Far away from the bustle of Brooklyn, in the Valbona River valley of Albania’s Accursed Mountains (otherwise known as the Albanian Alps which spans from Albania to Kosovo and Eastern Montenegro), you will find a little oasis where hikers and adventure tourists seek out rigorous hikes, clear blue rivers, and unparalleled natural beauty. Until fairly recently, Albania’s North Eastern region was almost impossible to visit. Poor roads and harsh weather made this area, populated by only a few thousand inhabitants, one of the more remote areas in the world.
Today, as you travel around this region, you hear of the “Amerikane” (American woman), Catherine Bohne, who has devoted the last eight years to mapping out an extensive network of hiking trails, helped manage two guesthouses and a camping site, taught English at a local school, started a non-profit, Toka, and most recently challenged a private company’s plans to build a hydro-electric power plant (a project that will threaten the Valbona river and cause permanent damage to the region’s eco-system and future in eco-tourism).
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