The Mehill Carku Guesthouse, Theth/Thethi, North Albania
Today in Theth was scheduled as “relaxing”…always a matter of semantics. “Relaxing” to Florian and Outdoor Albania meant walking downhill into the valley to visit Theth’s attractions. The Church, the Kulla e Ngujimit (a tower house used in the past by men as a shelter against ongoing vendettas), the Thethi Waterfall, Grunasi Canyon and the 2007 revelation: cyclopean stone walled terraces dating from the late bronze era. After the walk, we’d return back to the guesthouse for one more night…View image. Florian also changed the hiking arrangements for tomorrow (more about that later). Whatever we did today and tomorrow was fine with us. We are very, very, tired and the North Albania trip ends in two days.
Theth is one of the most known charming villages in northern Albania because of its remote mountainous surroundings, traditional wooden-tiled houses and nature. Predatory wildlife can occasionally be seen in this inaccessible and rarely visited area that is now a National Park. This includes: wolf, bear and lynx.
Who could sleep! Up early, dressed, and came down for coffee. A big mistake. Heartened by the Nescafe at the last guesthouse, I was hopeful but we’re back to Turkish coffee. I find Turkish coffee undrinkable (yes, I know…call me rustic…call me unsophisticated…I don’t care). The coffee was undrinkable with the bottom third of the cup full of “mud.”
Breakfast – bread, great fig jam, butter, Feta cheese (14 days of Feta cheese was becoming a tad too much), and fresh cow’s milk. Grandma let the chickens out of the hen house….View image…and kept herself busy shooing them out of the kitchen. Chickens taken care of, this old lady carefully made her way down a steep slope below to pick up the fallen plums under a tree and bring back up to the house for cooking.
Daughter was occupied making the daily bread and setting it out to rise, while skinny daughter-in-law began the umpteen loads of laundry. The Mehill Carku Guesthouse has five room, nine beds and three toilets. The third toilet was en-suite in a 2-bed room. It is open six months a year from April until the end of October and all food is organic. To just survive, let alone take in guests, this busy family grows vegetables, picks ripe fruit from trees on their property. Sheep for yogurt and meat. Cows for fresh milk and a henhouse full of chickens. There is no time for rest in such an isolated environment except during the long winters. Tough, tough life…
I was told that the family will assist guests in making hiking arrangements, etc. but wonder how since none of them spoke more than a few words of English.