We finally left Peshkopi at around 11am, after some shopping for food.
Communication is getting more and more difficult. My bits of Russian are useless, and so are Hungarian, French and German. Some people, like last night’s receptionist, speak English to some degree, but mostly it doesn’t go any further than ‘How are you?’ and ‘Where are you from?’.
We left the main road that connects Peshkopi with Kukës and cycled down into the Black Drim valley. The pavement soon ended and the road became a rough gravel track. Our total average speed didn’t exceed 10km/h.
Many houses of the few settlements along this road were abandoned and crumbling. We didn’t see a single shop of any kind.
On the last descent my rear tyre almost exploded. It had worn out near the rim, probably due to one too many stones rubbing along.
Of course I didn’t have any spares… András to the rescue. He’d brought a spare inner tube that we put into the wheel. We also swapped front and rear tyres and taped the problematic spot. Frankenwheel was born.
We then crossed the Black Drin, or Drini i zi, as it is called in Albanian. There is barely any flat land in the valley, so we started inquiring at the scattered houses about the possibility to pitch our tents in their – hopefully flatish – gardens. Quite a difficult endeavour, as it was impossible to find a common language. Fortunately, some gestures are universal, or at least widely understood.
We are staying in a 3-generation household of 8 people. We received a fine dinner and are sleeping in their lounge.
Temperatures peaked at 42°C (in the sun).