Day 5 was another exciting day driving through remote Albanian nature.
Many questions were waiting to be answered by Day 5 of the Great Balkan Ride: Would all the teams make it back from the mountains? Would Barbara make it to the airport? Would “Lola the Corolla” have survived the night? And most importantly… how bad would everyone’s hangovers be?
First things first: the hangovers were not as bad as expected, the sign of quality rakia. Despite a few headaches, the gang managed to prepare the Dane’s new wheel; Rob and Johnny had to use all their strength, but did a fantastic job. Rob and Amy were then tasked with taking Barbara to the airport. She was worried about making it on time, and Rob was delighted to be able able to show off his quick driving skills… predictably, they arrived with plenty time to spare.
Then it was time for the Danes, temporarily hitching a ride with the organizing team, to make their way back to Lola the Corolla, stuck in the middle of the “interesting” route, which had challenge so many of the participants the day before. However, Huba was only too pleased to take the more testing way (after he had driven the “easy” route three times on Day 4, once in pitch darkness), and was soon giggling with delight racing through streams, to a soundtrack of Danish Hip Hop.
Though everyone was anxious to see the state of the Dane’s car, the day’s heat meant a quick stop to cool off was essential. We found the perfect spot, although the fresh water was so freezing that it was tough to stay in too long. Photographer Theo, however, saw his chance to “liberate” the spot; it’s better if you don’t ask what that means.
For the teams who had spent the entire previous day grappling with the tough off-road conditions, Day 5 provided a chance for a more relaxed drive. There was time to take a few photos of the stunning scenery, and before long they were in Durrës, chilling by the beach.
And the best news of the day: Lola was found safe and sound, to the delight of the Danes. The wheel was quickly reattached, and once the car was turned round, it was a relatively smooth ride home. All’s well that ends well, and inevitably, the day ended with more drinks, looking over the Adriatic Sea.