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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Montenegro

With the excitement of our first proper border crossings over we arrived in Zabliak in the Durmitor National Park somewhat jaded. With the Sat Nav becoming increasingly unreliable, in fact at times it was becoming a hindrance as turning up in peoples back gardens was becoming a hazard, we decided to turn it off if only to stop the annoying "recalculating" response we were getting every time we turned a corner. We had missed the turn for our campsite and were driving down the main town road when a dark blue sedan pulled up alongside us at a junction with the driver shouting at us. Thinking it was road rage I quickly drove on but this bloke kept pace with us, leaning across the passenger seat of his car still shouting. This must have given the impression of a slow time drag race down the main street of this town! I eventually pulled over and it turns out this guy was trying to offer us a campsite! We had a long and disjointed conversation with him and after about 10 mins he said "You follow me" and he jumped back in his car. We followed slowly discussing the pros and cons of following him and when we got to a junction he turned left and we scooted off to the right. Within seconds he was in the rear view mirror, flashing his headlights. We are now thinking this is a prelude to a car-jacking. As it turns out he was only trying to earn a living and although we declined his offer, to show there were no hard feelings he said he would take us to the campsite we were looking for. We regretted this decision later.

Kod Boce campsite

It was late when we arrived at the site so didn't take much in and went straight to bed. Next morning we woke to mountains all around and decided to have breakfast on the veranda of the 'kitchen' block. After about 5 mins we had some company. Hundreds of flies. In fact so many we had to run for cover in the land rover. There we were, cornflakes in hand, sitting like two quivering extras in Hitchcock film, trapped in our vehicle with clouds of flies gathering waiting for us to make our next move. Having both been eaten alive by bugs of one sort or another in Italy, and still having the bites to prove it there was only one question to ask.....do these things bite. My suggestion that Looby should put her arm out to see was quickly rejected so we went for plan 'B' which was to pack up and move on swiftly.

Kod Boce - great view, but fly city.

Our first day in the Durmitor and we got off the beaten track for a few photos.





















The place is absolutely magnificent and we only scratched the surface.  The people are very very friendly but for those wishing to camp, you will only find very basic facilities. The second night we spent at Ivan Do where there were far fewer flies. In fact there were no flies on Ivan at all as we had forgotten  to confirm the price of camping with him on entering his field the night before and subsequently ended up paying an extra few euro!

Moving on from Durmitor was hampered by the sat nav getting all confused again and we got an unexpected tour of the back roads of northern Montenegro which included driving through the scrap yard of a gypsy encampment....which was nice!




This rather erratic route lead us to the northern most border entry point with Albania. The crossing was a pleasant enough experience with the border police very relaxed. As we travelled down the unmade track we eagerly awaited the tar road. It never came. You would not believe this route unless you travelled it yourself. It was extreme 4 x 4 driving and as we were about to experience, roads are not Albania's strong point but must wait for the next entry.

Entering Albania