Hitchwiki says there is a good hitchhiking spot from Tirana to the North and it should be around 2km from the city centre. We followed all the directions: went to Zogu i Zi square and took a bus to Kamez. On the way everybody, both passenger cars and mini vans, offered us a ride for money.
The bus we took was completely crowded and the last stop was surely more than 2km away. More like 20. It was a bit embarassing to block the front entrance of the bus with our backpacks. But the driver did us a favour and stopped openning the front door, as he figured, nobody elso would feet in.
As we arrived and started to walk down the street in search for an apprioprate place for cars to stop, some car stopped (we weren’t hitchhiking yet) and the driver offered us a ride some kilometers up north. We shyly asked “Parap?”. As we found out before this means in Albanian “no money”. We don’t like to ask that, but after experience with our last ride, we wanted to be sure.
It turned out the driver was a really nice guy, who just felt sorry for us when he sa us walking in the heat. He spoke perfect Polish and English so we had an interesting conversation about Balkan tourism.
He left us somewhere between Tirana and Schkoder. After a short lunch break, we started to hitchike again. We didn’t wait 2 minutes before the next car stopped. The same story: “Parap?” “It’s OK, I’m not doing it for money”. This time there were two brothers from Tirana. We had a very interesting chat with them and started to regret we didn’t stay in Albania longer.
We stopped in Shkoder, saw the ancient castle and the beautiful riverside, and started to hitchhike again. Again waiting time was shorter than 5 minutes. A nice young guy working for Herbalife stopped and took us to the Albanian-Montenegran border.
In the border we met Tahir, very nice 65-years old hitchhiker from Albania who showed us where to find self-grown Cannabis and tried organize a ride for us. Just after he left, we got a ride with two Kosovian guys who told us a bit about the Prizren and the conflict in Kosovo. Again, we regret, we didn’t go there after all.
Our last driver was Cimi from Schkoder, another Albanian guy who spoke perfect Polish. He took us to our final destination for the day and gave some advise where we could camp.
Hitchhiking in Balkans is like taking a taxi!