TET Albania and more Offroad Adventures

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

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  1. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    i downloaded it to my Garmin and examined the routes including google earth....it appears the roads are rough and many just barely visible.....just like shown on your pics. someone also told me Albania TET is the most challenging all across Europe.

    a small bike, good skills and a riding companion would be ideal. reading your ride report already gave me satisfaction and don't need to experience it myself....:lol2

    i will look into Montenegro next.
    #21
  2. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    your pics show poor people know how to enjoy simple things and there to help. for many years and even to this day, many nationalities are afraid of going to the Balkan countries. all we hear are mafias and characters victimizing tourists....i have seen them in Sicily but they never bothered me.
    #22
  3. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    I have done several TET routes and can say that the Albanian one is on the harder sides. There are some sections I would not like to tackle alone.
    On the other hand the trail offers a really great experience that pictures can hardly do justice.
    A friend just did Montenegro and there is still a lot of snow.
    #23
  4. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    That seems to be a universal thing. You can have the bad luck and find bad people almost everywhere, but it is much more likely to find good people and I can definy say
    More examples for good people will come, stay tuned. ;-)
    #24
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  5. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    Brilliant!
    #25
  6. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    thanks for the kind words.
    thanks, as mentioned before, more to come.
    #26
  7. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    Good stuff, looking forward to more!
    #27
  8. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 9

    During the relaxing time we came up with a plan. Riding cross country towards Pogradec at the Macedonian border where we had some tracks to visit. Along the way we tried different routes.

    First stop was Gjirokastra which is one of the oldest towns in the country. We wanted to visit the castle but it was closed.

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    We wanted to cross the mountains east from here. According the GPS there is a road into the next valley and then a trail across the next mountain. We will see.

    The road up the first mountain was a great sweeping band of asphalt. Great views back into the valley we came from are granted.

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    In the middle of that field the road changed back into gravel and let through the gorge at the other end.

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    More gravel into the next valley towards a village named Sheper, where the trail should start.

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    At the beginning of the trail it was okay-ish, but we could see that it becomes a tracking trail across the next mountain. So we turned around and went further up the valley. We couldn’t go south where supposedly a better road would be because there is the Greek border again.

    The road was marked all the way to the end of the valley. From there it was only about 1km trail to the next village, lets see if we can go there.

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    #28
  9. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    The road ended in a place called Doshnice. This was basically one half fallen down house. Looking at the GPS the trail runs just next to it and below, so go check it out.

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    Nope, not going to try with a fully loaded bikes. I even walked a few hundred meters to see if the trail was any good. Finally we through in the towel and decided to go all the way back. It was still very well worth it. Fantastic landscape and a great ride.

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    On the way out loose gravel caught me in a turn and the bike swiped around as I applied throttle too early. No problem, nothing broken, nobody hurt.

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    Instead of rolling down again on the paved road at the other side of the mountain we jumped on a small road, at least it was marked as a road.

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    As we reached the main road we stopped at the next opportunity for a well-deserved refreshment. The bikes had a rest in the shade.

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    We only made it to the village of Permet before we called it a day.
    #29
  10. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 10

    The planned route leads us towards the Greece border again. Road is paved but situated nicely and crazy mountains are shown alongside. We turned off the main road in the village of Carcove. The first stretch was also paved and very nice. In fact we enjoyed this so much that we missed our turn onto gravel.

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    Most of the trail was not difficult, but some sections are steep.

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    The entire area seems to have a lot erosion. Even the roads are sloped sideways sometimes or become very small.

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    At one point we found an interesting looking old bridge and decided to check out the area a bit more. There are nice pools up the hill and we used them for a little refreshment. Very cool place.

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    The area has some hot springs which are set up for tourist and an larger old bridge. You can camp there and they have a little bar as well. We checked it out but there where too many people for our taste.

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    #30
  11. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

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    Bravo!
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  12. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Because the weather was great and the upcoming route led us into a remote area for a long stretch, we stocked up on food and drinks before heading back into the mountains.

    The last village we saw for a while.

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    The track passed by a fantastic gorge. The river has cut deep into the rock and is winding in S-shape.

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    And then I didn’t pay enough attention on the ruts formed in the clay when it was soft. Next I know was that the bike jump like a mustang and I found myself on the ground. I didn’t feel good and took a rest in the shade. Thankfully nothing broken except one of my footpegs. The bike has some more scars, and I knew that there will be colorful bruises for me soon.

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    It took not too long before we continued although I was pretty bummed making such a stupid mistake. They forgot to take back some machinery, or was it still in use? There are also very nice views.

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    The next village was still far away, so we decided to look for a camping spot which we found a bit away from the road. After setting up the tent for me and the fresh air version for Waushi we collected wood for a fire. That was done in a quite unorthodox way but successful.

