Ruth and Max enjoying a beautiful rainbow at the Natyra e Qete Restaurant & Camping near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

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

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.

Here was our route yesterday...

50 kms (30 miles).

Not a very scenic route. Lot of industrial sites, and truck traffic. And then it was slow going getting through the seaside shipping port/beach community of Durres. We also had no need to stop at Durres again since we did a day trip there in the spring, and that was enough.

However, there were some nice free beachfront overnight parking possibilities south of Durres, as well as a new Big Market grocery store nearby. So that's where we headed.

Scenery along the way.

We found the new Big Market grocery store. Big Market is a chain of grocery stores and they are quite common all over Albania. Physically, they aren't a big store though, and this particular one turned out to be smaller than most. But, it still had much of what we needed.

We got through the cash, and I went to pay with my Visa credit card as I always do. I have done this many times at Big Market stores in Albania without a problem. This time, it sat there waiting for approval, and eventually a message on the terminal said "Timed Out", and it cancelled the transaction without spitting out a receipt.

However, at the same time I got an email message on my phone. I have it set up so that whenever the card is used, I get a notification. The notification said that the charge had gone through.

The girl called her supervisor, and they both spoke decent English. The supervisor said that this happens often, and we needed to try it again. But I argued that my phone notification said the transaction went through, and I knew how difficult it would be to fix if we put it through again and I was charged twice. I also checked my actual account online and it said the transaction was pending.

The girl was really nice, and I trusted her. I said that I would pay the bill in cash, and she agreed that if the charge was still showing by today, she would refund the cash. 

Sure enough, she was right. Before the end of the day, the charge was no longer showing on my account.

But there was another problem. 

We always enter all of our expenses on a daily basis into our Travel-Spend app, and when I went to do so yesterday evening, I noticed that there were four charges on our bill for items that we never purchased. We think what happened was that the girl had never closed off our bill while we were discussing the Visa charge, and she scanned the next customers items into ours. She must have noticed in order to charge that customer, but never cancelled the items from our bill.

It adds up to about 600 lek ($7.00 CAD, $5.65 USD) so we'll walk back over there this morning and see about getting that refunded.

We found a nice overnight spot. The hard surface of a closed up beach bar, so we didn't have to park on any possibly soft sand, and right on the beach. 

Max, parked up at GPS 41.245293, 19.518829

Just doing our thing!

Around dusk, this guy parked behind us and set up his fishing rods.

Ruth made a delicious beef curry with rice.

We're going to stay here and relax for the day. It's supposed to be a nice day with a high of 20C (68F), so it's looking like we'll go for another bike ride.

Nice deal on this Plant Stand.

And in Canada...

Nice deal on the new Amazon Fire 43" TV.


  1. That wasn't too bad. I thought you were going to say that you had some phantom charges or that your card was put on hold. Always wondered how you would handle that so you could keep going.

    1. Nope not bad at all! I also have a credit card too so if one is compromised at some point we always have an extra.


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