Scenery at the town of Uelzen, Germany .
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hamburg, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? North to Denmark!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Well, that turned into a pretty good day!

It was 10:30am by the time we pulled out of the campground at Berat. A little later start than I would have liked, but not bad. Our goal is always to get parked up by 2:00pm, so we should have still been okay.

Our destination was Permet. Only 60 kms away as the crow flies, but the easiest drive is 170 kms! There are shorter routes, but they are recommended 4x4 only. We know that some motorhomes and campervans have done it, but it's really slow going. It turns out that we had some bad sections to deal with anyhow!

The first 20 kms were easy. But then we turned towards the city of Fier and things deteriorated quickly!

Yuck.

We had done this section of road in the spring and it wasn't that bad. But now they have removed the pavement on an 8 km (5 mile) stretch and with all the rain lately it's just a mess. They are working on getting it paved, but very little is complete. 

Farmland scenery along the way.
On the bright side, look at the nice blue sky!

Brutal.

There is an alternate route that would have been 22 kms longer, and if we had known it would be this bad we would have taken the longer route. Fortunately there wasn't much traffic because everybody local knows not to go this way!

It took us 40 minutes to do 8 kms (5 miles)!

A house built like a ship.

There's a for sale sign on it if you're interested!


Donkey carts.

After Fier, we took a road that we hadn't been on before. It turned out to be really scenic, and nicely paved. And, surprisingly little traffic.

Beautiful views.

Here is some of the scenery along the way...








We stopped in Tepelene for a late lunch. It was already about 1:30pm. We had actually wanted to wander around Tepelene for a bit, but decided to carry on because it gets dark so early. 

The road from Tepelene to Permet is fairly narrow and when we had been on it in the spring with the car, I remembered a lot of oncoming traffic so I really wasn't looking forward to doing it with Max since he is quite a bit wider. But it occurred to me that it had been a Sunday and there are quite a few restaurants along the river so maybe that had been why it was so busy. It turns out that on a Wednesday it was fairly quiet.

The first narrow single lane bridge.


The second narrow single lane bridge.

Hardly any traffic.

This restaurant and hotel is built on top of the waterfalls.

Clear blue underground river meeting the muddy Vjosa River.

We arrived in Permet at about 3:00pm. We had two choices... head to the scenic hot springs area for the night, or park behind a not so scenic gas station and go into town to have dinner at a restaurant we knew was really good and really inexpensive. 

The hot springs area would only have been scenic for another hour and then it would be dark. 

So we parked in the behind the gas station (which really wasn't so bad) and walked into town for dinner.

A few lights set up for Christmas.

Ready to welcome in 2022.

We had been to this restaurant twice when we were here in Permet for a week back in early May. The people who run it remembered us.

Salad, grilled vegetables, more salad, lima beans, spicy sauage, yogurt sauce, bread... and we also had a bowl of meat stew that showed up a few minutes later.

The home made wine is sold by the glass... a half glass, or a full glass. Of course we had the full glass. At 100 lek ($1.20 CAD, $0.95 USD) each it would have been rude not to!

Delicious meal, and we were stuffed. He brought us a cut up apple with cinnamon for dessert, and a couple of glasses of his home made raki.

Total bill including tip was 2,000 raki ($23.70 CAD, $18.75 USD, €16.50). Fanstastic!

Yesterday's drive 171 kms (106 miles).

As expected, we woke up to rain this morning, and it's supposed to rain fairly steady for the next three days. Hopefully they are wrong, but looking at the forecast for much of Greece it's going to be hard to avoid. So we've decided we're going to drive a fair bit (for us!) over the next three days and make our way down to Patras where it will be warmer. We will regroup from there and make a decision on where to head next.

So, this morning we are off to Greece! The border is only 35 kms (22 miles) away, but it will probably take an hour!

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And in Canada...

8 comments:

  1. In 2011 when we were planning our European RV trip, at one point we were considering traveling North (from Greece) through this very route. Once I saw some YouTube videos of other people doing it we decided that it was NOT the way to go. I believe at that time it was a much longer stretch that was your experience.

    We ended up cutting out Greece as we had stretched our plans too far for the 3 1/2 months we had. Interesting to see that the road is perhaps "more navigable" now.

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    1. We can't say for certain whether the roads we took from Berat to Permet were in sad shape back in 2011 but we know for certain that the road going north of Permet straight to Berat would have been very rough, even though it looks like it is a major road, so I am wondering if it might have actually been that road that you were looking at?! The route we took was longer and was in good shape, except for the part that they were doing the construction on. When we took that same road back in April it was a totally fine road to take, that is the reason we decided to do this route again. Obviously a lot can change in that short time.

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  2. That potholed road looks EXACTLY like the road to Barb and Sal's RV park in Mexico! (Hacienda Contreras)

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    1. Except that the road to Hacienda Contreras was a paved road, or at least it was supposed to be. This road was also paved when we drove it back in April. If it had not been for the construction it would have been fine. Amazing how much can change in short period of time!

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  3. That potholed, muddy road reminds me so much of Belize! I can't imagine doing it in a motorhome, but at least Max is a smaller one. Glad you found a better road after that. The dinner looks amazing, and what a great price!

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    1. It was only muddy and potholed because of the construction that they were doing to improve the road. It was paved back in April when we took this same road, they had been doing construction on the first part of it then, which is now all nicely completed and paved and they have now moved on to the next section. We had no idea that it was going to be in such sad shape this time around. Max handled well, it was just slow going and very messy.

      Dinner was delicious, and we loved the price. :-)

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  4. I remember you sharing a ship house before. I had to go look it up to see if it's the same, or if there are multiple eccentric ship-house builders in Albania. It looks like it's the same one. Such a unique house! I wonder if the interior is as quirky. https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2021/04/moving-day-we-are-now-at-beach-city-of.html

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    1. I am impressed by your memory, yes this was the exact same ship house. I took the picture again because I couldn't remember how good our first picture was of it. When you are driving in a motorhome you sit up higher and get a better view then when you are sitting in a car. We would also be interested in knowing what the inside looks like. I remember trying to find info on the internet back in April on it but I couldn't come up with any or any pictures of the inside. :-(

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