Days 29-30: Jess is a Wanderer spends the last few days in the wilderness before returning back to Tirana, Albania’s bustling capital city.
Wolvo has sustained some sort of knee injury during the shenanigans of the last couple of days so our final full day was spent walking from our house – 4km from Theth to Nderlysa – a small village with mostly flat terrain, suitable for one with a knee injury!
After completing a 10km jaunt and reaching ‘the end of the line’, we decided to head into Theth’s village centre – as we hadn’t really visited before – and sit enjoying the scenery with a local beer. It was the perfect way to spend an hour, taking in our surroundings and savouring the moment. Life will certainly be very different when we get to India in a couple of days!
When we got back to Maria’s, we were joined by some Italian boys on vespas, a Polish couple on a motorbike and a Frenchman who had walked 15 hours to get to Thethi. The house was bustling with stories of adventures past and tales were shared over shots of rakia. After all, it would be rude not to.
The dinner table was cramped as we all settled down to enjoy another of Maria’s feasts. That’s when Joni, Maria’s husband, got out a ‘guitar’ (or at least a traditional Albanian version of one) and began playing for us. It really was the perfect end to our lovely week in the wild.
The following morning, we packed up, stuffed our faces one last time and boarded a jeep. Instead of being bundled into a rickety old minibus, Maria had arranged us to have a private shuttle back to Shkodër for the same price as the minivan. Isn’t she a star!
The journey back to Shkodër was perfect. Our driver, Guiseppe, stopped every time I wanted a photo and even treated us to a lemon soda en route.
Arriving just in time for the 2pm bus, we loaded our bags and boarded the coach. Unfortunately, it seemed the 2pm service was an unlucky choice and we broke down around 20 miles away from Tirana. With the wave of someone’s magic wand, a mechanically-minded passenger seemed to be with us and with a couple of taps of the engine and some much-needed water, we were back on the road and only an hour delayed.
Having had no wifi for a week, we’d booked an apartment in the city centre where we’d be able to chill, do some laundry and get back in touch with the world before heading off to India on the 2nd.
Albania, it’s been a blast. I’ll definitely be returning and recommend everyone to do the same!