Albania Day 8. Friday 28 June. Gjirokaster to Sarande.
Last night saw my hip improving and able to hobble across the room without crutches. Therefore looking forward to riding the bike again before too long. We went to a restaurant up the hill from our hotel for another excellent meal followed by yet another red wine at a nearby bar in the moonlight. I am of the opinion that red wine has a healing effect on my hip. Correct me if I am deluded in this matter. The crutches were a godsend and I never fell over once on the way down the hill. Nearly 11pm by the time we got back, I must remember to keep better company from now on. I am being lead astray. The breakfast today was on the top floor with a magnificent view of the valley and a layer of cloud half way up the mountain behind. The weather is good again with a temperature forecast in the mid 20’s. No cycling for me yet I am afraid, but getting better. The first part of the morning we headed south towards the Greek border and then turned west up the mountain where we had
coffee and a rest for the cyclists at an old fuel station. A long descent on the other side towards Saranda. As we got towards the valley floor we went alongside a canal taking water from one hydro electric power station to another. Albania is mostly limestone but here we see sandstone outcrops mixed with the limestone. Sarande is a large town around a bay on the Ionian coast made of concrete, typical of the south coast of France. Multi tiered hotels and apartment blocks with small boats moored in many marinas. The weather was very warm and pleasant. Great lunch of seafood risotto followed by a relaxing rest on our own veranda overlooking the bay. Bliss. Shame about the washing on the guard rails making it look like the the tramps have come to town. Shameful.
I am a retired engineer, born in 1945, who loves cycle touring. I have ridden Lands End John O Groats, C2C, the Three Towers (Blackpool - London -Paris Blackpool), European section of North Sea Cycle Route (Rotterdam to Bergen, 3,500 km), several sportives and trips to Spain and the Alps, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia, Turkey, Japan, Kerala and Tamil Nadu (India), Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Australia, including Tasmania and New Zealand. Kyushu Japan, USA, Republic of Ireland and Sicily. I ride several sportives each year and ride one day every week with some retired riders and usually lead a gr... full info