So… The next couple of countries are coming up fast; Montenegro & Croatia. Today is Monday 15th and the plan is:
Tuesday 16th – Tirana to Ulcinj (Montenegro)
This might be a long day in the saddle but I have just had a decent rest here in Tirana. I’m meeting a contact at the British Council for a chat over coffee at 9am on Tuesday so this will delay my departure from the capital slightly (but I’m looking forward to speaking to someone about the Albania of 2013 so I’m not willing to change this!) but I will be sticking to the main roads between the capital and the border so that should hopefully speed me on my way. There are two potential issues that I may have. Firstly if those pesky sign makers have classified any of the roads between here and the border as motorways (green signs – see earlier post for my comments on these) I will have to deviate slightly from the direct route. Secondly, mountains! From what I can see on Google maps the route should be relatively flat although I do expect some climbing towards the city of Shkodra and the border slightly further to the west. The Albanian Alps (the clue is in the name!) don’t seem to kick in until you are east of Shkodra. I hope… Once I cross the border into Montenegro near a small town called Sukobin (where there is a hotel should I need it), I’m hoping to have time to continue to the coast to a town called Ulcinj where there is at least one campsite. Monica Piercy who cycled a similar route to mine earlier in the year stayed here and recommends it (especially the ice cream!).
Wednesday 17th – Ulcinj to Tivat
This is where it gets really technical. The dimensions of a mini iPad are 20cm by 13.5cm. The distance as the crow flies between Ulcinj and Dubrovnik is two lengths of a mini iPad. So that’s 40cm. My map is 1:300,000 so 1cm = 3km which makes the direct distance between the two towns 120km. My route won’t be direct, it will have plenty of wiggle so let’s add 50% to that which makes 180km. Two days cycling of around 90km? Tivat is one mini iPad from each town and has campsites so I’ll aim for that for Wednesday night. It’s a good job they didn’t have me working on the moon landings… Twitter contact Aleksandar Jahaj lives in the town of Bar and I’m hopefully going to meet up with him. He has also confirmed that there is a campsite in Ulcinj (just in case Monica was dreaming) and its called Velika Plaza. He also notes that there is a campsite further along the coast from Bar called Maljevik. I will however probably need to press on to Tivat. This may change…
Thursday 18th – Tivat to Dubrovnik
Continuing along the coast. Nothing complicated here I hope. As I will be taking another day off (yes, another one!) in Dubrovnik I’ll probably be in a hotel again although if anyone wants to suggest a good campsite that is close to the city centre, please do.
Friday 19th – Rest day in Dubrovnik
I have a journalist contact in Dubrovnik and hopefully I’ll be meeting up with him for a coffee.
That’s the plan. Thought, comments, criticisms welcome. They may be welcomed or indeed ignored but they will at least be read.