After making use of the valuable free showers on the beach in Greece we hit the
road again on our way up north.
On leaving Messolongi we drove past the Messolongi Lagoons and saw flamingos
which I was very excited about.
After a few hours drive we arrived at a free camping spot on a small beach near
the Albanian boarder.
It was only a 10 minute drive to the border crossing the next morning. At the
border we didn’t have to wait long. It was a small crossing recommended by a
German couple who said it was quiet in comparison to the other crossings where
long queues can be expected.
Our van insurance company wouldn’t cover us for counties outside the EU so we
had to buy a green card on entry to cover us for 3rd party. The officer at the
border didn’t really care if we got one or not. When we inquired he simply
looked at us and said: ‘if you want one you can get’ and let us through. We
ended up buying it at the cost of 25 euros from a little office just past the
border. I’m quite sure this was an inflated price. However, not being able to
speak Albanian and needing the insurance we went with it. We were also without
our breakdown cover for the first time, this also only covered us inside the
EU. Finger’s crossed we would have no incidents…
From the border we headed up the coast to Sarande and luckily the way was well
sign posted. This was a relief as road signs are new in Albania and both the
sat nav and maps are all out of date as new roads are being built very quickly.
In Sarande we stopped for lunch and had a walk around the town. It was
attractive around the seafront with the clear blue Ionian sea and flowers
blooming but the suburbs were developing quickly and were not so nice. I was
surprised to see quite a few tourists wandering around as you don’t often hear
of people going on holiday in Albania.