Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Macedonia to Albania

05 November 2010 | Berat, Albania

Need Cabbages? Go to Macedonia.
5th October 2010
Berat, Albania.

Skopje, Macedonia the birth place of Mother Teresa and the capital city, what else to say about it? Not much! The memorial museum built for Mother Teresa on the site of the church she was baptized in is a bright spot in a very ordinary city. Four hours of sight seeing and we were ready to move on. Another bright spot is Bobby at the City hostel. The hostel itself is not as good monetary value as others we have stayed but had a nice comfortable feel and Bobby is very helpful. He rang Antonios Guesthouse in Lake Ohrid and booked a room for us and with the bus timetables on the wall, in English we had a smooth trip on to Lake Ohrid. The guesthouse was a great recommendation for our two nights at Ohrid. The cup of coffee and glass of homemade 52% proof Rakia as we signed in was a warm welcome.

Lake Ohrid in the South West part of Macedonia on the Albanian border is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe. Three million years old and 300 metres deep and is shared by Albania and Macedonia. The lake is 34 k long and about 14k at its widest. The lake and town looked and felt gorgeous in the brilliant sunshine. Yesterday was the hottest day yet for us, 20degs, walking the hilly town had me wishing I had packed a t shirt. I had read that this area of Europe has a lot of rain at this time of year, so was a little worried about how enjoyable the trip would be. The weather has been on our side, we have seen only one shower of rain and one flurry of snow the rest of the time brilliant sunshine. No more weather reports, I don't want to tempt fate and bring on the rain!

Today we crossed into Albania. Lake Ohrid to Berat , 8 hours of traveling by a variety of transport. Firstly a bus to the Macedonian border post, then we walked about a kilometer to the Albanian border control, took a taxi 8k to nearest town of Porgradec, a minibus to Elbasan and finally a bus to Berat. First impressions of Albania are of a slightly wild west nature with a modern touch here and there. Donkey carts, fields of drying corn stacks, old and new Mercedes, bumpy roads, lots of new buildings and a few large derelict abandoned industrial buildings. Not sure about the people yet, friendly but perhaps a little reserved that is except for any one to do with transport. Those guys are pretty vocal about getting us into taxis or buses at prices that suit them rather than us. At Elbasan we resorted to using my notebook for writing down the bidding between taxi and minibus prices. We eventually couldn't agree on a mutually acceptable price so we decided to go off to find the big bus further down the road. Sure enough it was a better price and we had just enough time to get something to eat before the bus left. Couldn't have worked out better if we had planned it.

We traveled from Lake Ohrid to Berat with a young woman from Japan, a strong and determined negotiator but she has to be as she is traveling on her own. She has traveled through some difficult countries for a woman on her own, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, India, China to name a few of the 60 countries visited in her 3 years (so far) away from Japan.

Tomorrow we explore Berat, the old centre where there has been a town since the 3rd Century when a fortress called Antipatrea was established. Berat has been ruled by the Byzantines, Bulgarians, Serbs, the Ottoman Turks and now today is a mixture of Muslim and Christian Albanians barely 10 years into democracy.
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