So yes today our perspective of Albania has turned around completely (face covered in egg). Only 53km completed though because we got lazy and were convinced at Manolo’s bar to stay in Himare rather than Dhermi (which is 16 km away and uphill). It was amazing how persuasive Manolo and his friend Miltos were in convincing us to stop cycling. They delivered a series of very powerful arguments so eventually we succumbed and stayed in the bar thinking we can cycle uphill tomorrow, can’t we?
So tonight we are staying in Miltos’ hostel which pleasingly has a bike theme. He rents bikes out for mountain descents and has fast become our favourite Albanian yet. Miltos has a relaxed demeanour, speaks decent English and goes above and beyond to make sure your stay in Himare is a pleasant one. A good example of this would be how he drove me to a phone shop and stayed there for one hour to help ensure I successfully purchased a local Albanian sim for my iPhone. Trust me it wasn’t easy and without Miltos it would have proved impossible.
Currently we are at sea level in Himare but by tomorrow lunch time we need to be at the top of the Llogara pass, which is over 1000m high and 35 km away, oh and wolves live there, no biggy (remember I’m not a real bear, I’m an Essex boy, the wolf will win).
This is a relatively tall order, even for men of our physical capability. Clearly we have some work to do so if any of you were thinking of sponsoring us but haven’t, tomorrow would be a great day to do so as it would help us pedal harder and higher. I for one can’t wait to start tomorrow morning. I’m so glad I’m not going to have a lie in, then just chill on a couch watching Breaking Bad all afternoon…..not.
Here’s a picture of Miltos, our favourite Albanian so far. If anybody ever finds themselves in Himare I recommend you stay at his hostel. Top man.