We've embraced the 'Slow' philosophy as a way of life - what's the hurry?. Taking time to smell the roses (usually on a glass of Viognier) is more our style. Having spent more then 3 years on the road, slow travel has become a way of life. We have revised our plans completely and now focus on quality, not quantity, slowly.
After leaving the Montenegrin coast, with improved
weather we headed for the hills to check out Ostrog Monastery. Our planned route was blocked to due to landslips, but as it turned out, we did a brilliant road instead - kismet! On the way we
camped in the mountains with views forever. Next morning a family of Serbians
drove by and were asking us about Boris etc. The father wanted to start a
drinking session with his home-made plum brandy. Even we thought 9.30am was a
The Monastery itself is quite
extraordinary, being built into a cliff. Apparently it was built by a miracle, which
simply means no-one has any clue how it was constructed! Unfortunately
scaffolding man was also there, doing some much needed shoring up and
Next stop was the beautiful and vast Lake
Skadar. We camped high above the lake in a tiny spot and enjoyed the ever
changing colours of the lake. Of course some passers-by stopped. Montenegrins
are incredibly interested in Boris, with waves, horn toots and thumbs-up being
very common. This was a bit different. First thing we heard was “It’s a bloody Aussie”
– in a strong local accent. Turns out this couple had lived in Melbourne for 20
odd years and had returned to live in the capital, Podgorica (Lord knows why –
it’s not exactly cosmopolitan).
We spent 2 days driving around this amazing
lake, taking photos, looking at birds, and camping in extraordinary spots.
For our Sunday lunch we had delicious fresh
brown trout, straight from the lake – simply grilled and accompanied by a
curious local wine. From the nose I wasn’t sure if I should drink it or put it
on the salad. Bouquet of vinaigrette is not that appealing, but tasted OK.
In short, Montenegro is absolutely
Across Lake Skadar is a constant and
dramatic background of the snowy mountain peaks of Albania. As it turns out –
some things look better from a distance. We are now in Albania and are not
It’s a bit of a culture shock, having a
very ‘third world’ feel to it. Bad roads, lawless driving, scrawny dogs,
bony-arse cows and rubbish everywhere. It’s the rubbish I find most
distressing, worse than Sicily.
First night was spent in a campsite that
was closed to due a death in the family, but they cleaned a room in the hostel for
us so we could have shower and hair wash and
Wifi. We spent today driving to Lake Koman. Disappointingly the ferry is not
running as this is meant to be the highlight of a visit to Albania. However,
the road out there was certainly ‘interesting’. Technically it was a paved road
but in such a bad state of repair we felt we were ‘off roading’.
Lake Koman - Albania
The town of Koman itself was screamingly
dull, so we turned around and drove the one and a half hours back. We stopped
for a quick lunch on the way - 2 plates of pork, some fried potatoes, pickled
tomatoes (yuk), loaf of bread, 2 beers, 2 coffees – 9 euros!
Tonight we are camped at the back of a
hotel. It’s a sort of campsite but rather exxy for what is basically a carpark
with electricity. However they are doing the washing for us, God know what it
will cost. There is also a sweet little dog for me to make a fuss of.
Tomorrow we go in search of the famed spit roast