TET Albania and more Offroad Adventures

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MotoPet, Jul 2, 2021.

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  1. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    This is a ride report about the Trans Euro Trail in Albania and some more offrad adventures in the area.
    The ride happened in May 2021, so only post ride writeup.
    #1
  2. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 1

    The bikes get loaded into a Van, after a couple of maintenance days at my friends place. My partner in crime is ‘Waushi’ who deserves the credit for some of the pictures.

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    We drove from the southern part of Austria all the way to Dubrovnik. Stopped in a small village to park the Van and stay for the night.
    #2
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  3. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Day 2

    Almost ready to leave on the ride.

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    But we don’t get far. Before we left Austria, I have changed my rear tire. Must have pinched the tube during the installation. The tire is quite hard and you couldn’t see the flat. Riding was getting kind of wobbly quickly, so we stopped at the next gas station and fixed the flat.

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    The weather turn to the bad. And it seemed that tis was not enough, so I had another flat. Hmm, is there something in the tire? Changed tube in the rain and hoped for the best as I didn’t find anything.

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    After this we made it without further incidents to Shkodra. We wanted to run the TET from north to south, but the first stretch was still closed due to the huge amount of snow fallen during last winter.

    Found a hotel and had a drink.

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    The forecast was not good and we met some friends, so we decided to take a rest days and enjoy the city.

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    Albania has a curfew due to CV19. After a few drinks we walked back to our hotel.

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    #3
  4. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 3

    Our rest day starts relaxed with a coffee and some pastries.

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    As the weather changed from bad to good and back to bad and so on, we used the day to move with the help of friends to another sleeping location.

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    And went back to relax.

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    I wanted to make sure that my rear tire is not causing me more troubles. So we changed the tube with a new one. As the tire is quite hard, it was not possible to seat it with my little compressor. Easy solution, go to the next gas station to inflate it properly. Instead of rolling the wheel, we borrowed a bicycle to transport it.

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    For the rest of the day we scouted a bit through town. Found interesting car modification.

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    #4
  5. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 4

    The weather was not the best but we wanted to start. The track was not too difficult but we hit a roadblock.

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    After that had cleared we continued on the trail.

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    I mentioned that the weather was not really good?

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    But there where some nice sweeping roads.

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    And the weather is not always bad. We stopped early for the night and found a nice hotel a few kilometers away from the trail, but worth the detour. It has a great location in a side valley, next to a river with some washouts and it is popular with the locals as well.

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    It was not only my bike which needs maintenance.

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    We also had a decent meal.

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    #5
  6. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    just in time...i have been looking for ride reports like this one so i get some idea what TET Albania looks like. should be there by 1st week of August and will start exploring the areas around Gjirokaster. i ride dirt most of the time here at home and since i'm riding solo on a BMW XCountry 650, i prefer to do the easier ones.

    thanks for getting this on the board, please add the names of the places..... more pics better.
    #6
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  7. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 5

    The plan for today is to go across the Lura-Dejes National Park which is also a big mountain with several lakes along. As we get on to gravel road we drop the pressure of the tires.

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    Nice landscape and we can see snow in the distance.

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    Than the route goes up into the mountains. Sometimes the meltwater runs down the road.

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    Until snow stops us.

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    #7
  8. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    I will do my best to give you an idea.
    hope you enjoy the RR.
    #8
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  9. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    So we have to backtrack to the last village and go around this section via the next valley. We are just here too early. But the track we follow due to this, is very nice and grants beautiful views.

    All over Albania you can find small bunkers and horses.

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    The selected route does not disappoint.

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    Sometimes the trail follows old stone build roads which takes a toll on the bikes by rattling loose some bolts.

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    Others seem to dislike those roads as well and we find many choices.

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    Because there was rain for several days we still have a lot puddles.

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    Fantastic twisties.

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    We stop at an hotel near Elbasan and enjoy a drink which name reminds us of what causes us all troubles.

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    #9
  10. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    :thumb

    i appreciate if if you have gps tracks to share....:nod

    saw you already did TAT. next time you come to Los Angeles...look me up.
    #10
  11. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    The TET (Trans Euro Trail) is free of charge available from their homepage.

    Home - Trans Euro Trail
    #11
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  12. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 6

    It starts with a beautiful nice road alongside a mountain. Some clouds are hanging there and we are worried that we will be rained on again. Thankfully this is not the case.

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    Along the road we see some ‘casualties’, The scooter was beaten up pretty good, but we never found out what happened as nobody was around.

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    We approach a quite famous river gorge of Kanioni i Holtës which comes out of the mountains to the left. You can hike in if you want but we passed on that this time. The bridge used to be in much better shape. There is only one other car but no tourist can be seen unlike in normal times.

