Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Pilgrimage from Dajt to Qafemolle 11/11/07

I woke up to my alarm at 7am and was away by 8. I was still feeling a bit lost, making it a slow walk up the hill. It is always hard getting going again after a couple of days rest and I was also still getting my head around walking alone.

Then Steph calls…

She is also feeling a bit lost and is lightly entertaining the idea of coming again. But reason prevailed and she stuck with her better judgment. Let’s hope that’s not an omen ;)

It was a nice walk, slowly climbing. I had a great view of Tirana but this soon became annoying…it never went away! I can’t stand walking half the day and still being able to see where I started…

Finally I cleared the ridge and received a stunning view with deep valleys and snow-capped mountains, all bathed in autumn colours.. It was awesome!

The whole side of the valley appeared to be a military base and there were signs everywhere saying not to take any pictures or video. I couldn’t resist taking one picture of the signs just to be funny, and luckily that was all…

The temperature had dropped this side of the ridge and the Bora wind had reappeared, but luckily not as strong as in Croatia. I spotted a little shack that looked like perfect shelter for a rest but alas, it was full of water. Dumping my pack next to it, I went to go for a piss. As I was walking towards the forest suddenly it came alive and started walking towards me! A soldier appeared in full cams with his head wrapped I a cam scarf. He made me jump but when I made pissing motions he just waved me on. Luckily I had dumped my camera as well or I might have been in trouble :)

I could see the road I was meant to be taking across the valley and it was just on the snowline. This meant I would have a decision to make. I could camp in the valley, giving me an extra couple of degrees for the night, but meaning I would set up camp by 3pm. Or I could risk going over the ridge and hope that it didn’t continue upwards on the other side, leaving me camping in the snow.

I chose to risk the ridge. I started having second thoughts when just on sunset a fork in the road appeared. There was a shepherd there to ask but he didn’t seem to have a clue about my map, or about any of the towns I was mentioning. I took this as a sign and asked him if I could camp in his paddock. I don’t know whether it was his or not but he seemed happy to let me stay.

This turned out to be a good decision as it let me observe the traffic. I was leaning towards the lower road but all the traffic was taking the higher one…all the traffic being three cars :) But it made my mind up for me. Tomorrow the higher road it would be.

I made myself a little fire, ate dinner and jumped in my tent just in time. Five minutes after I lay down it started pissing with rain. Let’s hope it clears up by tomorrow…

No comments: