Day 15 – Friday 12th August – From Theth to Shkodër (73km)
The only plan for the day was to ride up the dirt track, out of the valley and back to Shkodër to spend the night there before heading to lake Koman the following day, so for the first time in quite a while there was no need to get up early. That doesn’t mean, however, that we got to sleep until late – we were in the same time zone as back home but a lot more to the east, so the sun was up and shining before 6:00, and our room did not have any blinds or shutters. It did not even have windows that shut properly, so I had spent the night under a blanket and a duvet.
With no alternative but an early start of the day, we took our time to enjoy the breakfast that was included in the stay, as copious as lunch the day before, and to wait for the sun to dry the track a bit. We had a chat with the Italians, who told us that they had had a hard time indeed to ride their bike down and that they were also leaving today.
Having loaded the bike and said goodbye to our host family we set off, ready to tackle the track. I am very happy to say that if you are expecting some thrilling tale of us pushing the bike through mud, picking it up from the ground repeatedly and generally having a miserable time, you’ll be disappointed. Despite the mud at some points, some poodles and several 4x4s coming out of tight corners too fast, we had quite an enjoyable way back. In fact I had quite some fun, and the bike performed flawlessly, swallowing rocks, gravel, potholes, mud and poodles without flinching. We even had time to stop and enjoy the wonderful views down the valley.
Back in Shkodër we checked in the same hotel we had been in two days before, went for a beer in the centre and early to bed – we were getting up at 6:00 the following morning to make it in time to catch the ferry that crosses lake Koman.