It's the beginning of the spring and Piero Linda invites me to an outing to Albania.
Here we go! We are five, Piero, Roberto, Alessia, me and our unfailing super director Beppe Caramella.
This trip is to say "no dams" on Vjosa River.
As you know, there was another important event against the Albanian Government in the past, and many paddlers went down along the Vjosa River, giving prominence to this environmental and ecological damage.
The Vjosa river flows in a wild valley trought a natural and beautiful landscape
We are very lucky to meet the locals, simple and hospitable folk. Almost everybody can speak Italian, due to the Albanian immigration in Italy in the 80s.
The water in not as crystal-clear as we imagined, but grey, due to the thaw of the few remaining snow
The biggest disappointment is the huge plastic quantity we can see along the river, there are many plastic bags everywhere and nobody can imagine our disgust in seeing such a ugliness!
We cross the Vjosa canyon wrapped by plastic on the right and on the left, trees full of colored plastic bags, car tires: it seems to be in an open dump.
Before saying “NO DAMS” there is another priority, “CLEAN”…and sensitize people on respecting their own river and territory. I wonder how can be possible being believable and protest against the dams construction if the people who lives there is not a good example of respect for their own land.
During my previous trips I saw and paddled in many rivers, but I’ve never seen the dirtiness that I found in Vjosa river and that makes me angry,because it is a real pity.
At the end of the Vijosa canyon, in the middle of our trip river, we see a construction site where one of the dam is being built. There is a very big excavation only but I’m disappointed in imagining how hugly will be the environmental impact when the project will become a real huge reinforced concrete wall.
Finally we arrive at the sea, but disappointed and sad.
Since we are ahead on our trip schedule, we decide to reach the Osumi river and finally we start smiling again
The Osumy canyon is a wonderful place where the river flows down naturally in an unspoilt nature.
The trip in Albania has been full of surprises, and the common thought of the group is the hope in a better world, where each human being can do responsibly something for enhancing and respecting this wonderful planet, our Mother earth.
This is the video of the trip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1W6f7hf4Ak
TEAM LEVEL SIX LUIGI CODINOTTI
HAVE GOOD PADDLING