Mongolia Rally Diary – Montenegro. Mountain roads and lake Skadar.

Day 11 and 12. We woke up on a camping just next to the roadside about 40 kilometers before Dubrovnik. We planned to have a nice stop with lunch in Dubrovnik before we headed for Montenegro – but due to a very hot car we prioritized to find a place to repair the air condition of the car. With 45 degrees in the back it was far from comfortable sitting in the back of the car.

After asking around a few times we ended up outside a house with a lot of cars outside and a big garage. Father and son looked at the destroyed part and gave us thumbs up – 15 minutes, and the son would just drive to another garage and get the part for us. Three happy girls waited eagerly to get cooled down – but bad news, the part was not available….However – after looking around they came back with a long iron pipe and told us they would just make a new part.

Hours later it was all fixed and we drove of after a nice chat with a local lady who also got her car fixed. She told us that everyone went to this garage because he was the best to fix air condition – especially the ladies since they found him handsome as well!

We passed the border to Montenegro, and the landscape kind of reminded me of Norway. The sea in between high mountains and lots of wind! The first night we stopped over at a nice apartment, and I had a wonderful evening by myself with take-away pizza and in front of the computer while the other girls went for a trip to town.

After passing sea view and tempting beaches  we had a long drive up the mountains over Budva and over to Lake Skadar through the narrow mountain roads which were actually marked as main roads on the map. We passed through beautiful scenery all day though before we entered Virpazar by the lake. In just an hour we were settled in a room in a private house and had booked a three hour boat trip on the lake with an eager boy who spoke very well English – and he seemed to know quite a lot about the lake and the sights along it. During the boat trip we discovered that he actually did his second day of guiding to do something during school vacation – and he did really good!

Lake Skadar is a big lake two thirds which is in Montenegro, the remaining part in Albania. The Montenegro side has been a protected wild life park since 1983, and house more than 260 species of birds. It is surrounded by high mountains, and around the lake you can see pre-historical sites like fortresses, Middle Age churches and monasteries and old fishing settlements. We had a refreshing boat trip with our young guide and his cousin, and the boat driver and his daughter. Our young guide was eagerly telling about the history of the area in between the joking with his two friends. After a round in the boat we walked up to an old monastery, and after stories from the priest I was tempted to buy the locally produced honey before we headed out to the middle of the lake and had a swim in the lake. The locals thought we were crazy swimming after sunset – they know little about the water temperatures in Norway!

 

About the Author Elin

I´m an Oslo based web publisher with passion for communication, travel and a green lifestyle. When I travel, I prefer to go slow, sustainable, and “live like a local”. Why slow? It is about challenging the cult of speed, and to enjoy the small things in life and to live in the present.

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