Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Peaks of the Balkans... Theth to Valbone 17 kms

We have returned from our hiking adventure, and will try to quickly get caught up in posting. If you missed day one, you can read it here... https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2024/06/hiking-peaks-of-balkans-day-1-theth-to.html.

Day two was the popular Theth to Valbone route. This is the most popular hike in the whole region, with many people only coming to Theth to do this route.

We were up at 6:30am with breakfast served at 7:00am. Our guesthouse in Theth had been busy, with maybe 25 or 30 people, but they are obviously busy all summer, and they had a good system for getting everybody fed.

After breakfast, they bring out the fixings for packed lunch, and you make your own. We had read that it was good to have lunch containers, rather than the aluminum foil supplied by most of the guesthouses, and we had bought these in Shkodra prior to the trip.

Lunch, ready for the trail!

The church in Theth is a common photo shot!

Heading into the mountains.

Notice the clear blue sky! We would end up having perfect weather for the entire trip. Didn't need those rain ponchos we had bought in England. 

Crossing another sketchy bridge, except this one takes vehicles!

As we climbed, it didn't take long to get a nice view.

We followed a 4x4 track for a while.

The company that we used to organize the trip (Balkan Adventure) had supplied us with GPX route files that I had downloaded to the Organic Maps app on our phone. So that was our guidance system, although the route from Theth to Valbone is popular and was quite easy to follow. Most of the trail system also has the typical red and white painted stripe markings as well, although not all. We are glad we had the GPS routing, and I checked it often.

A local woman taking her cows to pasture.

Looking down on Theth Valley.

Scenery along the way.


Ruth, heading higher.

The trail ahead.

There were quite a few hikers on this route.

More scenery.

Horses!

Getting higher, once again looking down into Theth Valley.

Ruth, on the trail.

Part of it went through forest.

We met another couple who were doing the same self guided tour route that we were doing, and we ended up hiking with them a fair bit. Casper and Demi are in their early 30's and from Netherlands. A fun young couple and we got along with them well. And they hike about the same speed as us as well!

More scenery.

Stopped at the first water hole for a break.
Kevin, Demi, and Casper.

Me, taking a break.

Along the way, some enterprising Albanian built this coffee shop for the people in the trail.

Can't get enough of the scenery!

Some people pay to have their belongings shipped from guesthouse to guesthouse.

Often, it is by horse, but if there is a suitable road, they use a vehicle.

Wow!


One of my favorite pics!


We made it to the top!

After four hours of steady climbing, we made it to Valbone Pass. 1,338 meters (4,400') of altitude gain!

We are definitely happy to be here! The afternoon would be all downhill.

We met this couple, hiking the reverse route with their four year old son!

Some people climbed a little higher... but our legs were done!

I was quite happy with the view from here.


Another photo opportunity, of which there were many!


Casper, Ruth, and Demi.

Ruth on the trail heading down.



This old abandoned house had some nice views!




Into Valbone Valley the path turns into a 4x4 track again.

And it follows this dry river bed for a while.


We stayed at Kol Gjoni Guesthouse in Valbone. Really nice place, with friendly staff. Had dinner with  a couple of single girls who had met up traveling, and another couple Ian and Julie from Australia who we would also end up meeting again several times.

Kevin, Megan (New Zealand), Julie and Ian (Sydney, Australia), and Jessica (Brisbane, Australia)

Demi, Geert, Kevin, Ruth, Mo, and Casper.

Geert and Mo were also from Netherlands, but they were only doing a six day route and so we saw them the next day, but they went their own way after that.

Our room was tiny!

It may have been tiny, but once again it was a private room with a private bathroom so we were totally happy!

Exhausted, we were in bed by 9:00pm! Because we would have what turned out to be the toughest hike of the trip the next day!

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Record low deal on this Apple Watch Series 9.

And in Canada... 

2 comments:

  1. More incredibly beautiful scenes...it looks like an amazing trip! What were the temperatures like? I was surprised to see the one gal from Australia wearing a down jacket - indoors?!

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    1. This area has to be one of our most favourite places. The scenery is so stunning, doesn't matter what direction you look.

      It is hard to say because when we were up in the mountains it was a little cooler then down in the valley but we would have to say that for the most part the temperatures varied between 24 to the high 20's C (75 to the mid 80's F). Most nights were cooler, hence why she had her jacket on but it was just a light puffy jacket.

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