I crossed into Albania late in the afternoon after buying a Green Card at the border, €50 for 15 days. Cash only with Euros acceptable.
My first night in Albania was in the village hall car park in Livadhja.
While travelling north towards Saranda, the nearest major town, I passed Krane.
I visited Saranda to find a cash machine and a sim card. Rates outside the EU are horrendous on a UK sim. Like so many towns, the streets are narrow with parked cars. This time I struck lucky, there was a parking space almost opposite the Vodafone shop and again very close to the bank for the cash machine. 1 Lek = £0.007.
I left Saranda on the coast road which runs across the cliff face and so requires one not to pay too much attention to the landscape else one risks becoming a feature of it.
There are a number of villages and small towns set back from the coast, this is Shënvasil. Donkeys seem to be a part of the local transport.
Water refill on the main road followed by an overnight stop in a wet and windy seafront car park in Qeparo.
In passing, Porto Palermo Castle. It seems to have a rich and varied history.
After starting the morning adjacent to the beach in Qeparo there was much uppey and downy plus lots of twisty and turny driving along the cliff face, I reached the high point of Panorama Llogara overlooking Gjileke and Drymades Beach. A climb of 3,420 feet over 27 miles. Close by is the entrance to the Llogara National Park.
Tragjas is close under the mountains.
Somewhat interestingly, although the northbound descent is mostly straighter, the road is in less good condition than on the climb from Saranda.
I left my Albanian overnight stop (don’t ask where, it was a truck stop on a main road) and headed north.
Arrived at the border with Montenegro. I got through immigration and customs on both sides with no fuss, pausing only to buy a Green Card (€18 for 15 days) and set off across mostly flat farmland with the mountains a few miles back from the sea.
After passing Podgorica (the capital) the road starts to climb and does so for most of the 55 miles to the Llino Brdo border crossing. There are a number of high altitude valleys which provide superb views. It’s definitely the kind of road where you pay attention or become part of the landscape.
On arrival at the Boznia Herzegovina Immigration and Customs office I’m told that as it’s the weekend there’s no one to sell me a Green Card. Very apologetic but can’t let me enter the country. If I get stopped or am involved in an accident we’re all in trouble.
They did direct me to the crossing into Croatia at Debeli Brijeg though. The road descends fairly steeply to sea level at the Bay of Kotor which is akin to a Norwegian fjord. The mountains drop directly into the sea and there are a number of villages along the shore. Sadly I saw nowhere to pull over to take photos.
I got to the alternative border crossing where the Montenegran Customs decided to check every enclosed space. Needless to say, they found nothing and I continued into Croatia.