Wednesday 30 September 2015

Mirake to Dardhe day six 29/9/15

Mirake to Dardhe

29th September Tuesday 

day six Via Egnatia 
18 km
We have breakfast at 7:30 am and leave the Ballkan Resort to walk to Dardhe at 8:15 
Looks like a bit of up hill walking again today.
Last night we made sure all our cameras and gadgets are fully charged, in case we can't charge them in the next couple of days... Not sure what will be in store for us...

An interesting, and challenging walk today!
After leave the Hotel Ballkan and cross back over the bridge we walk on the first sections of visible Via Egnatia Road! 

The erosion and landslides have destroyed some sections of the Via Egnatia, and left the track with very narrow, steep paths in some sections
I went in "4wd" mode a couple of times!
 definitely not a walk for anyone concerned about heights today! 
A nice little spring to refill water bottles along the path.
Saw plenty of demolished bunkers and a few tunnels, of course Patrick had to explore! 
Head torch on, ready to explore... These two bunkers are actually connected like two letter t joined together... I guess the shepherds would have been safe in the event of a nuclear war...

The exploded remains of bunkers litter the tracks today, I think they've been demolished to extract and recycle the steel. 

We walk through the pretty village of Babje, walking past, we saw what we think is a little shop, with tables and chairs inside, we had a lovely Turkish coffee , the owners phoned a young lady who lives over the road who speaks English, she's on a break from studying psychology at Elbasan university, her English is very good, and we have a pleasant chat. They wouldn't accept any money for the coffee.

On the walk in the afternoon we walked on visible stones from the VE again, the hills start to become a little less bare and more wooded.

Stinky "doggy doo" vine reappears! I first discovered the stench of this flowering vine walking along the Via  Francigena... To me it smells like dog poo!

When we wave "hello" to people, they wave back and the palms of their hands are stained darkly from harvesting and cracking walnuts - ara

Met up with a lovely lady from Darde who showed us the way down the path to the school. I think she thought we were very amusing... Why are we walking? She fed me some fresh walnuts on the way down the path.

Arrived at Darde at 3:45, we were invited into the little bar next to the school, were given figs, grapes, and walnuts! Turns out our guide down the path is the bar owners mother!  Photo below is mother and son of Mustafa, bar owner.
The little  bar next to the school
Inside the men's domain of the bar. 😉
I had a strong coffee, Patrick had a Korca beer. Not sure if there's been many women in this little men's bar before! We were made very welcome. 
We're sleeping in the kindergarten room at the school tonight!
Had a wash in the toilets/ bathrooms... 
Mustafa, bar owner offered to cook us dinner. He and his wife clean the school and have keys to let us in.

Mustafa Hajdari : Dardhe ,  Librazhd   Albania 
Owns the little bar next to the school and will cook us dinner!
Mustafa cooked a delicious dinner of chicken, bread, salad, yoghurt all local food, 1500 leke including a couple of beers for Patrick and coffee for me.

 I shijshem - Delicious
Rush-( roosh)  grapes 
Kish- church 
Ecur - Walk
Fleme- sleep 

Head off to kindergarten room to sleep at 7:30 pm. The locals are still wandering around and chatting. No street lights here, and they don't seem to use torches much either!


 Darde School

Another option, but I don't know what it's like: 
 Floria’s (+355 69 21 39787, no English)  €20 a night

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