CH3-02 Heading North

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CH3-02 Heading North

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Alex appears outside the hotel where he met Liz and Jacob fairly early the next morning. After loading everyone's kit, he lays an old battered map out on the bonnet of his Land Rover.

All of this is the Alps, sometimes called the Accursed Mountains, you can see it cover much of the North as well as into our neighbours Kosovo and Montenegro. I think about the pictures and think makes sense that photo taken in Tropoje. Tropoja is very remote part of Albania. Only ways to get there is to drive north from Tirana, towards town of Shkoder take us about 5 hours. From here there are two ways for us to go. Shorter way is to come in from the north - west from Shkoder through the village of Bogë good road stops here then onto Thethi.
Easier way but bit longer route is to travel by ferry across Lake Ligeni Komanit to the town of Breglume then by road to Bajram Curri. Then we start looking at Photos again maybe.
OOC:   Alex arrives with two vehicles an old battered looking Landrover Defender 110, and a Russian 4x4 of unknown parentage driven by a grey haired old guy called Lek. Alex is happy to dispense with Lek's serices if you'd rather bring the hire car.  
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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OOC:   When we get to where we need to be, we'll need a chaperone for the car(s) and it may as well be 'Lek' than one of us.  
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Andy Wade

Andy studies that map "Well... would we lose much time by taking the ferry?" he asks.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Alex laughs in response to Andy's question "honestly, only if the car breaks down on the road, but the seats on the ferry are a lot comfier than travelling in any car going over these roads, the ferry, it would be my most liked... preferred route"
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Andy Wade

Andy nods "That's what I thought you would say" he replies grinning "Makes sense to me.... "
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Clay shows up the next morning rested and ready to go. "Well lets get going while its still light."
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Image

Liz wears khaki shorts, a white tank top with a brown leather jacket over it, and brown boots. She carries her laptop bag slung over her shoulder. "I like comfy too," she says, also smiling as she skips over to the Land Rover. "I call shotgun!"
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Whatever the rest choose is fine by me.
Jacob replies.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Route agreed you bundle yourselves into the two vehicles and start heading north immediatly finding yourselves caught up in the rush hour traffic. Rush hour traffic in Tirana is a world where cars and Lorries simply ignore road signs, while pedestrians and bicycles weave through the traffic as though on some suicidal mission. On the other hand the fact the traffic moves at a snail’s pace makes the risks of an 'serious' accidents, both Alex and Lek seem to have the fortitude to handle the traffic simply by driving like every other Albanian, by driving slowly into the stream of traffic, and leaning permanently on their horns.

Outside of Tirana the traffic eases considerably but so does the road quality deteriorates rapidly. While the roads are constantly being improved (if the number of road crews are anything to go by) they seem to have more in common with the roads of India than Europe.

"In Albania if you want to drive anywhere outside of Tirana a four wheel drive vehicle is necessity not luxury like your Kensington Tractors" says Alex as he pulls into a Petrol station. Parking up by a free fuel pump Alex hops out and walks around to back where he starts unclipping jerry cans . "Stretch legs, look around, I top up all of these just in case, fuel in some places is not always so very good"
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Liz gets out of the vehicle. "Good idea," she says. "We wouldn't want to get stranded." She takes a look around, her camera in a small carrying case on her belt in case she sees anything she wants to photograph.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Andy Wade

Andy gets out of the vehicle he's in and walks up and down a little to 'stretch his legs' and takes the opportunity to have a look at the car's but doesn't wander more than 5 or 6 yards from them.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Both Liz and Andy get a nod and a smile from the petrol station attendant as he arranges fresh fruit in baskets outside the store.

As far as Andy can see both cars are old and battered but clearly well maintained.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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"Shall we buy some fruit for the journey?" Liz asks Alex.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Alex smiles and nods. The young man running the pertrol station smiles at Liz grabbing a plastic bag clearly ready to take Liz's order. Mirë se vjen. Si jeni?

He says welcome how are you says Lek, we say Mirë, falemenderit, po ju? he adds slowly so Liz can hear clearly.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Liz smiles and repeats the words to the young man: "Mirë, falemenderit, po ju?" She picks out the fruits she'd like to buy, looking for the freshest and most appetizing.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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The young man takes the fruit of Liz then says something to Lek as Alex walks up unrolling a roll of dollar bills He asks if that is all? says Alex.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Liz nods. "Yes, thank you," she says.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Albert takes the opportunity to stretch his legs and snaps a few surreptitious photos of Liz and the shopkeeper - taking advantage of the early morning light for some natural reportage/National Geographic type shots.

He thinks to himself You know, when this is all over Albert, why don't you take some time out and go on a little photography holiday. Jump in a car and meander around europe and explore the peasant life style he smiles to himself.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Alex pays the young man for the fuel and then turns raising his voice so everyone can hear. Please take five minutes and stretch your legs. After Shkoder the road it splits and we head towards the ferry but we don't stop now until we get to ferry as there are only two a day. He smiles adding "We do not want to wait at ferry terminal, waiting for next days ferry is very, very boring" he slumps pretending to be very, very bored.
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Re: CH3-02 Heading North

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Liz strolls around the petrol station. When she notices Albert snapping pictures, she smiles and strikes a pose, glancing back over her shoulder at him while she places one hand on her hip and flips her other one through her hair.
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