Lough Leane as seen from Killarney National Park, Ireland.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Killarney National Park, Ireland.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

There is still lots of snow up here!

Most people come to this area in order to get to the village of Theth and Theth National Park. And there are only three ways to get to Theth. One is by hiking, and the other two require 4 wheel drive. 

It's a very remote area.

Unfortunately, that is changing.

The road from where we are is now paved up as far as the mountain pass. That part was completed in 2015. For the last two years they have been working on the 15 km (9 mile) section from the pass down to the village of Theth.

It's a bit of a sketchy road. In fact, it's listed on the Worlds Most Dangerous roads website. Do not travel during severe weather due to avalanches, landslides, and heavy snowfall.

Yesterday, we decided to drive up as far as the pass where the pavement stops and then walk along the bad section.

Looking down on the valley where we are staying.

I took a few videos for you today.
Turn up your volume.

Heading up into the mountains.

The section that was completed in 2015 is still in pretty good condition. It's paved, but fairly narrow so you have to be careful of other vehicles coming down. As you get higher, the guard rails are in poor condition, but we're not really sure why they installed them to begin with!

Ruth enjoying the view.

Lots of beautiful mountain scenery.

Looking down on the road we came up.

Yikes. Still lots of snow. And we aren't even at the top yet!

Check out the guard rail!

The guard rails are all in really poor shape. Our host here at the resort says he thinks it's from the snowplows, but we also think it's from the avalanches that are so common in the area. He says they typically get about 2 meters (6.5 feet) of snow during the winter, but this past winter they got a lot more.

Notice all of the rocks and stuff at the side of the road.

Here's another video...

Once again, look at the guardrail!

We made it to the top of the pass and found a spot to park the car. There is still a ton of snow up there!

Ruth, enjoying the views.
We wore shorts, but we were glad we brought sweaters with us!

Huge snowbanks!

So, they have spent the last two years widening the single track road and building water drainage and supports from avalanche damage. Eventually, it will be paved but it might take another couple of years yet!

Avalanche protection.

The road used to be much narrower than this!

Here's another video...

Yes it's a long way down!

Scenery along the way.

Looking back at where we had walked.

I was surprised to find that I had a 4 bar cell signal way up here. We rounded a bend and heard generator noise. Sure enough, there was a cell tower installation on top of a ridge that was powered by diesel generators. There was a path, and we decided to hike up there because I figured there would be a good all round view, and I was right.

View of Theth Valley.

Ridge with cell tower.

Views from the cell tower.

I took another video.
Sorry for the generator noise!

There are at least four glaciers in the Accursed Mountain Range.

We had hiked 3.8 kms (2.4 miles) along the road and it was starting to go downhill a lot steeper, which we would only have to climb back up so we decided to turn back.

Heading back.

This relatively new hotel and restaurant and the top of the pass burned about two months ago.

So we were on the way back down and I saw another vehicle coming up towards us. Remember I said the road is very narrow? So I tried to pull over to give the other guy more room, and as I did so I caught a small rock that was at the side of the road with the right rear tire. Just at the correct angle to cut into the sidewall of the tire!

Flat tire.

Back on the road.

So I expect we will be stuck paying for that. Oh well... just one of those things.

German overland vehicle wild camping.

Like in Turkey, you can free camp just about anywhere and nobody will care.

Building walls. 
The Albanians are very good at building stone walls!

As you can see in the photos above, yesterday turned out to be pretty cloudy most of the day. And of course it was quite cool at the top of the mountain pass! But today the sun is shining so far this morning, and we are off to do some more hiking! It is so beautiful here!

Nice deal on the popular Cubii Pro Underdesk Elliptical. Work out while you work!

And in Canada...


  1. Wow, must be great for snowmobiles. Did you see any evidence of snowmobiling?

    1. We are sure that it would be but we see no evidence of snowmobiling here, no tracks or snowmobiles. From doing a Google search, it looks like there may be the odd snowmobile around but that would be about it.

  2. Crazy question, but how often do they have to refill the diesel in the generator? Especially in the winter with the weather.

    1. We have no idea how they would refill the diesel! We definitely saw evidence of them changing the oil and oil filters but we didn't notice where the fuel would come from. In the summer a truck could get to the towers but definitely not in the winter.

  3. I'm guessing those guardrails are merely suggestions? ;c)

    1. Lol, that would be about it! Honestly the guard rails would have helped you from going over the edge if they hadn't been damaged by the snow. It is pretty much guaranteed that up until 2015 there were no guard rails on the road!

