Max, enjoying a rainbow view near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Future plans

Yesterday was a rain day! I only got outside twice... once during a 15 minute dry spell so that I could empty our toilet tank, and once so that I could take a few rainbow photos.

Otherwise, it was a computer day and we got quite a lot accomplished. And we heard back from the dentist again and Ruth has an appointment at 11:00am this morning to have the molds and scans taken for the invisible braces for her lower teeth.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Ruth's dentist update, and does anybody know what these are...?

There's a lot of rain in the forecast for the next four days, so we figured we had better get out and enjoy the day. It's a great area for hiking and biking, and we had not yet taken the bikes heading south along the road outside the campground.

Also, we heard back from the dentist regarding straightening Ruth's lower teeth. She has nice teeth and they are all her own, but we have noticed over the last five years or so that the front lower ones have become a little crooked. We would not be able to justify spending the money that it would cost in Canada or the U.S., but we figured our dentist here in Albania might come up with something more cost effective.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Just another day of Motorhome life in Albania.

The plan was to do a bike ride into town in the morning to pick up some groceries, then another one in the afternoon in the opposite direction just for pleasure. 

So we set off to do groceries around 10:30am. It was a nice blue sky day. We got to the butcher that we have used in the past. He speaks zero English. But we got across to him that we wanted some fresh ground beef. He held up a slab of beef and made gestures like he was going to cut it. But we pointed at his meat grinding machine and he shook his head. It took us a few seconds to figure it out, but it turns out the power was out!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

This campground will do just fine for the next few days

The weather has been better than we expected it to be. However there is some rain supposed to be arriving by tomorrow afternoon, and showers throughout the upcoming weekend. And I've got some computer work to get done during that time so it made sense for us to look for a campground where we can have electricity and WiFi. Also, we are waiting for the dentist to get back to us about straightening Ruth's lower teeth.

We didn't plan on staying in Berat this long, but then we really don't have any kind of schedule, so it doesn't matter! And, as I've said before, we really like the area.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

We love going to the dentist!

Said no one. Ever.

However, when you can go to the dentist and are confident that you are getting good value for your money, it makes the whole experience a little more enjoyable.

I had been to see a dentist in Albania back in the springtime. I had a bridge that had come loose, and it turned out that one of the anchor teeth needed to be rebuilt. I had four different appointments and the final bill was so inexpensive that I thought he forgot to add a zero or two!

Monday, November 22, 2021

We could easily live in this area.

We woke up Sunday morning and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. And it stayed that way all day! Just perfect. We didn't want to waste a day like that, so we set off on a hike up the road past the village of Drobonik. 

This is an interesting road because if you look on Google maps it is marked as a major route south. And between Berat and Drobonik the road is freshly paved and in beautiful condition. But after Drobonik it deteriorates quickly into a dirt road and apparently there are areas where it would be wise to have a high clearance vehicle, if not 4WD.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

What a great day we had!

Yesterday we did our guided hike and picnic lunch into Albania's Tomorri National Park. We had tried to go up to this area when we had a car rental back in early April but we just had a small 2WD car, and we learned pretty quickly that you need a high clearance 4WD in order to go to where we were trying to go.

We met our guide Arti from Albania Rafting Group at 9:00am, and hopped into a 4WD Land Rover. Arti a young guy, 24 years old and Berat is his home town so he knows the area well. Nice guy, and we enjoyed his company.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

It's a bit of a treat for us...

First thing we did yesterday morning was to put on a load of laundry. Mostly bedding, so we wanted to get it in early so that it would dry by the time we left. There was no stated checkout time, so we asked the lady if we could stay a little longer, and she didn't have a problem with that. We had already unplugged, and it's not like there was a lineup of people waiting for a spot.

Friday, November 19, 2021

We kind of got sidetracked... and ended up at the dentist office!

We got a decently early start for our drive to Berat. They were calling for showers in the afternoon, so we wanted to get to the River Side Campground early enough to get a load or two of laundry done. Our plan was to have a one night stay at this campground in order to do laundry, have showers, fill and empty our tanks, and fully charge our batteries. 

This way, we will easily be able to spend a few free nights at the hotel parking lot where we know it is shaded and don't know if we will be able to plug in.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Out for a bike ride, and problems solved!

Change of plans! We decided to stay put for one more night. It turns out that the castle we were hoping to visit now charges a €10 fee to overnight there, and it's not that important to us. So the only other option in that area was beach camping at a restaurant. We decided that if we are going to beach camp, we've got it pretty good right where we are!

And with some rain in the forecast, we didn't want to be stuck (literally!) in soft sand or on a muddy road.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Yet another problem...

Cloudy with sunny breaks yesterday. High of about 20C (68F), so it was quite pleasant.

Right beside where we are parked, there is a water faucet that actually works. So we took the opportunity to do some chores. Laundry is always an issue... it's difficult to find laundromats. They do exist in the larger cities, but they're not always convenient. So we do smaller items by hand when we can.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Problem at the grocery store

With fully charged batteries and no rain in the forecast, we set off from the free motorhome hookups at the highway truck stop at around 10:30am. We didn't have far to go... about 50 kms (30 miles), but driving through the small city of Durres is slow going so it took us about an hour.

Taking this route allowed us to avoid the big city of Tirana. We spent more than a week in Tirana when we visited back in the spring and although we enjoyed the city, we don't feel a need to return.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Max's batteries... and a lazy rain day.

Max has two 100 AH 12 volt AGM deep cycle batteries. He also has two 100 watt solar panels to keep those batteries charged.

For comparison, our North American motorhome Sherman had four 225 AH 6 volt wet cell batteries, and three 80 watt solar panels.

That's quite a bit of difference. Our usage is quite high given that we are on our laptops a lot. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Lots of good free camping spots

Saturday was a beautiful day. Sunshine, with a high around 20C (68F). Above average for this area at this time of year. So we got the bikes off and went for a bike ride.

First we went south along the beach road as far as we could go. Lots of good free wild camping (boondocking) spots. Only one problem though. Mosquitoes! There are a lot of marshy areas, and that usually means bugs. Bugs and I don't get along!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Off to the beach!

It was time for a change of scenery, so we did the short 44 km (27 mile) drive to the coastal resort town of Shëngjin. 

Wasn't quite sure what to expect as we hadn't been here in the spring. It turns out that Shëngjin has a really nice beach. There is also a small shipping port. But it's a growing resort area, with a lot of hotels and rental accomodation.