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    We are at roughly 1200m above sea level and the temperature are dropping quickly as the sun sets. So we started the fire to warm us up and for the barbecue. Nothing special, but everything roasted on an open fire tastes better IMO.

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    #32
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  13. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 11

    The night was cold but as soon as the sun came up it warmed up quickly. After a coffee and a granola bar for breakfast we packed our stuff and headed off. First the road was easy and we passed some very small villages. In fact there where like 2 or 3 houses, kind of. We passed an interesting cliff and stopped for maintenance in the shade.

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    The quality of the upcoming road varied a lot, from easy forest road to deep rutted, hmm, I don’t even know how you would call that.

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    So we followed more or less the GPS until we arrived at a river. The car tracks let trough the water, but it looked very deep. I checked it out and decided that it is not worth the risk as the current was also quite strong.

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    Instead we can take the bridge nearby, or not.

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    We scouted the area for an alternate river crossing but couldn’t find anything. Then backtracking it is.

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    #33
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  14. NSFW

    NSFW who else would love noobs? Super Supporter

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    your day 11 continues to show how tough the riding there. lots of challenges and obstacles, and very memorable.

    great job in documenting and sharing your adventure.

    QUOTE="MotoPet, post: 42621090, member: 400143"]That seems to be a universal thing. You can have the bad luck and find bad people almost everywhere, but it is much more likely to find good people and I can definy say

    More examples for good people will come, stay tuned. ;-)[/QUOTE]

    same observation here and true in my experience

    thanks for the advise.

    hopefully in 2 more weeks, as the weather gets warmer the snow will be less of an issue, but i'm afraid the road will be muddy.

    awesome pic....not going to ask who was the braver rider to get across...:yikes
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    #34
  15. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    currently the temperatures are around 37 deg celcius (approx. 100 deg F) so the snow should melt quick.

    Nobody had to ride across the bridge ;-)
    When you look close you can see that the road runs past this bridge .
    In fact where I stood to take the picture is a the new road.
    #35
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  16. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Sometimes the road vanished, sometimes we had to overcome obstacles, but in the end we made it back onto our planned route.

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    What an fantastic scenery.

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    Although some people looked really skeptical.

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    There where again rough sections.

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    At a crossroad marked on our GPS we decided to follow the higher rated road. That turned out to be a mistake. How the hell can this be a road at all? Still we checked it out.

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    Can you imagine how steep this was?

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    And on the other side of the hill it didn’t look much better either.

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    So once again backtracking, taking the lower rated road and hope for the best. It turned out to be much better.

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    Soon we arrived at out destination for the day. We cleaned our bikes, found a place to stay on booking com and went for a drink and a meal. There was a big European Union party going on and everybody had fun.

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    #36
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  17. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Day 12

    Today we only planned to ride to Pogradec at the Macedonian border. So we decided to try to find a replacement for my broken footpeg. That’s how it should look like.

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    And this is how it looked.

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    This was taking us quite some time. Every place we asked pointed us to another town. So to ease our frustration we stopped for a drink.

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    After a long search we finally found a small shop which supposedly sells motorcycle parts. Never knew that a footpeg is so interesting. Seven people plus me are looking at the issue. Then the shop owner went to work and suddenly everybody disappeared. Was quite funny to watch. Anyway, he had only a scooter peg but made it work and I had again something to stand on. Success!

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    We rode back to Pogradec and checked in at a campground next to the lake. Refreshment and something to eat before we set up our tent and waited for a friend to join us for the coming days.

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    #37
  18. EGUS

    EGUS n00b

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    wow Motoped, fantastic report! I'm looking onto doing a very similar trip starting in a month with a friend (just the other way round, clockwise), your photos and RR are making the wait even longer hahaha. Till now it looks like you had a great adventure!!

    Looking forward to the rest of the trip, specially the macedonian part, as there is no TET Macedonia. Where did you get the tracks from? We where thinking about just taking asphalted roads to cross from Bulgaria to Albania, but it would be great to have some tracks and first hand info too.

    want to ask something, about temperatures, we are strugling about which equipment to use. Is it very hot to ride on a goretex suit?

    thanks in advance!
    #38
  19. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    great that you like the RR
    The track, other than the TET, was compiled by Waushi, my travel companien. I do not have any track crossing Macedonia from Bulgaria to Albania, sorry. You will see shortly in the report why.
    In may the temps where great, but still too much snow high in the mountains. Currently a friend told me that at the north end of Albania in Shkodra it had 37 deg.
    But hey, you're from Spain so you should be ok with the heat. ;-)
    #39
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  20. bombermonk

    bombermonk Adventurer

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    I'm the one who was in Shkoder, it got up to 40, even in the mountains at 1000m it was well into the 30s the last days. No snow in Albania, had a bit on TET Montenegro close to the Albanian border at 2200m or something, but will be gone by now or very soon, it was possible to pass through it.
    #40