  4. Kevin,
    BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAINS! I believe you are absolutely correct about the guardrail being damaged by avalanches and not snow plows. I faithfully follow your posts and getting to travel, via the web, with you and Ruth! Anxiously looking forward to you getting your new motorhome and all the travels in the future!!

    1. You got that right, the mountains here are gorgeous!

      Yep, we think the damage to the guardrails are from snow and avalanches too, we just can't see how the snowblower/snowplow could have done that damage.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and for following our blog for so long. We are glad that you are enjoying our adventures and we too are looking forward to getting into our new motorhome. Our fingers are crossed that that will happen at some point next month. :-)

  5. Fantastic views!

    For the tire, if you used a credit card with rental insurance for the booking, it should be covered by it. When I had a flat tire in Italy (hit a curb), the rental company charged something like 200 EUR for that, and (after filing some paperwork) I got most of that back from the credit card insurance.

    1. The views were amazing, and would have been even better had it been a nice blue sky day but we were still happy with what we saw.

      Yes, we have though about the insurance through the credit card but they do have certain timelines and stipulations, so we will have to check with them to see if we comply. Thanks for the suggestion though. :-)

  6. Replies
    1. I think that word came out of our mouths a few times that day! :-)

  7. How much luggage do you carry on this type of long term travel without a camper? In kgs or size/number of bags.
    Reason for asking is different climates or cultures sometimes require different outfits don't they?

    1. We carry very little with us. We have two carry-on bags and two small backpacks, one that we bought secondhand in Tanzania. Each carry-on bag weights between 10 - 12 kgs when full and the backpacks normally only have our computers and Kevin's camera in them and few other odds and ends.

      We pack clothes that are lightweight and versatile and that can be layered if the weather should get cold. If we really need additional clothing or footwear then we will buy them as needed and leave behind what we don't want to bring with us, which rarely happens in either case. Since we left last October, Kevin has bought a cheap pair of running shoes and that has been it.

  8. Wow, you were lucky the rental car had a spare tire and a jack. Might have been tough to get help up there otherwise. Such beautiful mountain views but funny to see Ruth wearing shorts next to so much snow!

    1. I believe all rental cars have to have a spare tire and jack in them.

      I doubt we would have had an issue getting help, vehicles do drive by and anyone of them I am sure would have given us any help that we might have needed, luckily we didn't need the help.

      I was laughing up at the summit about the fact that both Kevin and I were wearing shorts with all the snow around but we were plenty warm enough. :-)

  9. Have never been to Albania but my husband was born there. Gjirokastre . I wonder if his name is common there : Fasti Hashorva . Those Albanian Alps are awesome...so beautiful.
    It has been great to travel Albania with you since we will probably never get there.
    Thanks so much for all the pictures and the videos! Marianna and Frank (Fasti) Hashorva

    1. Your husband came from a very beautiful part of Albania, we really enjoyed our time in the Gjirokastër area. We can't help you with the name though, we certainly haven't met anyone yet with the name Fasti and we rarely ever get the last names of people we meet.

      We are loving the Albania Alps, they truly are beautiful.

      We are glad that you are enjoying our pictures and posts from our travels here in Albania. We can't believe that our time is almost up here, we still feel that there is so much more to see here.

  10. Replies
    1. And so are we! I know that both you and Juan would enjoy it here. :-)

  11. The views were incredible. Talk about being on top of the world. Loving your travels to places I'll never see. Question. How can I search your blog for Whiskeys tree?

    1. Yes, the views were stunning, we were just sorry that the sky wasn't more blue, the views would have been so much better, if that is even possible.

      We are glad that you are enjoying our adventures here in Albania, I know that we certainly are. :-)

      A little ways down on the right hand column you will see a box and above the box it says "Search This Blog", just put type Whiskey's tree in the box and hit enter or the search button and it will bring up our posts where we mention Whiskey's tree.

  12. Your in God's country, it looks marvelous! You got way up there. Take care, Rawn

    1. It is indeed a spectacular area with gorgeous scenery, we are really loving it here. :-)

  13. Haven't yet seen a mountain I didn't love! There's some beautiful ones there for sure.
    Very fun and adventurous country!

    1. Lol, we feel the same way! We are definitely in our element here, so much beauty and so much hiking that can be done, we love it! :-)

  14. Stunning views! Thanks so much for taking us on this awesome hike!

    1. Yes, the views are totally amazing and they would have been even better had the sky been totally blue but at least we did see the sun part of the time. Glad you enjoy the hike, I know that we did. :-)


There are more comments on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TravelwithKevinAndRuth

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.