After leaving the HelpX hostel I had made my way to a bigger town some 9km further, Himara, it was a short ride and pretty nice too since it was mostly downhill and doing that I really enjoy the 10% (incline) a hell of a lot more ;)
My 4 days in Himara were super relaxed as most of the days I spent at least several hours enjoying the sun, the beaches and the beautiful colored and nice warmish sea, which I always find delightful.
Slowly ….very slowly it was getting noticeable that the main season is getting closer and more people came and went to/from the camping staying just a day or 2. I met some really fun people thanks to that and had some fun and interesting times.
With a German couple we tried to make it to and abandoned submarine base tunnel, which we were told by Dennis (the awesome camping manager) it was easily reached with a 6km or so walk, we instead decided to hitchhike and after a couple of turn downs the magic of the thumb did it’s thing again an we got picked up by a German/Albanian couple in a minivan.
After telling them our plans, we were told that it is actually not possible to get to that base since it was still military property and asked if we would like to come with them and visit a castle instead, which was also fine by us. We had to wait a little bit though since the person with the keys to the castle was away for a bit and got some coffee at their almost ready to open restaurant.
They were all very nice and ready for a good chat as not to let us get bored, since after about 1.5hours of waiting the man with the keys had still not come back so we asked what exactly the plan was and if we could call a taxi to get back since it was already dark, but she woman of the couple wouldn’t have that and brought us back herself, after which we had some beers and a nice dinner before she had to go back again.
The next day (Monday 6-6-2016) I tried to upload my latest video to youtube which went surprisingly fast, hours I expected it would be half a day since not all internet is so fast here, which took about 2 or so at least to get to 90%, when out of the blue the power and thus the internet died off…….. shit….. turned out they are working on the powerlines nearby……. So instead …..back to the beach and hope the power would be on when I would be back and finish the upload, luckily it continued from the 90% and did not have to wait another 2+ hours :D.
After I had a nice dinner at one of the restaurants and came back to the camping there was a small group invited by Dennis to watch a video, made by one of the girls in the group, I only saw the last part but seemed pretty interesting…….. but after the video my favorite part started, beers chatting and a little later also a couple of joints ^^ as you can guess it was a very fun evening which went on in to the warm night.
Unfortunately I discovered the next morning (Tuesday) the night had been a bit too much fun and once again I woke up with a pretty nasty hangover :P and tried to sleep as much as I can…….. when my tent got too hot I resumed this practice in front of my tent and saw a couple that were there also the previous night who seemed fresh and fit which made me feel stupid for drinking too much……. But then they joined me in trying to sleep of their hangover too, guess I wasn’t the only one after all :p The rest of the day you can imagine was a very lazy one.
For Wednesday I had planned to start making my way to the next town, Saranda, but since I woke up pretty late, feeling very lazy and the weather was blazing hot I decided against this plane and instead …..you can probably tell already…… go to the beach ;)
Thursday however all the start were in alignment, the sun and moon in the right position and I feeling fit enough to tackle another long day of climbing, luckily this time also a lot of descending^^, which started fairly quickly but I managed it good enough. After some hours of going up, down, up again my legs started slowly to get heavier and heavier, good thing I better prepared and had more than enough food and water with me and took many break to eat and drinks some to keep my energy up and my legs strong enough. I did end up pushing my bike for some small bits but that is all part of the game I suppose and even with the struggling again the beautiful scenery made it all worth it (Albania really is a very beautiful country).
When I finally arrived in Saranda, a bit exhausted though, I was looking for a Hostel which was recommended by some people I had met before but after getting lost once or twice and having to climb some more to get there I had another look on my GPS and saw to my happy surprise I was about 100m from a different hostel which had an even better review on internet than the one I first planned to go to, so of course I went there instead.
It was a bit difficult to find though since it’s really just a big apartment with big rooms and some bunkbeds :P so after my second pass in the street some guy jumped in front of …… “going to corfu?”…… “uuhhhmm…no”……… “need backpacker hostel?”……………..”uuuuhhh yeah”……… “It’s here, I’m Tomi I’m the owner”. And so I finally made it to the saranda backpacker hostel.
It’s a really nice and clean place looks really cool and had already some very nice backpackers there and after some relaxing/ recharging my battery me and my dorm-mate went for some beers and some interesting chats before calling it a night ^^
Friday……. “Excursion day” Me and David (Dorm-mate) decided to go to Butrint, a unesco site near Saranda which is a archeological site with ruins from several ancient civilizations of which I remember: The Greeks, The Romans and the Byzantines. All in all it was really interesting and since we went pretty early we mostly had the whole place to ourselves for about an hour, then some tour groups came in and an hour or so later, when luckily we already seen it all, busloads of tour groups came in…. good thing we were pretty much done there and took the bus out of there.
Back in Saranda we had some lunch, said goodbye since he had to leave and I went back to the hostel to meet the new dorm-mates and other hostel guests, all really nice people and went for a nice dinner together later in the evening and of course went to watch the first football match of the Euro cup. Lots of beers, lots of fun and we closed our evening with some last beers at the hostel, all in all a very good day.
Saturday was another lovely lazy day, lots of chilling at the beach….. some yoga and meditating and in the evening a nice Hostel BBQ which was very fun and of course delicious ^^
Sunday me and some other guests of the hostel, made out way up a pretty big hill to visit a castle there and enjoy the views a bit, which were really nice after getting back and having some lunch we took the bus to a nearby village with some beautiful beaches and nearby Islands which are in reach of swimming, really cool but unfortunately loaded with trash :/ but it was a very nice place none the less, for tonight we all got some wine and maybe so that’ll probably be a fun evening too ^^