Balkans 2016 – Day 31 : Permet to Buz, Albania

This is the most challenging day of cycling by far. My plan was to reach somewhere halfway to Berat and settle in for the night. The weather was marvelous again. So after a quick breakfast I headed out from Permet. Permet is a nice and quaint town by the mountainside that’s worth a stopover. 

The first 20KM or so was rather flat and ordinary. Mostly farmlands in the valley. Nothing spectacular. 

I stopped by a small town Kelcyre for coffee before continuing. The road to Ballaban continued to be ok with ocassional pot holes here and there. However after Ballaban it gets worse and it was totally upaved and very rocky. After about 30 mins of cranking uphill on these conditions I asked someone by the roadside about how far these conditions go on for. He replied for at least 30KM ! Oh my ! That would definitely  be a challenge. It’s too late to turn back now as going down hill is just as difficult to negotiate with my fully loaded bike. So I decided to push on. 

It was a hard hard day of cycling. The unpaved road were rocky and hard to climb and descend was also just at hard. Mid way I took a rest and break for lunch. I noticed after that I did not have enough water. I have been looking at places to refill. I have not seen watering areas so far. I check with a passerby it seems there are none. I saw a lake nearby and thought of the water but the local said it was not for drinking. At this point I was considering to camp here but in the end I decided to move on. After about 500m , I noticed my Gramin GPS was missing. It must have dropped off. So I rode back and finally found it laying by the place I stopped near the lake. 

After awhile I hailed down a car and asked if he had water. Luckily he had some. So I refilled and continue to push forward. It was getting late and I want go find a place to put up the night. I asked another passerby and he told me that there is a village about 5km away where I can get food and drinks. The village was called Buz. The bike and equipment held up well with the thrashing. The tires front and back seemed ok as well. 

I had a beer in one of the shop and asked if I could camp in his place. He says no but told me I could stay with one family. A boy came and offered a room in his room and we haggled a bit and finnaly settled for 5oo Lek which is I think 3 euros. Anyway the room was comfortable and had a warm shower so I am happy. 

Lions Project : RM 143.0

Good Morning Permet
There you go an Albanian cow
Metal bridge
Road is flat for first 18 km or so
Coffee Break
Off road sections starts right after Ballaban village.
It gets worse and steep as well. I am told its like this fior 30 KM. in the end its like this entirely to Berat more than 90 KM away.
Muddy off road adventure
Grassy by pass
Ocassional mini bus passes by
i am going there
Aiyoh very hard climbing la
A viilage at last.
My room for the night

Author: krankster

I am an avid cyclist that loves mountain biking, bike commuting and most of all bicycle touring. I am a freelance leadership coach and hope to inspire others through my cycling adventures.

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