I've spent the past month cooped up in an office or zipping around the country in a car, chasing whatever duty the day brings. Not much time to really take a good look around and notice the little things that make this country special. Fortunately, there are others who have the time, the mode of transport, and the writing skills to do so. With no further ado, I yield my time to John Coyle who came here to ride a bicycle through the stunning scenery and challenging geography of Albania.
His prologue sets you up nicely to understand the whys and wherefores of his trip. His narrative of travel in Albania is tied neatly into one of the dominant features of his ride, the switchbacks of Qafe Llogara. His first entry leads from an unlucky breakfast of pace in Saranda to the base of the pass before starting up. As he starts up the pass, he weaves his tale of travel in with the hardships of riding up that incredibly steep incline. While tackling switchback #2, he describes the travails of getting himself and his bike into Tirana. Laboring up switchback #3 gives him time to describe the experience of Albanian hospitality in Korca and the surrounding environs.
The bad news is we have to wait for more of his fantastic writing. The good news is Llogara has five huge switchbacks so we can anticipate two more helpings of his unique insight into life here in Albania.