We will be your partners in adventure
Ricardo started his first own business while still in school and with the money saved he set out on a 365-day around-the-world trip, visiting some of the least spoiled places in the Southern Pacific and falling in love with colorful cultures and the great outdoors. Volunteering in Turkey’s capital Ankara, he got to love the taste of the unknown East. In a destination that everyone considers as established, he stumbled in unspoilt adventures and advanced in mountaineering by climbing several of the highest peaks of the country. After traveling the Balkans for six months with Uli, they settled in the heart of the Albanian Alps, where they spent the winter, cut-off from the outside world, in the small mountain village of Theth.
After finishing her master studies in the UK, Ulrike set out to get to know the soul of South East Asia on a six-month backpacking trip. Falling in love with the place, people and food she returned yet again to work as volunteer in Vietnam for half a year. Multi-talented and equipped with previous experience in raising a start-up she forms part of the backbone of Zbulo, is a hiking and cycling guide, passionate advocate of the environment, women’s rights and excel sheets, as well as a handy mechanic and often referred to as the kitchen fairy – her dream is to open a vegan restaurant.
Endrit worked with private groups for the last three years, holds a DAV (German Alpine Club) mountain guide certificate and has experience in trail and project development as well as management with the focus on sustainable tourism and environment; working formerly as a project manager for the NGO Eden and now as a freelance consultant. Almost every expat of Tirana interested in outdoor activities knows him.
Of course there are countless more that supported us with their advice, a ride, gave a helping hand, offered us a place to sleep, pointed out directions, hiked with us or just made us have a good time. The most important I like to mention here:
Vlatko is our partner based in the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. He helped us get started and advises us in cross-border trips to his home country. People interested in Montenegro are usually referred to him. Turning his passion into a livelihood, he worked for more than seven years in the field of sustainable tourism, and one could call him our guru. Because of his open-minded, very pleasant character and ability to play the shepherds flute Albanians adore him.
In addition we work with local farmers, guesthouse and hotel owners, horsemen, drivers, archaeologists, biologists and a wealth of other people to support your Albanian experience.
Pavlin & Vlora Polia
After living in Italy for almost a decade, Pavlin realized that the Western consumer culture doesn’t fit his way of living. He returned to his birthplace in the mountains and as a vanguard restored the family’s house that now serves as a guesthouse. His partner Vlora from Kosovo came one day as a visitor and stayed, the two of them have now two small children. They invited us to stay the winter of 2012/13 with them in Theth, which we did. Pavlin is an experienced hiking guide and reinforces our team from time to time.
Spending a winter together in one room (the only heated one of the house!) really shows you with whom you’re real friends.
Detlef & Gabi Palm
Detlef and Gabi are passionate hikers and, as much as their car allows, enthusiastic off-road drivers. Detlef created the most extensive collection of GPS-recorded hiking trails in Albania and it will be very difficult to find anyone who has a more comprehensive and universal knowledge about the mountains throughout the country. While we consider ourselves experts of the Alps, we pay respect to him as a walking encyclopaedia for Central Albania.
We’re looking forward to join up with them for more pleasant hikes!