Rideau River near Manotick (Ottawa), Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Wow, what a drive!

I had been really looking forward to yesterday's road trip! My research said that highway SH8 in southwestern Albania is one of the world's great scenic coastal drives, and sure enough, it didn't disappoint.

Our next destination is Sarandë, and we head there tomorrow (Wednesday). And we have to take the SH8 to get there. But there are quite a few things to see along the way, so I figured we would do a day trip to around the half way point, and then come back. Then the actual drive itself tomorrow. Then another day trip from Sarandë will take us back the other way for some more exploring. So it's actually going to take three trips on this beautiful highway to see all the things we want to see!

We were also lucky that we had our best weather day yet here in Albania. Blue sky, sunshine, and temperature about 20C (68F). Beautiful.

Tunnel.

Considering this is the main north south route along the coast, there was surprisingly little traffic.

A small beach just south of Vlore.

Look how clear the water is!

Scenery along the way.

Beautiful.

The village of Dukat.

The highway heads inland in order to cross through Llogara National Park and the Llogara Pass. From sea level, the road rises about 1,000 meters (3,300').

Looking back at the top of Llogara Pass.

And looking forward!

Our road heading back down the other side!

We are heading down there.

Long switchbacks down the other side.

There is a picture further down that shows the switchbacks.

Scenery along the way.

Wow... what a drive!

Our road heading down.


The village of Dhërmi.

Watch out for goats!

We made it to the Gjipe Canyon where I had seen a hiking trail on the maps.me app that lead to a couple of viewpoints overlooking the canyon, and then down to Gjipe Beach. Not very much in the way of parking, but it wasn't busy at all. We took a narrow single lane (but paved) road that had a couple of passing pullouts on it, and we parked in one of the passing pullouts. Like I said, there was hardly anybody around anyhow, and it wasn't a long hike (1.7 kms, 1.1 miles each way) so we didn't figure we would be gone long anyhow.

Heading out on the trail.

Looking down.

Ruth at one of the overlooks.

Looking down.

Ruth at another overlook.


Looking towards the sea.

Heading further along the trail. 
The island you can just barely make out in the distance is the Greek island of Corfu.

Looking back into the canyon.

Where we sat and had lunch.

There are only two people on this beautiful beach!

Gjipe Beach.

Me, and the view!

The trail did go down to the beach, but we decided that time was getting on so we just went as far as the furthest viewpoint. The road is slow going, and as it was it would be almost 4:00pm by the time we got back to the apartment.

Olive grove. 
Look at all the tiny white wildflowers.

A great free camping spot at GPS 40.132717, 19.672326

We had been gone from the car almost two hours and other than the two people we saw down on the beach, we never saw another person the whole time!

Heading back, this clearly shows the big switchbacks that we have to climb to get through Llogara Pass.

View looking back down.

Scenery along the way.

More scenery.

What a great day we had.

Today is a day of rest, although we have to walk downtown and pick up some more gluten free bread and get our cell phone recharged again. Can you believe we have been in Albania almost a month?!

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And in Canada...



14 comments:

  1. The scenery looked breath-taking. One would never get tired of the environment.
    Wasn't it just yesterday that you arrived? LOL!
    Be Safe and Enjoy your move.

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The drive was breathtaking, we really enjoy those kinds of drives especially when the scenery along the way is so beautiful.

      Lol, Kevin and I both said the same thing to each other just yesterday morning! The time just seems to fly by. We certainly are never bored! :-)

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  2. Wonderful view, your time is flying by. Any idea when you can get into Germany to get your motorhome? Stay safe!
    Crazy here in Canada lucky you are not here.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, we can't believe how fast it is disappearing. Good thing we making the most of our time. Lots of memories to look back on.

      We have no idea when we will get to pick up our motorhome. Things are constantly changing all over the world at the moment, so we will just have to be patient and wait for a window of opportunity to open up so we can get into Germany and pick it up.

      At the moment we are quite happy not to be in Canada!

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  3. Beautiful, gorgeous, stunning. Love it.

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    1. It certainly was. We can't wait to see what the second half of this drive is going to be like. :-) Unfortunately we aren't going to have nice blue skies for our drive today!

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  4. Seems like just a few blog posts ago you bought four loaves of gluten-free bread! I must be confused, or you really, really like your sandwiches. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Lol, it was a week ago tomorrow that we bought those four loaves and I will be finishing the last of them today. One thing that people who are not gluten free don't realize, is that gluten free bread loaves are very small compared to normal bread. Usually they are almost half to two-thirds the size of regular slice of bread and each loaf only has about 12-14 slices to a loaf, so it doesn't take long to go through a loaf! When I make sandwiches for our lunch I make two sandwiches for Kevin and one for me so half a loaf is already gone! Then sometimes we have some bread with eggs in the morning. We try to stock up on the bread when we find it because it isn't always available. When we had our two weeks in Berat, we were unable to find any gluten free bread in the stores there, so we have no idea whether it will be available in the nice town/city where we are headed, so we stocked up! :-)

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  5. Replies
    1. It certainly was and we are looking forward to doing it again today! :-)

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  6. That is a little steep, or a lot steep! What views you had! And to find two other people is remarkable.
    You 2 take care, Rawn

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    1. Yep, it was pretty steep but we love roads like that. :-)

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  7. Another fantastic day, drive and scenery! ! Really loving your stories and photos! Tough to not look forward to your daily posts! Stay safe!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lynnette, we are so glad that you are enjoying our daily posts!

      This definitely was a gorgeous drive, hopefully we have time to go back in that direction to explore a few of those areas even closer.

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