TET Balkans

Dramas, anectodes, and fairytales. Cock-and-bull stories, too.

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kurveloto
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by kurveloto » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:43 am

I found on the internet also this track. What do you think about it?

https://www.wikiloc.com/trail-bike-trai ... 14-9522044
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Ni3ous
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ni3ous » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:38 pm

This one is not related to TET.
After quick check its mostly asphalted but it has few nice things included.
The rest is hard to tell.
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Roman,
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by macarron » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:08 pm

kurveloto wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:43 am
I found on the internet also this track. What do you think about it?

https://www.wikiloc.com/trail-bike-trai ... 14-9522044
As author of the track I can tell you that it actually was the basis of the TET in the Balkans as soon as this project was started. Then came Ni3ous and introduced some modifications (he and I chatted about it on facebook before this forum was launched). For more details, you can check my whole trip on this blog:

https://nachotrips.blogspot.com.es/2014 ... intro.html

I don't know why Ni3ous wants to discredit my track by saying that it is mostly asphalted, especially when our tracks share many stretches (!). Anyway, there are many routes in the Balkans area and I am not going to say if mine or other's is best. For those interested in these countries , my other tracks on wikiloc may be helpful. https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/user.do?id=123005
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Ni3ous
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ni3ous » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:53 pm

Hey macarron! I am glad you answered here! I did not realize these tracks from link on wikiloc are yours after a brief check. I apologise for that. It is true I got some stretches from you but until now I did not realize that its about the same person since I remember you under the nick Nacho and not macarron or Nekay (as on wikiloc). Best part I took from you that I really remember was strech about 50 km before Knin and about 50 km through dry river bed before Sarande which was one of the best sections. Also central Albania was very helpfull. Most of the TET Balkans was collected out of gpx from my previous trips and from contributions from others also. Checked also MNE section which is on some sections very similar but was contributed completely from the locals of MNE. Trails used in TET Balkans are not new and were ridden before and were used before and will be used after us also. I dont know how you managed to find and create these trails but for sure some sections are high quality. Thank you for your great contribution to make TET Balkans even better.
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by macarron » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:48 am

I know different names and nicknames may cause confusion, that expains everything. I am enjoying your ride report stage after stage and I want to thank you for the information you are giving, especially that about mined fields :uhoh . Can't wait for more ride reports like yours!
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ni3ous » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:22 pm

trunkenpolz wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:22 pm
What tires did you use?
I used Mitas C17 front and Dunlop D606 rear. My best combo on Tenere was C17 front and C02 rear. Great grip and will last for about 3000 km of very dynamic riding.


--

To continue with report...

TET Balkans

Day 6, Fushe Lure, Albania, chrome mine ...

I woke up before dawn. Uhh would not bother me if I would sleep some more... Partially tired, partially uplifted, I opened the door lock that protected me from the bears and the view opened down the valley ... miners have their workplace on a beautiful place.

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I collect what's mine inside container and try to clean a bit before I leave. ... there I look at the bonnet from the excavator, exhaust, fuel tank behind me, oil canisters...It makes no sense to clean, I think it's in better order than at my arrival.

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Outside is pleasant air, mountainous but summery fresh. I look down to the miners place below, where everything is still quiet. Miners are still sleeping.

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I decide to explore the mine a bit... but not too deep.

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Asim told me previous evening that the water runs nonstop from the mine, as a result of mining every other day. Water is affected from detonation shakes and is coming to the surface from the ground, and then flowing from the mine in the form of a beautiful stream. He also said that the water is clean and drinkable, so I do the morning face wash in the stream at the entrance to the mine.

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Entrance to the mine on the left ... I would imagined more than a small simple entrance, but in fact it is so.

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Can you imagine how much material was shoveled to get it in this shape? I guess none of us will do it in our entire life.

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Dining room where we spent the previous night hanging around, a bench on each side, a sofa where I sit. All very basic but very clean and tidy. Room behind TV is a kitchen, which is also very clean and organized.

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I made a soup for breakfast to warm me up.



In the meantime, Asim (on right) got up also. Sun is still behind the horizon ...

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We had a nice morning chat. We were glad that we met.
The relationship was very reciprocal. I gave them food and they sheltered me.
We greatly enriched our time together, so we were all very happy.
I did not have the feeling that I should have offered them money because they accepted me. It seemed to me that would ruin everything.
We had mutual benefits and we all liked the time we spent together.

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When I'm ready to go, miners come from their jobs around the yard and politely say goodbye to me.

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Before the morning sun reaches me, I have my bike saddled and I am ready to ride on!

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So happy that I can continue the trip. Really curious what the day will bring.


