Have you ever heard of the village of Theth? It’s in Albania which is one of the coolest countries you will ever get lost in. There are literally no signs there to indicate what town you’re going through. It took hours and hours to find the border to Macedonia because there was not one sign indicating roads or borders. I guess a heap of garbage was an indication of importance but how can you know that in the moment?
Anyway, we had just made our way into Albania and found a campsite that had a lot of Dutch people. Apparently, it’s the only place most tourists visit in Albania. It had full hook-ups for big motor homes and an incredible restaurant that overlooked the lake. Anyway, met a Swiss guy who recommended Theth, a mountain village. He pointed up to the mountain this quaint little village was. I felt sick immediately. I don’t like driving on mountains but my boyfriend really did.
The next day, we began our ascent up the mountain. The funny part of it was, Albania became a part of the European Union which means they get new paved roads as part of the “development” promise by the Union (I assume). So, this narrow, snaky road was perfectly paved. Albanians drive like crazies and liberally drive drunk which I won’t judge because I used to able to do that in my hometown too. The thing is, they drove like death wasn’t a thing because hey, the road was paved. We made it to the top of the mountain which then became dirt. I guess we were about 3,000 metres in altitude and we then descended down into the village for about a 1,000 metres. The road was treacherous and rocky as well as really narrow.
We arrived in Theth and drove down a thousand shitty little dangerous dirt roads that could have easily turned into Land Rover falling into a ravine or a river. The boyfriend was determined to find the “center of town”. By this time, I’d had enough of driving, almost dying and friendly, calm Europeans that seemed to be okay with this mountain adventure.
On the way back, one of the 20 people we asked said it was fine to take the back road back to civilization. The roads protruded a few feet from the well trodden bike trail we took down. It was a total of 96 kilometers but took 6 hours to get down from. This was a common occurrence in Albania but this particular road was hell.
Long story short, if you ever dream of going to a place that is super challenging to get to but you wake up as though you’re in the sky while looking at mountain peaks around you, you’ll love this trip. Take a pro guide though so you can just enjoy your surroundings. Take your hiking shoes and enjoy the view.