Iowa Martins in Albania

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dubrovnik to Albania III

On New Year's Day, we began the drive back to Albania about 9:00 am. It's quite evident that Albania was a hermit kingdom. Our maps have roads going to Albania, but they are not always there. The main thin to takeaway about the roads on our trip around the Adriatic, through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania is the that roads were all lovely—until we entered Albania. One cool thing we saw was the "Wild Hog Crossing: 6 km" sign. The boarder crossing was like a shack in the wilderness. Immediately upon entering the road became chunky.

As we drove through the Shkodra area the rain came down in buckets. One week later, most villages I the area would be evacuated before they became completely isolated. The Peace Corps volunteers in the area were hustled way to Tirana so they would be cut off from medical help, etc.

The road was quite obviously in a state of repair. It looked like they were improving the surface, but at that time, it was a tragedy. As we drove, the road would suddenly stop and we would have to make a 70 degree turn down through some slop and over a boulder. At one point while we were following some taillights through heavy rain, there were car on the right AND on the left going the other way with nothing in between us but soggy dirt. Another instance on our trip when the strength and beefiness of our truck came in handy.
The three boys in a window overlooking the bay of Dubrovnik.


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