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It was great feeling beeing back on a trail again.. The day was very nice, perfect for riding. I slowly follow the road to the valley and in the meantime I'm thinking of what would be my final destination for this trip.... I decide to consider the coastal city of Saranda as the final destination, since its down south, close to the Greece border and what is left is only asphalt to the Greece, so no need to recce that section. I decide that my final TET BALKANS target is the beach in Sarande.

In the meantime, I'm already warming up a bit and I fell in the rhythm. I try to drive an hour without a stop.

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But too often I come to such a beautiful place that I want to make a couple of pictures.

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Beware of trucks! They always roll slow, but they can take whole road and you can meet them literally everywhere, even where trail ie really tough.
Dont want to be surprised behind the corner.

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I'm making good progress through Selishte towards Shupenze, where fair took place in a small village by the road.

I take it slower and I look at interesting things in terms of what they sell ... even finding old rusty twisted nails.

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Guy on a left seems to be trying to make a deal :D

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I find the TET project useful because it also brings money to the countryside, to less developed and more remote areas. This is definitely good for local people.

I stopped for food re-supply.
I also bought new socks and diched old ones, since I usually only carry two pairs on a trip and just buy new ones when needed.

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From town Shupenze on, TET leads to the east and for some time runs right along the Macedonian border. If I crossed the stream, I would be in Macedonia.


The path continues on endless unpaved sections. The province in this area and the roads in Albania are different than those in CRO, BiH or MNE. MNE has the main advantage of an incredibly beautiful mountain, while Albania feels more remote with less developed places which are connected with enormous kilometers of unpaved roads. Albania can easily serve 100-150 or more kilometers of uninterrupted sections outside asphalt.

Niceee!

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THE bike!
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Librazd is the first proper town since I left Rreshen about 24 hrs ago. From Rreshen to Librazd is 210 km and I do not recall any asphalt in between. If it was any It was really little, since I cant remember any.

In the Librazhd I sit in a shade in a cozy café on the corner along a very lively street. Across the street is a very busy Burekdžinica. Locals know best what's good in their town so I go there twice to get burek. So I enjoyed my rest in a bar with ice tea and wifi for an hour while eating tasty burek.

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From Librazd TET track leads across Elbasan, which is asphalt section and to tell you the truth I was happy to rest for about 20 kilometers on it after all offroad in last 24 hrs. I avoided Elbasan since there is nothing I needed there. The trail after Elbasan runs south along the slopes of the lower mountains.
Towards the south I knew that I would approach one canyon with river... perhaps a great place for chill and swimming.
With a little effort I find where the canyon is and I managed to aproach to the bridge ...

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But this does not seem to be in use really. Would not dare even walking on it.



I planed to have a comfortable rest with a swim here. I reached for my beer I bought for this purpose and for this place that same morning, because this destination was somehow a turning point on my trip in terms of - I already covered the most demanding and remotest sections. Now it's going to be easier and more relaxed. I opened the beer...


.... when I hear a hysterical screaming. The sound came from the canyon. I do not understand anything, but it does not seem all right. I go all the way to the water and I can see some 50-70 meters deep in the canyon where there are two little girls on the rock about 4 and 10 years old. There is water around them, the rocks are overhanging, all looked dangerous ... older girl hysterically called for some name again and again and looking around in the water. I think they need help, but because of language barrier I did not understand a thing...
I'm here for the first time, I do not know what's going on, I am not familiar with the canyon, I do not know the depth of the water because the water is not clear. I do not know if there are some underwater syphons or currents. I did not know anything about the given situation and what are the dangers, and many have already been pulled under the water because of not understanding the situation or underestimating the dangers.

This thing is serious, I threw that beer on the ground and jumped on a motorcycle, because I remembered that some 500 meters back I saw one mid aged local guy who sat in the shade in front of the house. He must be local who understands Albanian language and certainly knows the potential dangers of the canyon if there are any. Luckily he was still in the yard. But how can I explain to him what the hell I want from him? I almost dragged him with me back to the entrance of the canyon. When he realized what is going on he was already in the water by the knees. He did not want to go inside the canyon, he says I have to go with him.
It seemed natural for me to help I just needed to get rif of my heavy gear first since I was still in full motorcycle protective equipment and in deep water I would probaly just sink because of the weight of wet gear and boots.
I only needed few seconds to get rid all of the clothing and imediately I was right behind him in the water ...
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Kamo » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:31 pm

Thanks for sharing! Really inspiring :studyinggray:
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Schussboelie » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:26 am

Holy cliffhanger Batman!!! :scared-eek:
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Oleksii » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:11 pm

Roman, it's freaking awesome!!
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by trunkenpolz » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:24 pm

thanks again for the awesome story!!
can't wait to start my TET trip (exactly the same part as you rode) in late may <3 <3 <3
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