Today we had another twist fest coming out of the mountains of Albania before dropping down to Lake Ohrid and tackling the Albania Macedonia border. This took much longer than entering Albania but went fairly smoothly anyway. The main problem was Andrew’s green card insurance looked like a forgery even though it was genuine.
The high country near Lekoviku where we spent last night had some beautiful forest and open ground that would be superb for camping. There are big cats and bear in these woods so Canadian style camping precautions with food prep and storage would be necessary. Speaking about bears we had stopped in Korca and a man walked around a corner with a massive puffy ‘dog’ on a leash – I was trying to figure out the breed when I realized it was a beige bear. He may not have been to happy when I took a pic but at least the bear stayed on the leash. These Albanian towns have a feel very different from the rest of Europe; the people have almost Middle Eastern features and colouring, minarets pierce the skyline, and the ubiquitous old man side saddle on a donkey or woman with her black shawl make this place very different. Roberto says Albania feels more like the ‘Stans (Uzbekestan, Turkmenistan…) than Europe.
Weather here is still winter like – cold rain, slippery roads and no tourists – locals say it like December. But in Macedonia the people are very friendly and English is widely understood, unlike Albania where often sign language and mime are required to be understood.