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    Along the valley are big erosion cliffs visible.

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    #12
  13. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Just past the small town of Gramsh the trail splits into a river bed track and an easier bypass. My companion wants to ride the river bed but makes a fatal mistake on the first meters by not following the car tracks. With all the best intentions, first pictures than help. The sand was sucking everything in, but he managed to get out without further assistance.

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    First river crossings are no problem. You could see where cars have been driving and the riverbed was not too rocky.

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    View down into the river bed which we are going to follow for the good part of the day. Before we really went into that we enjoyed the landscape.

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    After this we searched our way through by zig zag along the river. Sometimes following the line on our GPS, or following the car tracks or create our own trail. Most of the time it was no problem just very rocky and a few fairly deep water crossings. Nothing I would tackle alone, but fun, close calls included.

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    It seemed to take forever, so when we saw a road leaving the river bed we decided to follow that up the mountain. We only checked briefly if this road is going the right direction. Around here is erosion everywhere. The landscape is breathtaking and the roads are in between challenging and non-existing. Still, people live here.

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    That’s the view back where we came from.

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    #13
  14. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    The road leads back down to the river and theoretically across, but the water has done its part and there is no way we can cross it. Huge steps and deep water channels. We are so focused to find an alternate route that we didn’t take pictures of that. On the GPS it showed us another road on our side of the river, just we couldn’t find it.

    The pictures below is showing the road, or what’s left of it!

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    But together we made it up the steep road. I know it doesn’t look that steep, but believe me it was.

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    As we thought the big challenges have been met, more was coming. The road become quickly single trail or more a goat path.

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    At a crossroad we met a shepherd and we tried to find out which way we should go. We was keen to help but it was not clear to us what he meant as he was pointing on both of the possible tracks several times. So off we went to explore by foot.

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    This was the better option, we thought. The track was filled with sharp rocks and I got a flat on the front just as we could see another road below us.

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    After fixing the flat we had to ride down to the said road which felt so good to be on. Soon we reached a village where we rehydrated with a beer and borrowed a pump to check the tire pressure.

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    The rest of the late afternoon was without problems and we reached our destination of the day near Corovode by following sweeping roads.

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    #14
  15. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 7

    The day starts by following another river gorge and crossing some bridges.

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    On the TET GPX file is a Canyon marked to be explored and you could camp there as well, so we stop. Just to find out that the bearing of my rear sprocket is gone. It had made sounds before but I didn’t think it was that bad.

    So first thing was to fix the bike, and then a drink and after that explore a bit the canyon. The people running a small bar next to it where very helpful. It only concerned me that they have been drinking already Raki. This was well before noon. A tree stump normally used as a stole worked perfectly for my bike.

    With the help of the locals the repair was done fairly quickly.

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    #15
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  16. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Now it was time to do a small hike into the canyon. It is not far if you want to stay on the trail but still very nice to see.

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    The following route was easy gravel and some asphalt. Always with nice views.

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    On one of our stops to check the bike if still is all there, I discovered a rather unpleasant surprise. There was a small oil leak from the oil tank in the frame. Because it was small we continued on our journey but observed kept in mind.

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    We stopped at kind of a war monument along the road.

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    And followed the track all the way to the coast. Some stretches are newly rebuild or in progress, but others are still nice gravel roads. Finally we made it to the sea, where we stopped for the night.

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    Before we could go for dinner, I wanted to try do stop the oil leak with some liquid metal. Finding some cleaning stuff to remove the oil from the surface for proper bond was not easy but in the end we have been successful.

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    #16
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  17. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Very nice scenery, loving the report
    #17
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  18. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Glad you enjoy it. More to come.
    #18
  19. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 8

    We followed the trail towards the border of Greece. Nothing really special to report. The scenery is nice but more for normal tourists. The highlight of the day was the small pontoon ferry which is part of the official road SH81.

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    It was a cold and windy day. As this was the end of the TET Albania we sat down at a bar for a rest and discuss what we shall do next. Other guests told us that the border to Greece is closed completely. There goes our plan to continue on the TET of Greece. Our next plan, to ride into the mountains, is shut down as soon we see the dark rainclouds all over the inland.

    So we turned back towards the sea to stay another day at the sunny coast. The campground in the town of Sarande was our destination, until we saw it. It is a gravel place next to a totally destroyed building. In the end we stayed in town at the hotel Eleana.

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    We relaxed for the rest of the day on the promenade. The Town seems to be normally a very busy tourist place, but this time we saw not a lot. Still most places where open and happy to welcome guests.

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    #19
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  20. eaglescan

    eaglescan Borrego rocks

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    You did a great job of this report and the pictures are first Class. cheers from Canada
    #20