Monday, 21 September 2015

Sheper to Permet 20th September

Sheper to Permet, the last day of our Zagoria Valley trek 
Sunday 20th September 2015

12.7 km - up for 625 m then down, down, down 1250m into Permet ! Approx 5 hours with breaks 
( apologies for the font and editing inconsistencies, the blogger app doesn't always behave when I add notes and text...) 
Breakfast is a salty porridge of what looks like rolled wheat and milk, bread, eggs, cheese and jams. Patrick and Cimi enjoy and polish off their porridge, I have eggs (and Patricks egg) with bread. We leave at 8 am 
Saying goodbye to Dhespina and Evjenia nita.

Patrick's tummy not the best this morning... Bit tender and rumbling... 
We look at the Sheper Church as we leave the village, this is where Evjenia nita and Stavri were married.
A beautiful church!

The village looks lovely on the early morning light, with all the stone roofed buildings and grape vines.
Stopping off at the Sheper spring to fill up our water bottles! Cimi always makes sure we only use good water to drink.

We start up a steep slope towards the pass to Permet. The sound of sheep and goat bell ringing as they head off to their mountain pastures surrounds us.
The horse has fabulous timing!

The first part of the ascent is quite steep, thankfully it's in the shade this morning! there is a huge, narrow canyon. Lots of flocks of sheep.

It must be quite a sight when there is water flowing down it. It's dry at the moment, except for a couple of deep still pools of water.
We meet a few locals, shepherds on the way.

Then the ascent levels to more gentle meadows.

We stop for a break at 10 am. It's lovely and peaceful.

At the summit, Dhembel pass about 11 am 
Dhembel pass , we can see Permet far distance below...

Now the long descent, 
very rocky, with lots of painful loose rocks for the first half. My knees start to feel it after a while. There's obviously a knack to walking on these lose rocks that I don't have, Cimi doesn't slip at all! I often do a little inelegant slide on the lose rocks !
Cimi finds us some Mountain Tea herbs
Locals still walk this pass from Sheper to Permet, as the walking time is similar to driving along the road! Local heading up to get timber.
Yes, I do love to photograph the donkeys 😉 the saddles are fascinating... Good for carrying loads, and people sitting sidesaddle.

Stopped of at village Leuse, a quaint stone village not far from Permet. Lovely donkeys

Leuse has a beautiful church, similar in style to the church in Hoshteve. Opened with a huge key again.
And a fascinating entrance doorway

With beautiful frescoes, paintwork and ceilings.


The painted timber ceiling in the area, I think is perhaps the women's section because of the screens ...
So beautiful! Without the flash, it's impossible to see the details and colours, it's very dark in the church. Ceiling at one end of the church.

View of the church heading down the rough, narrow, steep gravel road to Permet.

Walking through Permet, we come through the the ruins of a military establishment. 
Cimi said it was destroyed during the civil, war in 1997... 
A fresh reminder of the fairly recent challenges Albania has faced.

We arrived back at hotel Alvero 2 pm had a drink and said farewell to Cimi, he's been a great guide!

Had a much needed shower, a rest in our room then ventured out to wander the piazza of Permet, looks like most of the town is out for a stroll.

6:45 Dinner, ( early by the looks... Most people still having drinks at their local bar / cafe) going to try the Restaurant Antigonea again...
I'm getting stuffed lamb leg with carrots, peppers, kackavall cheese and spices- 750 leke
Patrick is going to try the pasta with mushrooms 250 leke 
500 ml Korca beer 200 leke
Glass local merlot 200 leke 
I order a desert of Shendetli- cake with honey, eggs and walnut... Will be interesting... 170 leke - it's delicious. A little like a walnut torte with honey syrup.

We also buy some books, packets of colouring pencils and other school equipment for the 5 children at Limar school. Cimi will take them to the school for us.

Good night again, off to Gjirokaster tomorrow morning on the local furgon at 7 am.