Day 125 - Montenegro
15 April 2022
A long ride today, over 60 km, and a good hill toward the end. In hindsight, I would have seen more of Albania if I could. Maybe headed south. Done is done.
We cruise along. Easy, flat riding. It is mostly on roads and not unpleasant though hardly scenic. We see our first cycling tourist in Albania, heading south. We skirt Shkodër and cross the Buna. In no time we arrive at the border.
And that is it for Albania. I am not sure if I will get back here. Albania is up there with Rajasthan in northern India as the best place I have had the opportunity to visit. They are similar in many ways.
“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” ― Jack Kerouac
We climb and climb. A mountain range separates the coast of Montenegro from its rugged centre. We cruise down the other side. I am conscious that we will probably need to climb these at some stage if the cost road ends.
The landscape is the same. Sweeping mountains and stunning coastlines. Montenegro is so much different from Albania. The wealth is obvious. The infrastructure is obvious. Albania, while naturally beautiful, has a garbage problem. Apparently, the rich now favour Montenegro, and it shows.
“… what right [do] people in wealthy countries have to blame the poor for their poverty, much less for humanity’s environmental dilemma, when it [is] rich countries’ consumption patterns that [are] responsible for the vast majority of the world’s resource depletion and ecosystem destruction?” ― Mark Hertsgaard
We grab lunch halfway downhill to the coast. It specialises in slow cooked lamb. Roasted vegetables and potatoes. Delicious. We order our first Montenegro in Montenegro. Obviously, it tastes different. Of course, it doesn’t.
“Little Montenegro! He lifted up the words and nodded at them with his smile. The smile comprehended Montenegro’s troubled history and sympathized with the brave struggles of the Montenegrin people. “ - F. Scott Fitzgerald
We roll into Bar. There is a cruise ship in port. It is a beautiful little city. Not as polished as Spanish coastal towns, much more tourist friendly than the Albanian coast.
Our apartment is great. Decision time. Rain is forecast tomorrow and the next. A short ride tomorrow? Push on for another long haul and take a break for a few days? Tomorrow will be our fifth day on the road. We usually take a break at this time.
Petrovac tomorrow. 20 km and a decent climb.