Author Topic: Tirana to Kefalonia  (Read 26447 times)

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Offline Jolly Roger

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Tirana to Kefalonia
« on: Tuesday, 29 April, 2014 @ 21:46:38 »


Now in my 70th year, I was looking for a challenge similar to my cycle tour of  the Peloponnisos 5 years ago. Next week I will attempt to cycle from Tirana in Albania back to Valeriano in Kefalonia, a distance of around 600 kms. Some sponsorship in support of the Kefalonia Animal Trust would give me some encouragement in this quest. For anyone wishing to contribute a small amount, can I suggest 1 euro for each 100 kms, but any amount would be welcome.
Pledge support here on GGi or make a donation to….
http://www.kefalonia-animal-trust.org/Article.aspx?articleId=120
and let me know how much, so that I can keep track of the total.




Offline Maik

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday, 29 April, 2014 @ 22:26:09 »
OK, 1€ / 100 kms - as long as you pop some piccies on GGi  :wacko:

Offline TonyD

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday, 29 April, 2014 @ 23:07:04 »
...of blisters?

Offline Aristarches

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday, 30 April, 2014 @ 06:30:09 »
Hi Roger,

Put me down for a euro per 100K.  I will let you have it in June assuming you haven't been kidnapped by the local brigands (or are they all in UK now?)

Offline KefieRosie

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday, 30 April, 2014 @ 13:59:41 »
Just donated £10 via PayPal. Good luck and hope all goes well

Offline Maarm

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday, 30 April, 2014 @ 15:09:13 »
Donated £16 via paypal.

My lucky number. Hope it helps keep those legs moving on the hilly bits

 :hi:


p.s. you're nuts   ;)




Offline TonyKath

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday, 30 April, 2014 @ 17:15:29 »
Terrific stuff Roger - take my holiday in Kef straw hat off to you!  :btu: :btu: :btu:

I'll see if I can get my PayPal a/c working and I'll PM you!

Hi Ari - nice to hear from you!  Before I saw your post I was thinking about bandits too!  Would make a great blog, Roger, but you might struggle to get an internet connection!

Tony

Offline Phil

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #7 on: Thursday, 01 May, 2014 @ 02:32:49 »
Best wishes for a successful & enjoyable trip Roger.
I know you like a challenge and I am full of admiration of you for attempting it.

I pledge €1/100 kms + a pint or two at the taverna of your choice when I am next in Kef.

God speed, and may the wind always be at your back and the sun shine warm upon your face ..............

Cheers
Phil

Offline Bell

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #8 on: Thursday, 01 May, 2014 @ 11:25:14 »
Hope you have a safe trip Roger. Put me down for 1 euro per 100 kms.
Always look on the bright side of life.

Offline Gill

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #9 on: Thursday, 01 May, 2014 @ 12:49:53 »
I  forwarded your message to friends and this is a reply I've received from an English friend, living and working in Tirina, when I suggested he got on his bike and returned with you.

Donation made.
 
Trip to Kef yes, but not by bike!  But we were thinking about it anyway. 
 Funny expat is invited to lunch / dinner in Tirana.  There are nice hotels (and nice hostels I am told). 
 Make him aware that riding a bike on the road here is not a tea party.  I saw some Dutch people the other day on the road and that reminded me I would NOT do this in Albania. 


Let me know if you're interested.
Good luck and a safe journey.
Gill

Offline Jolly Roger

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #10 on: Thursday, 01 May, 2014 @ 22:22:11 »
Thanks for all the best wishes, donations and comments. I know Albania has something of a reputation for being best avoided, but that is what makes it interesting. I think things have improved lately and they are making great efforts to open the country for tourism. I have had two bits of advice about cycling there, both from an Albanian. First, they are crazy drivers and cycling can be challenging, which backs up what Gill says. Second, there are many loose dogs which can be a nightmare for cyclists. Used to be like that in Greece, but they generally keep better control of them these days.
If I get back in one piece, I hope to be able to share some of the experiences with you all.     :pray:

Offline BeeTee

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #11 on: Friday, 02 May, 2014 @ 10:04:02 »
Good luck Roger. Have donated 10 euros via PayPal.
Will you be shaving your legs to reduce wind resistance?

