This is Qeparo Fshat, the village that was home for us for more than a week. For a hundred of us, who hitchhiked their way from different sides of Europe. Qeparo is in Southern Albania, a coast full of beach umbrellas, unfinished houses and tourism promises. However just a rough 40 minutes climb from lower Qeparo and you are in another world. Houses dating hundreds of years back and overlooking solemnly all the beach fun from the solid height.
It’s a long way up, but it became our daily routine. A rather pleasant routine when sharing stories, picking up blackberries and filling the water bottles from the mountain spring. Sometimes hitching a car passing every 10 or 20 minutes.
Sometimes meeting locals, dragging their horses.
The houses of Qeparo Fshat are seriously old, but only 80 out of 300 are inhabited. The rest are observing stars through their empty roofs, while their former inhabitants are probably working in Greece or Italy.
But enough about houses. We were camping. Camping in this wonderful olive tree field.
Some olive trees are seriously large. Large enough for a comfortable reading corner
or to make a small concert in the shadow.
We were jumping around the fire
and preaching a watermelon religion.
Even the banana preacher succumbed to the sweetness of local watermelons.
And of course we were not wasting the watermelon peels. We were making the sheep happy.
Though they tended to become too confident, snapping not only the peels, but also other food supplies. But there were plenty of new shepards to shoo them away.
Other locals of the fields were not necessarily always happy about the new inhabitants,
but donkeys kept visiting the village bar, finding it unusually crowded.
The local kids though were very excited with new settlers, their guitars and speaking English. Meet a future guitar star from Qeparo:
Back to the olive fields, the views were quite nice from the tents
especially in the evenings
when everything becomes pink and dreamy
or turns into silhouettes
Did I forget the beach? The coast is full of little pebbles and the horizon is filled with mountains. Mountains, that turn pink.
And of course we were eating watermelons in the beach. Lots of watermelons.
Watermelon sweetness and big hugs to all!