One of the most epic ways in Europe to start a hike: authentic ferry, frightening drop-off, Midieval village crossing and an unforgettable camping spot. This is Day 1 of a 5-day tour. Don't be fooled by the statistics of the hike, the experience can't be captured in numbers.
We (a group of 9 friends) took our van from the abandoned hotel of Villa Franceze in Komani and drove a few kilometers up to the dam in the morning. We drove through the small tunnel first for the bagage drop off and then parked it back in front of the tunnel to leave it there for a week. The Dragobi ferry took us to the Briça drop-off: nothing more than a table-sized rocky beach at the foot of a steep cliff. Path is very steep but marked with red and white stripes.
Having done over a dozen hikes all over the world, only the start of the North Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, in Canada in 2010 matched this beginning. And it rains the same in both places.
Do not try this if you are affraid of heights or gererally unexperienced. It kicks in enough as it is even when you know what to expect. There only is a 50:000 paper map available with Huber Kartographie, a new print promised this year, 2019. Take a battery pack and this Outdoor Active Map on your mobile, but make sure to know the mountains by heart by studying them on Google earth upfront.
Have your backback with tent and food for at least 2 days. Civilization won't be back until Lumi I Shales. Make sure to take a tarp and walking poles too, the terrain and weather are unforgiving.
Weitere Infos und Links
Ricardo from Zublo! is the best. He helps out whenever you need advise or guidance. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and even better: book your tour with him!
You can e-mail Dragobi ferry upfront with GPS coordinates. On the boat, ask the captain for a drop-off at Briça, pronounced "Britja". They will smile at the foresight of seeing your face there. It is about a 2 hours boat ride, with many stops to provide the locals with the bare necessaties. (204 m)
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Make sure to stop at this beautiful meadow at the end of this trail if it is passed 15h. It will be another 2-3 hours before the next camping spot.
Once the captain has dropped you off (in 45 seconds, no time to reconsider) it is a pretty impressive climb up the wall. Villagers do it often as one of only two ways to get in touch with the outside world. Even donkeys walk the path, although probably not all the way down to the lake. On this side of the mountain pass, the path is marked in red and white stripes and the people did a good job at it (as opposed to the blue and white stripes on the other side of the mountain). You need to cross the small village over a muddy path (5 houses and a few pigs) and than walk up to the spring where you can refill bottles. There is enough water in May throughout the trail to supply constantly. Preferably use a (Katadyn 1L bag-) filter if you do not tab directly from a spring (quite some domestic animals walking everywhere). Using the top of Maja Arguerit as an orientation point, we took a left at the first fork just past the spring and ended up at an amazing and large meadow with a small ruin, where we set up camp around 15h already. Turned out to be a smart move, because the next day we hiked another 2 hours before we found a new and much smaller spot.
While you can sleep in Shköder and take a bus at 6am in the morning to get to the ferry, it is best to sleep in Komani. We spent the night at Villa Franceze: nothing much, but dry and spacious. The road there is VERY bumpy. Average speed won't exceed 20km/h. Make a reservation with Dragobi Ferry upfront. It is a small boat (or rather a bus welded onto a metal box)
Either leave your car in front of the tunnel (they charge a small fee at the end of the tunnel) or drive through for bagage drop-off and drive back. Long time parking is only possible in front of the tunnel. But you'll be amazed by the car-Tetris these guys can pull off on the very small and bumpy parking at the end of the tunnel!
Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad
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