Leaving an old world for a more ancient one.
by Dave Young
Last night was the first time we slept in separate rooms. We all crashed so hard we never made a plan for the morning. I woke up at 6 am in a panic thinking I was the last one up, but instead, I was the first. Phew! I got everyone going, and we left our cute airplane - themed hotels by 6:45 am. We moved efficiently through 25 miles before realizing we needed calories if we were to continue. We stumbled upon a tiny restaurant where the woman was only able to offer us a stew. It was a bargain and surprisingly delicious for breakfast. We stopped again a few miles down the road for groceries and fluids, finding ourselves in the bustling city of Lezhe.
Soup for breakfast!
Enjoying a grocery store pastry a little too much.
The ride continued along busy highways. Strangely, a fog rolled in requiring the use of our bike lights for visibility. So far, we have had only bright, sunny days. Given the severe heat we have been anticipating, a cloudy moment was appreciated.
So cloudy, our glasses fogged up.
With a couple of miles left in Albania, we came across a long line of cars appearing to be waiting to cross the border into Montenegro. We clearly didn't have time to wait in the sun with them, so we skirted hundreds of cars to the front of the immigration line. We crossed seamlessly and immediately felt the difference between the two countries.
Albania, while stalwart but friendly, was no comparison to the pristine and rocky landscape of Montenegro with vacationers in shiny cars.
Country number 3!
Sucking wind up hills in Montenegro.
If we were to push nearly 120 miles today, we knew we couldn't take too many breaks. Over several hours, we buckled down covering as much ground as we could before lunch. We stopped at a cute beach resort town, Budva, for some Cokes and more pasta. Yum!
We plodded along telling each other the next stop would be full of ice cream to motivate each other after such a long and hot day. We finally reached a stunning overlook where we were able to fortify our fluid containers and down some snacks.
The ride into Kotor was epic as we had to pass through the Vrmac tunnel, a mile-long dark and scary passage between the Adriatic motorway and the town of Kotor. We disagreed briefly about the safest way to get through it, but eventually agreed upon each choosing our own ways to cross. Fortunately, we all passed without incident and rolled down the hill into the magical town we are calling home for the next two nights.
We enjoyed a delicious meal, beers, and ice cream before heading home. Patrick has been suffering from a small abscess forming in his left earlobe and needed to be lanced. Don stepped up to the challenge and drained that guy before we all passed out - some before the lights were even extinguished.
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