Qafë-Gradë – Repisht – Shtegu i Keq “Bad path” – Paru – Dodç–Qafë-Gradë

Qafë-Gradë – Repisht – Shtegu i Keq “Bad path” – Paru – Dodç–Qafë-Gradë

 

Distance:               27.8 Km

Relief                     min:276 m / max: 1360 m

Duration:              13:30  Hours

Difficulty:             Medium

 

The path includes Qafë-Gradë (435 m), Repisht (743 m), Shtegu i Keq “Bad Path” (1344 m), Fusha e Parusë “Field of Paru” (1340 m) and Dodç (460 m).

Distances:

Qafë-Gradë – Repisht: 4.2 km;

Repisht – Shtegu i Keq: 5.2 km;

Shtegu i Keq – Paru: 3 km;

Paru – Shkallet e Parusë – Lumi Rrjollit – Dodç; 12.7 km.

Dodç – Qafë-Gradë; 2.7 km.

The whole trail is 28.5 km long.

The path is very long and challenging. The route starts and ends in Qafe-Grade: this circular path allows the visit to many places. It is important to manage the length of the trail: The route lasts 13 hours and it is important to leave early in the morning, shortly after sunrise. If it is too long, you can drive to Repisht, thus saving time and energy and start the track from there. Alternatively, it is possible to split the path in two days, overnighting in Paru, with the right equipment to camp. Paru is right after Repisht and the “Bad Path” and represents the perfect place to spend the night camping.

Starting from Qafe-Grade (WP – 1), head towards Repisht, 3.5 km away (WP – 2). Repisht is a small neighborhood of around 30 houses, part of the municipality of Shkrel. We cross the neighborhood and meet a water source (WP – 3). Continuing on, we see some old Muslim tombs with carved tombstones. Just below, there is another Muslim cemetery, adjacent to the ruins of an old mosque (WP – 4), surrounded by hornbeam trees. We also pass by the houses of the Hasaj district.

We leave Repisht and continue on the unpaved road that leads to the “Bad Path”, open for forestry use.  At (WP – 5) crossroad, we leave this road and head north to take the path that shortens the route. At the next branch (WP – 6), we head north-east to continue on the “Bad Path”.

We arrive at the Repisht pastures close to a water well built 100 years ago (WP – 7). The well is 6 m deep, the water is cold and drinkable, and the well water never drains.

At (WP – 8) crossroad, we follow the path to the north, to return to the main road crossing on the field of Nersana. At the following branch (WP – 9), we head north-east and arrive at the “Bad Path” (1344 m) (WP – 10). From here you can enjoy the splendid view over the valley of Rrjolli, part of the city of Shkoder and the lake of Shkoder.

The name “Bad Path” derives from the fact that this was once the worst path to cross, on the flat slope of the Rrjoll valley. In the ‘70s the route was adjusted, to facilitate also the works of the water pipe that supplies Repisht.

We carefully descend the flat slope and the path that crosses the dense beech forest – in fact, some pruning is needed here  (WP – 11). After the beautiful beech forest, the first field of Paru appears.

Paru has three fields, but only at the bottom of the third field we can find the water source, that also supplies Repisht. The widest area is that of the pastures (WP – 12), a green plateau with borders that clearly mark the deciduous and evergreen trees.

There are about 35 small buildings, with stone walls and without roofs. Roofs are removed by shepherds when they leave at the end of the season, so that the adverse weather conditions in winter, like heavy snowing, don’t ruin them.  During summer, 6-7 families from Rrjoll come here to stay until September. In this period, it is possible to step by the houses and find freshly made dairy products.

As anticipated, this is a comfortable and very nice place to set up the campsite and spend the night. Here the summer is very cool and humid, with the possibility of repentine changes from sunny to rainy moments. Near the pastures are some old tombs and just above them we can find the water source that supplies Repisht (WP – 13).

We leave Paru and go back to the Rrjoll valley. When we meet a branch (WP – 14), we continue southeast towards the Paru stairs – the opposite direction leads to the Bad Path. We gradually descend along the beautiful path that winds through the dense beech forest and arrive at the Paru stairs (WP – 15).

After the Paru stairs, a short section of the path may be covered with trees that have fallen during the winter, according to the period in which you visit. In fact, this path is cleaned every summer by the locals who go to the pasture in Paru.

