Polar bear at the Toronto Zoo, 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!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Good news out of Albania yesterday

Yesterday was Sunday, and we had a nice relaxing day.

You could sure tell it was a Sunday in our area. Quite a few more people were out enjoying the patio restaurants and walking and cycling on the various paths that line the waterfront. Traffic was also bumper to bumper at times on the road in front. I can't imagine what it would be like during the summer season.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Kaninë Castle and a walk on the waterfront

Overlooking the city of Vlorë is the remains of Kaninë Castle. While the city is at sea level, the castle is in the mountains just behind the city at an altitude of 380 meters (1,250').

We had thought about walking up there from our apartment. It's only 6 kms (3.7 miles) one way. But it looked like there might be some hiking to do once we got up there, so we decided to drive.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

We are always on the lookout for a great free campsite!

We don't mind traveling the way we are. Renting a car and staying in various Airbnb accommodation works okay for us. But we would rather be in a motorhome! And so we are always in the "motorhome" frame of mind even when we aren't traveling in one!

And because of that, we're always on the lookout for great free campsites. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

A walk around downtown Vlorë, Albania

Beautiful sunny day yesterday here in Vlorë, Albania, but a bit chilly with a high of only 14C (57F). Still, if you were in the sun it was quite pleasant. A warming trend is in the forecast though, with the sunshine maintaining a presence. We'll take it!

Yesterday, our first day in Vlorë, we went for a walk into the downtown section. There is a grocery chain here in Albania called Conad, and they do some of their own store brand gluten free products, including bread. But not all Conad stores stock all the products, so we wanted to see what selection they had at the Conad store here.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Moving day. We are now at the beach city of Vlorë, Albania

We had to be out of our cottage in Berat by 10:00am, and it was exactly 10:00am when we drove the car out of the parking garage.

It was the first rainy, overcast day we've had for a while, although the rain was mostly over by the time we started driving. It's not a long distance from Berat to Vlorë... only about 87 kms (54 miles), but a lot of it was on a slow going road that went through several villages so it took about an hour and forty five minutes. And we weren't in a rush anyhow... our new apartment had a check in time of 1:00pm.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Finally finished at the dentist, and today is moving day!

We've been here in Berat for two weeks now, and we've really enjoyed our stay. In fact, we could easily stay longer! But, we have decided to move on. We are likely to return with our new motorhome one day, and there are still some things we didn't see, so we have a reason to come back.

Yesterday, I had my 4th and final dentist appointment! The job is complete now, and everything seems fine. And how much did it cost?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Great day exploring in and around Albania's Osum Canyon

We were back to beautiful blue sky weather yesterday. A great day to return to the Osum Canyon so that we could see some of the views from above. There were a few other things we wanted to see as well. It was lots of fun doing our river rafting trip yesterday, but it didn't give us the opportunity to stop and take photos along the way.

It's not that far from Berat to the start of the canyon at the town of Çorovoda... only about 50 kms (30 miles). But it's a twisty curvy road that goes through several villages, so it takes about an hour and a half.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Fantastic day river rafting in the spectacular Osum Canyon

We had seen pictures of Albania's Osum Canyon online, and it looked really cool. There are several viewpoints along the road, and we were looking forward to heading down there for day trip. There are also a few other things in the area we were also wanting to see.

Then we read that the only way to see the best parts of the canyon is river rafting! Coincidentally, April and May are the best time of year to do the river rafting in Albania, so we looked into it a little further.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Dentist update, and a walk around Berat

So, I went to my third dental appointment yesterday at noon. I was probably only in the chair for a half an hour or so. He was hoping to be able to finish the job yesterday, but one of the products he used has to set for a minimum of 24 hours, so I now have a fourth appointment, this final one is for Tuesday at noon.

I still can't believe the whole thing is only costing 5,000 lek. ($60 CAD, $48 USD, €40). He has a price list up on the wall, and of course it's all in Albanian, but the cheapest item on the list is 500 lek... 1/10th of what I am paying for my procedure.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Our travel medical insurance and other things

We had a time change here in Albania a week ago, and for some reason we just haven't been able to adjust. We're normally up between 6:30am and 7:00am every morning, but it was almost 8:00am when we got up Friday morning. Not sure what's going on... might have to start setting the alarm!

I wanted to tell you about our new travel medical insurance. 

For many years, we were self insured. In other words, if we needed to see a doctor, we would have to pay out of pocket. I know, most of you would be horrified. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Unfortunately, we didn't get too far!

In case you missed yesterday's late in the day post, you can read it here...

https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2021/04/dentist-update-and-berat-ethnographic.html

Thursday was another beautiful day, so we hopped in the car and did a short trip up into the mountains. Unfortunately, we didn't get too far!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Dentist update, and the Berat Ethnographic Museum

We published our March expense report earlier today. If you want to have a look, you can view it here... March Expense Report

You may have noticed that there was no expense for the visit to the dentist that I mentioned the other day. Well that's because it hasn't cost us anything ...yet! However, it's an interesting story...

March Expenses

After three very expensive months in a row, March's total doesn't seem that bad. It was still $3,665 CAD ($2,910 USD), which is higher than we'd like, but considering we started the month in Lushoto, Tanzania, and ended it in Berat, Albania we actually did pretty good.

And almost $1,700 was related to travel itself, so just under $2,000 for everything else. A little over budget, but not bad and you'll see why when you read the details below...

The Traveller’s 3-Step Guide To Keeping Busy On Any Adventure

So you’ve planned your next big trip. You’ve put together a jam-packed schedule filled with adventure and excitement, new sights to see and dazzling detours to explore, so staying busy should be easy, right? 

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

They say there’s never a dull moment, and though travel is an experience like no other, between those once-in-a-lifetime highlights you’ll remember for the rest of your life, you may occasionally find yourself faced with a little unexpected downtime on the road.