Our first attempt to reach the park was full with obstacles. Our car was not equipped with good tires or enough clearance for such rough roads. Protruding boulders and potholes mark every few feet. We drove about as far as we could past a multitude of road building equipment.
A stranger stopped to tell us we would not make it with our car. After traveling a little further, truth reveals reality. We came to a particularly bad stretch and made the decision to turn around. Bunny made a perfect 13 point turn around. The drop off was life-changing. Just as we were a quarter way into the turn, we had an audience of four full vehicles watching. Patience is not a virtue here in Albania. The choir remained silent, surprisingly. Our prayers were answered but I bet the audience wanted more excitement.
After we chose not to go further on the tough road, the day still did not fall short on peril. A work dump truck slid off the edge as it gave way. The two workers said their prayers as the truck stopped. A group of trees stopped them, with their guardian angels looking down. This event turned their life into a new perspective. Their life-changing event turned the dump truck into a customized road ornament.
Today, we had a private tour arranged with a driver and Range Rover with a full body massage thrown in. We are grateful for our change of plans, as the ride was cheaper than a message in America.
The drive was full of beauty and and potholes. We past Beeches Trees and Pines. Wild weeds in full bloom and blackberries lined the roadside. Along the roads are signs of the last war. Round, turtle looking bunkers can be seen all over Albania. Walking down to a bunker to photograph it, a holdout from the war attacked my throat. A bug grasped my throat and held on to the back. No amount of coughing could dislodge it. Water helped as the bug made a quick exit.
The abundant springs, streams and rivers flowed water so clear with a slight blue tinge. Waterfalls can be accessed with with hours of hiking. We missed seeing many waterfalls as flip flops do not make the best hiking shoes on rock rubbles. They call them goat trails, so this old goat sat down and would not budge. I was coaxed back into the Jeep with promises of another massage.
We came to a point in the road that a tear out was needed, so we wait and wait. No worries, we are retired. We stop and a large bucket parks in front of us with inches to spare. Soon all the rigs are moved aside for our safe exit. Every time they do this, means it is time for another smoke and maybe another coffee break. The machinery performs a choreographed move to make way for passing traffic. Our driver works with these road crews so we get special privileges. A tap on the horn is a greeting.