Offline Jolly Roger

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday, 06 May, 2014 @ 19:23:17 »
Day 1: Crossed the Albanian border without any problem! We have driven about 400 kms to Gjirokastra. This is a beautiful town and is a UNESCO heritage site. Lovely traditional hotel. Apparently, the American Ambassador to Albania stayed in our room! I will try to add some pictures later, but resizing might be a problem. (Pictures just added, a view of Gjirokastra, the castle, the hotel and the traditionally furnished room).












« Last Edit: Wednesday, 07 May, 2014 @ 16:48:04 by Jolly Roger »

Offline Ian_E

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday, 06 May, 2014 @ 22:26:51 »
Good Luck Roger.

Just donated £10 via paypal


Offline Bluenose

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday, 06 May, 2014 @ 22:31:06 »
Great pics Roger. Being a total technophobe I'll pass the required Drachama to Mike when I arrive in June.Keep on peddlin skipper!

Offline Jolly Roger

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday, 07 May, 2014 @ 17:28:35 »
Day 2: We drove to Tirana and couldn't find a sign at the edge of the city, I settled for this busy roundabout. Not wishing to do battle with the mad drivers of Tirana, I cycled to Durres from here along a busy main road. A horrible ride of 40 kms. Also pictures of the Venetian Tower and Amphitheater in Durres.








Offline Maik

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday, 07 May, 2014 @ 23:14:34 »
Great pics, Rog. Have a good ride  :btu:

Offline TonyKath

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #17 on: Thursday, 08 May, 2014 @ 02:08:08 »
Sorry Roger - Like an idiot I missed the bit in your first post that you were heading off this week!!!  So will have to get that cash sorted.  :oops:

Triffic pics and it looks fantastic.  Somehow I thought Albania would be a total dump with no redeeming features!  That based on reports after the collapse of the communist government.

Go Roger Go!! :btu:

Tony

Offline jed.w

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #18 on: Thursday, 08 May, 2014 @ 12:43:16 »
Donation made via Paypal.

Good luck for the rest of the journey Roger.

Jed

Offline Misty

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #19 on: Thursday, 08 May, 2014 @ 16:04:22 »
Donation just made . Well done & Good Luck for the rest of the trip

Offline Jolly Roger

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #20 on: Thursday, 08 May, 2014 @ 18:34:57 »
Day 3: A 73km sprint from Durres to Fier at an average of 30.4 kms/hr on a fast flat road. Then a slower road to Vlore. In total 113 kms today at 27 kms/hr. Thankfully I had taken a high visibility vest which was needed on the National Road. Nice hotel on the seafront.
A few words about prices. Beer is 150 leke (1 euro). Coffee is 50 leke (30 cents). A decent meal with wine is about 7.50 euros. Unleaded is 1.20 euros/litre.
The rule at roundabouts is, whoever gets there first has priority!











Offline Phil

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #21 on: Thursday, 08 May, 2014 @ 18:46:53 »
Well done Roger.

That looks a great view from the hotel.

Offline TonyKath

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #22 on: Thursday, 08 May, 2014 @ 19:06:04 »
A few words about prices. Beer is 150 leke (1 euro). Coffee is 50 leke (30 cents). A decent meal with wine is about 7.50 euros. Unleaded is 1.20 euros/litre.

Bloody 'ell.  Looks like a place to visit and the hotel seems nice.   :btu:

Thanks for more fantastic pics.

Tony

Offline Maik

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #23 on: Friday, 09 May, 2014 @ 06:37:20 »
Triffic pics and it looks fantastic.  Somehow I thought Albania would be a total dump with no redeeming features!  That based on reports after the collapse of the communist government.

Thanks for all the pics, Rog. Bit of an eye-opener.

Best wishes!

Offline Jolly Roger

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Re: Tirana to Kefalonia
« Reply #24 on: Friday, 09 May, 2014 @ 08:43:27 »
Quote
Thanks for all the pics, Rog. Bit of an eye-opener.

Everyone seemed shocked that I wanted to go to Albania, but all the people I have met have been friendly and helpful. I asked a taxi driver where the hotel in Vlore was and he pointed the way. Later we saw him in the street and he greeted us like old friends! Always when I have stopped and asked the way, people have been anxious to help.

It is a country of contrasts. There are very poor people in the countryside trying to work the fields with only hand implements. There are poor people in the cities regularly going round the bins to collect anything that might be useful.
Then there are the new middle class driving the latest Mercedes and BMWs. In fact Mercedes seems to be the most common make of car.

Another thing I have noticed is, there is no rubbish along the roads like there is in Greece! They have more respect for their country.