Day 11 - Theth to Valbonë (29th June)

After yesterday's epic, and in light of today's short and final stage, I was in no big rush to make a move, so enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at Villa Gjecaj, and chatted with a German couple for quite a while.

It was after 11am when I finally got going for the 1,000m ascent to Qafa e Valbonës (Col Valbona). There was a nice little café come drink stop about 10 minutes before the col, and a stunning display of wild flowers on the climb.
Wild rose on climb to Col Valbona
The scenery around the col 1795m was like a proper alpine mountain pass.

Col Valbona 1795m

Descending from Col Valbona
 Once down the steep zig-zags on the other side, I was soon onto the bleached white pebbles of dried out river again, much like the descent to Theth yesterday.

Descent to Valbona Valley

Descent to Valbona Valley
After a long section of rough track the trail did eventually hit tarmac right beside a large brand new hotel.

I made my way down the valley, past a few more Hoxha bunkers, until I reached Rilindja where I thought I might find a room.  It turned out to be full, so I just pitched my tent 100 metres away on the far side of a small river.

Camping in Valbona Valley
Rilindja Restuarant, Valbona Valley

I then immediately bumped into Germans Jurgen and Steffi who I'd met a week earlier at the summit of Bobotov Kuk, and also New Zealander Vicky, who I'd also met a week earlier at Zablak.  So we all shared a table and had some food and a few beers.

I got the low down on where to stay at Shkodra (Wanderers Hostel), and a few other ideas, like where to go to the beach in Montenegro.

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