Rain and Rats Crossing Kosovo and North Macedonia
Marie and Nil, now accompanied by most of Nil's family, had been forced to change their plans in Albania. Constant rain and thunderstorms meant that the weather was not co-operating enough to allow them to continue through the “Albanian Alps.” Instead, they had spent some time on Lake Shkoder.
The weather finally improved as the family departed, leaving just Marie, Nil and his brother Noé. The trio took a ferry up Lake Komani, alighting at Lekbibaj village, only a short walk from the point where they had paused their quest. As they walked, they quickly gained elevation. Over the next few days, they stayed with local families and once more enjoyed some great Albanian hospitality.
Their extended trek through northern Albania had not actually been their original plan. Marie and Nil had initially planned to head from Montenegro into Kosovo, from there they would head to North Macedonia, only crossing into southern Albania much later in the trip. However, Albania's northern mountains had proved too tempting and the itinerary was drastically changed. On May 28 they finally crossed into Kosovo, the 11th country of their trip.
In the town of Gjakova, they were joined by a new guest. Ursula is another long distance walker. She left from Ukraine and will be on the road for about two years before arriving home in Wales. Their first two days together were disappointingly flat and uneventful, so Ursula decided to push on a little further as they entered the hills near the city of Prizren, aiming to cross a high pass into Macedonia. Unfortunately, rain and wind forced them to spend an unpleasant night huddled with rats in an abandoned barn before they were forced back down.
It seems they finally made the crossing a day later and Marie and Nil are now in the North Macedonian town of Ohrid working out their next destination.