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Albania Adventure Kick-off: Durres to Ksamil

Riding as a couple adds a unique dimension to our adventure. The beauty around us becomes more vibrant, the laughter more infectious, and the desire to embrace every second intensifies. It's the magic of shared experiences, where every curve of the road becomes a note in a symphony of exploration.

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Greetings, fellow 2wheelers! Rui here, ready to share another exhilarating chapter of our Balkan escapade. This time around the real Albania Adventure kick-off. Day 5 ( or should I say Day 1 of the real tour) dawned in Durres, with a promise of adventure as we said goodbye to the ferry tales and set our sights on the picturesque landscapes of Albania. From currency conundrums to stunning coastlines, this leg of our journey had it all – a blend of challenges, laughs, and endless stretches of beautiful roads.

A Not-So-Early Check-Out and a Quest for Currency

After three and a half days of ferry exploits and a few strategic detours, a good night’s sleep was like a dream come true. Our cozy haven in Durres had served its purpose, and with the clock striking 11 am, it was time to bid farewell and embark on the day’s tasks. First on the agenda? A mission to change money and acquire a much-needed sim card. Sounds simple, right? Well, let’s just say that English wasn’t the language of choice in this escapade, leading to a comical tale that had us chuckling. You might ask if the currency exchange was really needed out of the box like that. Well, here’s the heads-up for any of you wanting to motorcycle tour your way here: In Albania, we’ve discovered that most businesses don’t take debit or credit cards, so we needed local cash in hand.

Cruising the Coastline to Vlorë

With our wallets stocked and communication devices in hand, it was time to hit the road. And what a road it was – a stunning coastline ride that took us to the charming city of Vlorë. The beauty of the beaches and the allure of the open road were simply irresistible. After days of on-the-go meals, we indulged in a seated restaurant feast – a pizza! Not the fanciest, or a traditional Albanian meal, but it hit the spot as we soaked in the picturesque surroundings.

Albania Adventure Unfolds a Nature Paradise

As the wheels rolled on, a hidden gem awaited us – the Divkaka-Karavasta National Park. Over 100 kilometers of motorcycle nirvana surrounded by dreamy landscapes – it was like riding through a postcard. But the journey didn’t stop there; we continued until we reached Ksamil. Pristine beaches, relaxation, and a breathtaking sunset painted the perfect backdrop for our rest day decision.

The Wisdom of Rest in a Motorcycle Adventure

In the heart of a thrilling motorcycle adventure, the notion of a rest day might seem counterintuitive. Yet, as we’ve come to learn, these breaks are like pit stops for the soul, a chance to refuel our spirits and savor the moments that make our journey truly unforgettable. Balancing the open road with rest is an art in itself, requiring an intuitive understanding of when to pause and when to press forward. Our choice to forgo a traditional rest day in Ksamil was a conscious one – a testament to our desire to experience the breathtaking Albanian Riviera to the fullest.

Riding as a Couple – A Symphony of Shared Moments

Now, let’s add a dash of camaraderie to the mix. Riding as a couple adds a unique dimension to our adventure. The beauty around us becomes more vibrant, the laughter more infectious, and the desire to embrace every second intensifies. I can’t help but speculate that if my riding companion were Mario instead of Liliana, our wheels might have already carried us halfway to Turkey by now! It’s the magic of shared experiences, where every curve of the road becomes a note in a symphony of exploration.

Albania Adventure Kick-off: Durres to Ksamil

About Ksamil and The Albanian Riviera

Ksamil – a coastal gem nestled by the shimmering waters, where pristine beaches and a welcoming vibe create the perfect haven for weary travelers. As we rolled into this seaside paradise, it was hard not to be captivated by its beauty. Clear sand and turquoise waters? What’s not to like about it? Yet – Ksamil, while a slice of heaven, is also the priciest pocket in all of Albania. Don’t get me wrong, friends, Ksamil’s charms are worth every penny. The beaches are spotless, the atmosphere is electric, and the tourism conditions are top-notch. It’s a European dream in the making, offering affordable luxuries that beckon travelers from far and wide. But here’s the catch – as more and more visitors flock to Ksamil’s shores, the price tags might start inching upward. So, if you’re planning a trip, consider yourself lucky – these great deals may not last forever.

On the Road and Under the Hood

Now, let’s shift gears and dive into a little motorcycle talk. You see, I’m not the kind of rider who messes with his trusty steed, but sometimes, you’ve got to make exceptions. Just before we hit the open road, I swapped out the front glass on my Tiger. Those pesky cracks and mysterious noises were getting on my nerves, so I decided to give it a little makeover. Enter Puig – the aftermarket choice that promised a smoother ride and a happier rider.

The verdict? So far, so good. The new glass has been holding its own, and as the miles roll by, I’ll keep you posted on whether it’s a keeper or not. After all, a motorcycle adventure is all about finding what works best for you and your two-wheeled companion.

A Day of Unabashed Beach Bliss

So, what did our “rest day” in Ksamil look like? In a word, it was perfect. The Albanian Riviera unfolded before us like a dream, offering pristine beaches and a backdrop of captivating beauty. As we stretched out on the sand, the sun’s warm embrace and the rhythmic sound of waves provided the soundtrack to our relaxation. The gentle breeze carried away any worries, leaving us in a state of pure contentment.

The Language of Smiles and Gestures

As we soaked in the wonders of Ksamil, a charming reminder of the human connection emerged – the challenge of communication. The language barrier was evident, but it posed no real obstacle. With a smile, a gesture, and a shared sense of humor, we navigated our interactions seamlessly. The Albanian people embraced us with their warmth, creating an atmosphere of friendship that transcends words.

A Glimpse into the Sands of Time

Our day of rest also carried us through the echoes of history. A tour of the ancient city of Butrint transported us to another era, where the whispers of civilizations past still lingered in the air. Walking among the ruins, we felt like time travelers, touching the remnants of lives lived centuries ago. It was a humbling experience that added depth to our adventure.

A Day Well-Spent, and the Road Beckons

As the sun dipped below the horizon in Ksamil, we knew that our choice had been a wise one. Our rest day had been a symphony of relaxation, beauty, and shared moments. We had reveled in the Albanian Riviera’s embrace, savored the simplicity of beach bliss, and formed connections that transcended language. We are approximately 25 km from Greece but it doesn’t make sense just to enter Greece without riding it. We are going north next. through Albania then entering Montenegro and Croatia. Stay tuned as we journey forward, weaving our tales of two-wheeled exploration.

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