Day 42 – Bay of Kotor to Shkoder

I was up before sunrise and what a view I had, the morning colours glistened off the lake. I cycled slowly around it, taking my time to appreciate where I was. I rode into Kotor by around 8.00am to have a cup of tea and relax. I had already done about 30km and hadn’t even left the bay yet! I was staying with a guy tonight from warm showers in Shkoder so had quite a trek ahead of me.

I headed out of Kotor through the tunnel and down towards the beach. It was packed with locals, and all I wanted to do was jump into the sea and wash off a bit. I changed and dived straight in, after a few seconds of just standing in the water, I felt a sharp pain on my leg like something had just bit me. It gave me a huge shock, and I rushed out much to the surprise of the surrounding people, a small gash was on my leg, obviously, something had bitten me. Well, that was the end of the sea swim!!

I had breakfast on the side before heading up into the hills and crossing into Albania; this country was entirely different to the others and quite a culture shock. Most countries along the way have just blended into each other, but this place was quite different once you crossed the border. It was more rural, and there was a red haze around because of the forest fires. I headed to the city of Shkoder which once I arrived was a mad house in comparison to what I had been used to, cars everywhere, cyclist cycling towards you, people walking out in front of you, it was crazy.

I reached my destination just before dark where I met Mikel, he ran a hostel but said I could pitch my tent in the garden and have a shower. There were other travelers there which was nice, and I got chatting to an American couple who had been trekking all over eastern Europe. Then a rather eccentric Bulgarian man playing the saxophone walk in who had a few stories to tell. There was no supper so settled for nuts and dried fruit. The evening was spent chilling on their balcony with a few others chatting away about Albania before settling into my tent.