The city of Korca, Albania (pop 75,000).
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Korca, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Pogradec, Albania on May 12th!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Views above Korca

Saturday was forecast to be a blue skies and sunshine kind of day... exactly what we were looking for to do the walk up to the cross and chapel on top of a nearby hill overlooking Korca.

There is no hiking trail, but the road goes up to a big resort hotel, almost all the way to the cross and chapel so we could have easily driven up. But, we're not normal and needed some exercise. It turned out to be steeper than it looked!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Things are good here in Albania!

A news report out yesterday from the Ministry of Health here in Albania says that the country is now officially out of "the red zone" regarding Covid, and now has the lowest numbers of any of the surrounding countries as well as Europe, at only 26 cases per 100,000 residents. For perspective, the province of Ontario has 250 cases per 100,000 residents.

Yesterday, they did 2,728 tests and 67 residents tested positive. There were 2 deaths.

RV Maintenance

Regular maintenance is an important part of owning an RV if you want to get years of trouble free enjoyment from it. As with any type of machinery, there is a set schedule you should follow that the manufacturer recommends. Trailers are one thing, but with a motorhome you have to look after both the house part of the unit, and the maintenance schedule of the chassis manufacturer.

It's fairly easy with the chassis maintenance because the chassis owners manual has a list of the details required to keep the engine in top running condition, and to meet warranty obligations. But the actual RV maintenance is a little more difficult because there are important things to do on a regular basis that could cause loss of enjoyment if they aren't looked after.

Friday, May 7, 2021

What goes on behind the scenes? And a beautiful day in the city of Korca, Albania!

We spent the morning getting caught up on some internet work. Yes, I'm sure it looks like all we do is have fun and explore every day. And we do try to do that. But there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that is more like work than play! It's the fact that we can do it from anywhere in the world with a good internet connection that makes our lifestyle so enjoyable to us.

We have heard some comment that we are "lucky" to be doing what we're doing, but everything we're doing has been planned, and is the result of a conscious decision on our part.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

4 hours to drive 135 kms (84 miles). But the scenery was worth it...

The guy at the tourist office in Permet had told us that it would take "about 5 hours" to do the drive from Permet to Korca, but we wouldn't mind because we would be too busy enjoying the scenery. And he was right!

But still, it's hard to believe there isn't a more direct route. This part of Albania near the border with Greece is pretty remote. In fact, we were saying that people who live here have to be pretty self sufficient because it's a long drive to any kind of services. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Wonderful day at Langarica Canyon and Benja Thermal Waters

We wanted to get an early start because we had read that the hot springs area can get busy. And, there is a lot of hiking in and around the canyon behind the hot springs, so we knew we would be in for a full day.

Langarica Canyon is located only 12 kms (7 miles) from the town of Permet. And Benja Hot Springs is located at the entrance to the canyon. And both attractions are located within Fir of Hotova-Dangelli National Park, the largest national park in Albania.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Another Kevin and Ruth mystery tour

We set off yesterday morning on a hike. We didn't really have a planned destination, and we just started walking up the mountain in behind the town of Permet. We figured we'd be gone a couple of hours, but as usual it turned into a bit of a mystery tour as we tried to find the Shen Elena Shrine located somewhere up there.

We had no problem making our way up to the almost ghost town like village of Lipa. But from there it became a series of dead ends as we tried to find the shrine.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Our accommodation in Permet, and exploring the town

There weren't a lot of Airbnb choices in Permet. It's only a small city of about 10,000 people. There were a lot of guest houses listed, which normally we wouldn't mind staying in shared facilities, but with the whole Covid situation, our preference is to have a place to ourselves. 

And normally when there are a lot of options, we try to pick a place that has a lot of good reviews. But obviously there's always a bit of risk involved because what some people find acceptable, others do not.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The most beautiful waterfall in Albania

Saturday was moving day as we made our way from Gjirokaster to Permet. Not a long distance, only about 62 kms (38 miles). But there were a few things we wanted to see along the way.

The main thing we wanted to see was the Peshtures Waterfall near the village of Progonat. We had read that it is the most beautiful waterfall in Albania, and the pictures we had seen sure made it look that way.

But, it's not easy to get to.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Taxes done, and then hike to a 16th century monastery

May the 1st today. Wow. We've been in Albania for a month and a half.

I posted our April expenses last night if you missed it, you can see it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2021/04/april-expenses.html

Well, I've spent an hour or so a day for the last three days getting our Canadian income taxes done and making sure all of the i's were dotted and t's were crossed. Then yesterday morning when I attempted to send everything in, I got an error message. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

April Expenses

In case you missed it, this is the second blog post of the day. You can read the first one here...


Regarding our April Expenses...Yeehaw... it's very rare for us to come in at or under budget. I purposely set our base case budget for the month on the low side so that it gives us a goal to strive towards. In the case of April 2021, our budget was $2,300 CAD ($1,875 USD), and we came in at $2.380 CAD ($1,940 USD). 

Not under budget, but close enough. We'll take it! 

Well that was an adventure!

I'm sure that some people think we have adventures almost every day, but really we are just out seeing what there is to see in the world. However sometimes just going out exploring really does become an adventure... even by our standards.

Yesterday was one of those days! I think we used the phrase "holy crap" a few times!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

A few videos for you today...

There are not many actual hiking trails in this area, but there are a lot of trails made by the goats and sheep! And, there are a lot of 4x4 dirt roads that are not suitable for cars, but are suitable for hiking.

Yesterday, we drove up the paved road that goes near the top of the mountain range in behind us. It's a curvy road with lots of switchbacks and pretty much zero traffic. It gains 1,058 meters (3,500 feet) in 14 kms (8.7miles). 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Annunciation Monastery and Skotini Cave near Vanister, Albania

As beautiful as the view is from our front porch, there's lots to see in this area, so we like to get out every day. Especially with such enjoyable weather. Yesterday got up to about 22C (71F)  and they're calling for 24C (75F) today. Perfect.

We drove about 20 kms (12 miles) to the nearby village of Vanister. Up in the hills behind the village is a16th century monastery with gorgeous views of the valley below. It sounded like a good hike, so we headed there first.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Out for a hike on a beautiful day with gorgeous scenery

We heard back from our host here at the villa, and we are allowed to stay an extra three nights, so now we will be leaving here on Saturday May 1st. We had asked for a second full week, but the Orthodox Easter celebrations are next weekend and they have a family gathering here on Sunday.

So we have booked a spot in Permet for four nights and then will move on to Korce for another full week. Things will start to be warming up in the mountains by then, and we really want to get up to the northern part before our time here is up. So we can't be staying too long in any one place!