Hiking in Albania’s Accursed Mountains

The journey through to the small port town of Fierzë takes three hours, during which the shy locals smoke and watch with evident pride as backpackers wander the narrow prow of the boat taking photographs. On arrival more minibuses – the workhorse of Albania – are there to convey us to Valbona, which is reached via a succession of twisting, unsurfaced roads that run alongside rushing mountain rivers.