TET Balkans

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

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Ni3ous
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ni3ous » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:43 am

...continuing with day 7...


After refueling, there is another few km of asphalt and than I reach the last 40- 50 km stretch of off road until I reach Sarande which is kinda my final destination on this trip. I have to be careful not to make any stupid mistakes now that I'm almost at the finish.

When I create new tracks I usually make a good research of maps, satelite images, pictures and so on to really understand where I will ride and if its passable. This often makes me very familiar with the area, tracks and the terrain I am going to ride through even if this is my first time riding there.
But the section that follows was not created by me and was a nice contribution (not the only one in this Balkans section) from a Spaniard fellow Nacho or known here as macarroon. Since he already rode this route before I knew the area through the canyons is passable so I did not explore it in detail and did not really knew what lays ahead of me. Because of that I was really surprised with the beauties of this area and the trails. In the end this was probably the best section on the whole trip for me.
Probably because I did not know what to expect. It was beautiful in many ways.

Trail is leading west of Tepelene and starts to climb and leads along this beautiful canyon:

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The landscape is slowly changing its more dry and rocky ...it opens nicely and continues along the plateau ...

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When I reached plateau I expected that I would only go down on the other side of the valley towards the sea to Sarande, but I was served with some more views over the landscape:

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I loved every moment riding through the area. It was breathtaking for me. I had an easy paste. Various moments from this whole trip went through my mind. Felt like I came in some kind of zen state of mind while riding.

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And when you think you passed the most beautiful part than the terrain begins to descend into the canyon from over 1000 meters to about 400m above sea level back down the canyon:

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And later down to the river through a kilometer long sandy/rocky downhill until you get to the water ... It felt like I was getting really close to the sea. Temperatures rised to 35-36 degrees. When I got to the water I was happy as a pig in a mud. I drove up and down at a speed over the water to cool down my self a bit.

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Water is pleasantly cold and I take time to refresh. With the boots I step into the water so I can cool my legs. I pour water over my head so it cools me nicely when it flows down the torso. I was almost completely wet but the air was so dry and hot that it dried me up in a good half an hour.

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Images does not do the justice. Everything is much more powerful than it looks. Dead trees along the bottom of the riverbed which are beaten with high waters at the
storms ... The landscape at the bottom of the gorge is striking and different. Again I managed to get my self into a new environment that I have never been before. Such experiences are the driving force for the nomad inside me. Always hungry for new discoveries, new trails and landscapes to conquer them.

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From the gorge I climbed back in the hills to the village Kuç.
I did not understand a thing that was writtend (in Albanian) on memorial plaque at the base of the statue. So my conclusion was that this man had to be important and something special for the locals since they assigned him such a special place with a beautifull view over the landscape.

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I'm more and more thrilledd, because I knew that soon I should be rewarded with the first view of the sea after many days of offroading.

Wohooo! Sea on the horizon!

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I am descending towards the sea ... I'm getting closer to the beach and now I can already see it's beautiful ruby ​​color.

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Slaloming between the olive trees towards the zero altitude.

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I aproach to some northern less developed beach next to Sarande. Perfect for my TET final destination - there is gravel road leading right to the beach.

Arrival itself would not be something special, but knowing where and how I arrived to here, knowing how much perseverance was needed in the last week for this...
When I rode beside the beach, I queezed my fists and said to my self under the helmet: Yes! I did it!

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That day I rode 210 km.

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4 x
Roman,
TET Linesmen for Slovenia and Albania.

I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
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Ni3ous
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ni3ous » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:46 am

Since I still had two and a half days until my ferry from Igoumentisa is leaving towards Italy, I took some easy time in Sarande and surrounding for regeneration of my body and the bike.

Gave some care to this bullet proof bike:
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Patched the hole in my tube and patched some major cuts on the rear tire also:
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Really took it easy cruizing around town and treating my self with nice wine and great dinner in restaurant.
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Next day I spent a relaxing day swimming on a beautifull Ksamil beach south or Sarande.
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Later in the afternoon It was time to get to Greecce - Igoumenitsa and buy a ticket for ferry that leaves next morning towards Italy.
Best way is to take this small ferry to get to Greece and its also a nice experience.

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At the ferry port I met these blokes by coincidence (Phill and Matt) and who would guess, they were doing similar balkans trip as I did! So we had plenty in common!
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Matt also went on a same ferry as I did, so we decided to take the same Hotel for the night and we went on a party untill the morning so we almost missed the ferry! :facepalm

Party was way to crazy, :lol so I can only give you pic or Matt's nice bike :D

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For the end...
I managed to ride TET Balkans section in a really short time. That was not because I rode fast, but because I was on a go for 12-14 hours every day.
Progress was good since I ride these areas almost every year and I already did a lot of siteseeing in previous years.
I would reccomend to anyone to take twice as much time for TET Balkans if you are visiting these areas for the first time.

That is about it from my TET Balkans ride report.
I hope you all enjoyed it and I hope I managed to describe you some things that happened to me and the feelings that I felt during the trip.
Maybe I managed to make you feel you are on a trip with me at least for a moment.

Thanks!
6 x
Roman,
TET Linesmen for Slovenia and Albania.

I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
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Ni3ous
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ni3ous » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:54 am

And the video that sums up this whole trip.

Enjoy:

https://vimeo.com/223940420



.
4 x
Roman,
TET Linesmen for Slovenia and Albania.

I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
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trunkenpolz
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by trunkenpolz » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:32 pm

I was travelling along with you in my head while reading this. Awesome. Thank you very much for this perfect ride report.
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Ard
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ard » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:59 pm

Thanks a lot Roman ! You did a very nice job making us being out there with you ! Well done that man ! :handgestures-thumbup: :handgestures-thumbup: :handgestures-thumbup:
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Life is as good as you make it. Do not expect anyone else to do that for you.

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StefAr
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by StefAr » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:37 pm

Very nice trip report and a source of info for everyone who plans to travel the balkan TET! Thank's for sharing
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trunkenpolz
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by trunkenpolz » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:26 pm

Is anybody of you guys going to ride the tet balkans this year?
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Ard
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Ard » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:14 pm

Doesn't look like it at the moment :uhoh
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Life is as good as you make it. Do not expect anyone else to do that for you.

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Funbiker1
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Funbiker1 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:31 am

Danke Roman für diesen schönen Bericht!!!
Werde 2019 deinen Spüren folgen.

Franz
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Gedrog
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Re: TET Balkans

Post by Gedrog » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:15 pm

Really enjoyed it heading that way in June
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