouth. I had to choose between two roads to go to Korce (trough Elbasan or Gramsh) I was just riding and took the right side wich it was the one through Gramsh. This road has ramps of 7-10% (many), but it’s worth it when you see those picks still with snow and the green valleys. That was the time when I definitely I fell in love with Albania. I have seen the big green fields full of fruits and vegetables, but then Albania show me her big and precious undercovered mountains. I don’t know how many curves and never ending hills I reached that day.
When I arrived to Kodovjat some men told me I couldn’t cross. You can imagine. I didn’t want to believe it, even they told me for right… So I ride 10Km more of hell to Bratile to confirm what it was real. I have to come back. Three workermen died some time ago when the mountain fell down and the road still remains closed. That is how I have to go back to find Elbasan through the same torturing road. The good news was I will arrive on time to meet Eleni in Korce that wasn’t able if I have arrived earlier. I though I will never reach to Elbasan, and when I did it, I was so tired that my plans to arrive to Librazh seemed a dream. It begin to rain about 6km nearby Elbasan. So I stopped at the first kaffe I did found. And how glad I am now. That few hours there, show me the real beating of Albania. A GREAT TEAM in every corner. They just treat me like a friend. Invite me to drink and enjoy there company. They give me the strenght to keep going in this one direction road…and let me know the taste of Sweet Sweet Albania. Thank you guys I will never could continue without your push! This lovely country has roads of two directions full of their Lavazh and crowded Kaffes. You can choose go Backward or Forward…what it makes me wonder many times wich option will Albania take from now on. After all this km. Now I feel like a real Albanian. This nice guy give a real Lavazh to my byke…it looked new for a while. UNDRESSED. Taking slowly its clothes. Albania first showed me the fields, then the mountains and then the rivers and the lakes…I think Albania may do not know what they have. This is a paradise in the middle of Europe. Still virgin. There are big hills from Përrenjas to Lin and Pogradec to Korce.
I didn’t think twice, I just put the automatic and climb all them. I have learn it’s a matter of breathing and mental force. The reward it is always bigger than the effort…and at least, wich options do I have. After so many km (I don’t even know how many) neither the bike or me and the byke are the same. I need to fixed the byke before keep on on the way. And this time was completely a mess. A nice man try to fixed, but I know I need a new wheel.
KORCE I couldn’t have better company for my last day in Albania. Eleni is a Greek teacher full of energy that gave me a brief idea of what I will find next. We also have the opportunity of share many ideas and point of views. I think all teachers should be like her…she doesn’t think about herself she just focus on give the tools to all her children to face the world. It is no easy job, but she has the guts to do this and whatever she gots in mind. We agreed in many thoughts and if all goes how it is planned we will meet in Konstantinobla in few days. It will be so nice.
All students learn the letter of their teacher or something like this…we would be in good hands if we let in hers. Take my hat off, Eleni.
And then another Great Genious (Lazjon). I like this guy so much, because he does not just know many things about everything…he knows all about his city…and most important, HE LOVES HIS COUNTRY!! And not many Albanian are in touch with this idea…at least didn’t seemed to me.
He took me around every corner of the city and show me every thing I could in the time we remain together. Korce it is one of the greatest city of Albania and time will show it. Thank you so much for this master class of passion and culture…I’m on the road to learn a bit more every day and you both made it so easy.
A complete unknown country for me. I should get better informed about where I put my feet, but I usually do it like this…running always against the walls. That’s how I learn, that’s how I grow. I met this guy near from the border and let me the first contact with Albanian people. So nice, they have hot blood and happy mood all time. Even I haven’t understand yet why they always say NO with the head… In my way to Tirana I have to stop. Since my days in Makarska I have a weel loosing air, but I just pump it a bit every day. Since it doesn’t work anymore. But I did find the best mechanic ever. Man…YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO for sure. This child was an expert. With his help we arranged the pricked inner tube (the one from Croatia and the actual). He has got more squills than me. I was so happy to have such a great partner in the middle of the road.
I cannot say anything wrong about people here. They are amazingly kind. But for a while, resting on a square in Kamza, I begin to feel a little bit annoyed. Just teenegers asking me for giving them money, let them my bike, movil phone, saying I will get robbed…just remind me what was the real situation here. People is nice, but have needs. As I said before just teenegers. But make me think about of what I did see since I enter to Albania. In a 30km, hundred of Mobileri (furniture shops) and Lavazh (car washing)…all empty and everybody in Kaffes nearby the road.
I stopped in Kamsa in a fast food. This nice people invite me to a Hamburger and we spend a great time together. If any time come to Albania should go there and know them. Albanian are funny. I also have the opportunity to talk with a girl there who explain me a bit more why is everybody in the street. Many inmigrants working in Italy, Croatia and Greece and they wait to the money send from relatives. But now many have begin to come back due to the crisis. And I wonder what will be the future for the people from now on.
I decided to go direction Greece, but I take wrong direction. Eventough I decided to continue. It will be a longer way, but I could see the coast of Albania. A weird feeling invade me while I was pedaling. I felt unbalanced, so sad. I just begin to cry on the byke. Albania became a labirynth of nonsense. I always say to myself…if it hurts, it is because you don’t understand. And I didn’t.
Albania is a rich country with petrol, mineral, a lot of water and even more important BIG FIELDS to work and get food. But there’s a corrupted government that do not do anything for the real people and people I think they have lost their faith…and now they just wait, because they think nothing could be done. I cannot stop crying, but then near Düres appeared SUPER ALTIN SUFA!! He is not just a member of the National Team or 2nd position Albanian Champion. He knows well what sport has bring to him. Let him to look further the boarders, value the spirit team and overall he learn you always have to give your best. He is a fighter with a lightened muslim heart. He fights for the rights of the team and of his people. Goverment just do not pay them while they just fill up their pockets…once more. Another injustice again. I really need to find him. He is been a ray of light. He invited me to stay at his home and met his family. Here’s his cousin Ani Sufa (we will hear about this unstoppable creative young man…new albanian generation) We spend a great time during this day. I learn a lot about his religion..now I feel I’ve got a Muslim brother. And treated like a professional.
Thank you so much!!! We talked a lot about the need of things to be moved, the need to FIGHT all together.