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Our first approach with Thethi, a village in the Albanian Alps, wasn't the best you could wish for.
While we were hiking from Valbona to Thethi, we knew there were possibilities of encounters with bears, wolves and wild boars, but we didn't consider the possibility to be attacked by a Shepard dog.

(Note: This post, rather than an immediate report, is a memory of events happened in June 2014)

Sheeps on Thethi river bedSheeps on Thethi river bed
After arriving in Thethi, we just hid our big rucksacks somewhere in a canal, and went to search for a camping place to stay. There were several options, still around 2$ per night, but we knew from our readings before the trip, that there were some free camping places in the village. Since we were not in a hurry, we decide to take a stroll, have a first impression of the village and consider all the accommodation options available.
While on our way to the village a big dog passed just next to us, apparently scared of our presence. We managed to overtake him but once he was out of sight, Oti felt a sudden pain to her leg: for some strange reason the dog decide cowardly to bite her calf muscle before running away.

The dog that attacked Oti in ThethiThe dog that attacked Oti in Thethi
After a first moment of panic, we reached the closest guesthouse, where the local family gave Oti a first help. Since they didn't have any proper disinfectant, they used strong drinking local alcohol to sterilize the wound: some teeth penetrated the flesh and a big bruise was visible, but after all it wasn't a serious wound.
We were surprised to find out that in such a remote and small village, there was an ambulatory. Despite it was closed at that hour, it wasn't difficult to track down the only nurse of the village. She took good care of Oti disinfecting the wound and administering an anti-tetanus shot, everything provided for free, apart from the small tip we left her.
We were still concerned about rabies, but the anti-rabid immunization wasn't available in Thethi, and we were told it was considered a rabies free area, with no registered cases in the last decades.
We were also comforted by the idea that it was most probably an owned dog rather than a stray, with less chances to be infected.
In fact we took a picture of the beast, quite recognizable being big, black and with the ears cut off. We started to ask around to everybody in the village to understand if they had ever seen that dog before and if they knew the owner. We just wanted to make sure it was an owned dog and it was no risk of rabies. But this simple operation revealed to be impossible, and all of the people said they didn't know anything, clearly lying.
I felt like there was a non written code of silence like in a area controlled by mafia.
After asking and asking around, we eventually found the cooperation of a teenager, claiming that he knew for sure sure that the dog was owned by the family that first helped Oti!
We weren't sure if it was true or not, but we were shocked and went back to take our luggage and abandon the idea of passing the night with the family to compensate them for their help.
In that moment saving a couple of dollars wasn't our priority, and visiting the village neither, so we just checked in in a spacious and safe camping place where we tried to calm down a little bit.

Our camping in ThethiOur camping in Thethi

Only the next morning we were able to find the energy to visit the village of Thethi and its-lock-tower, before heading back toward Shkodër and having our worst experience ever hitchhiking!

Davide VadalàDavide Vadalà
I like to say that I'm a gypsy traveller. In 2009 I quit my job to chase my dream of exploring our wonderful planet in a sustainable way; thanks to my itchy feet, I had a lot of incredible adventures and I got closer to my goal of becoming a travel photographer. I love nature, sustainability, outdoor and hiking, and I never stop dreaming. More about Davide Vadala'. Content attribution on Google +

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Davide Vadal? and Otilia Lefter

We are Davide and Otilia, an international couple with itchy feet, living a non conventional life traveling around the world and learning everyday something new....
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