When we leave the dense beech forest, to the right, we see the rocky plain of the Rrjoll valley. Continuing we arrive at the Rrjoll water aqueduct (WP – 16), that serves Koplik, Lower Reç, Vajusha, Grizhe, Limaj, and Gruemire. We enter the road to Gruemire and we walk on it until we reach the place where the path branches off (WP – 17). Here we take a narrower road that leads to the village of Kok-Papaj, where the old church is located (WP – 18). We go down the trail surrounded by walnuts trees.

When we arrive in Kok-Papaj, he first visible thing is the new church, in the middle of the greenery (WP – 19), dated back to 1938.  The church is built out of stones, the walls are high, and the bell is located on the roof. The lintel on the entrance door of the church carries the inscription: “U NDERTUE NDEMOTMOTE”, literally “BUILT IN ANCIENT TIMES“. This church has also been restored in recent years.

Behind the new church are the ruins of the old church, presumably built during the Middle Ages. Near the church, there is a plastic tube with drinking water (WP – 20). We go down and walk through the village of Kok-Papaj and cross the Rrjoll river via an iron pipe used as a bridge. We walk on the side of the Rrjolli river on the path that leads to Dodç. Vegetation and various trees, such as willow, maple, frash, yellow, pomegranate and others, enhance the beauty of the Rrjoll canyon. On the way, on the shore of the river, we see the ruins of an old mill where the mill stone is still visible (WP – 21).

We leave the Rrjoll river and its greenery to gradually climb, until we see a stone shaped like a pedestal called Guri i Hijes – “Shadow Stone” (WP – 22) near the path. This stone is used by locals to relax in the shade.

We walk towards the beautiful cobbled path and see the panorama of the Rrjoll river canyon. At the branch (WP – 23), we follow north to Dodçi, leavind at our backs the path that leads to the fortress of Ballexa. At the entrance of Dodçi, we come across to an old, scattered Muslim tomb with carved stones covered by grass. There are also some new tombs dating back to 1943 – 1945. Just below there is a cattle ranch and next to it a water source that passes in a plastic tube (WP – 24). We arrive in the center of Qafe-Grade, after covering 2.6 km on the road in the chestnut massif.

 

Latitude and longitude WayPoints

 

1*  WP 1  N42° 14′ 36.3″ E19° 33′ 06.8″   435 m Center of Qafë-Gradë, Coffee-Bar

2*  WP 2  N42° 14′ 28.6″ E19° 34′ 32.5″   743 m  Center of Repisht

3*  WP 3     N42° 14′ 25.7″ E19° 34′ 39.5″754 m Water source of Repisht

4*  WP 4   N42° 14′ 35.9″ E19° 34′ 46.4″   782 m  Ancient Cemetery, ancient mosque

5*  WP 5  N42° 15′ 20.1″ E19° 35′ 07.0″   922 m Crossroad, north-Shtegu Keq “bad path”

6*  WP 6  N42° 15′ 23.9″ E19° 35′ 09.0″   957 m Crossroad, North-east – the path continues

7*  WP 7   N42° 15′ 38.7″ E19° 35′ 32.4″   1056 m   Water well, drinkable water

8*  WP 8   N42° 15′ 42.3″ E19° 35′ 39.6″   1116 m   Crossroad, North – the path continues

9*  WP 9   N42° 16′ 01.8″ E19° 36′ 14.0″   1308 m   Crossroad North-east – the path continues

10*  WP 10    N42° 16′ 02.5″ E19° 36′ 22.3″   1344 m   Shtegu i Keq, observation point

11*  WP 11     N42° 16′ 13.5″ E19° 36′ 36.2″   1289 m   Cleaning of the path from the trunks

12*  WP 12     N42° 16′ 58.3″ E19° 37′ 01.5″   1301 m   Paru plain, pastures

13*  WP 13     N42° 17′ 14.0″ E19° 37′ 05.9″   1359 m   Water source of Paru

14*  WP 14    N42° 16′ 29.8″ E19° 36′ 46.0″  1260 m    Crossroad, Southeast-Staircase of Paru.

Shtegu i Keq

15*  WP 15     N42° 16′ 19.4″ E19° 36′ 49.9″   1221 m   Staircase of Paru

16*  WP 16     N42° 15′ 04.3″ E19° 35′ 52.6″   528 m   Water source of Rrjoll, aqueduct

17*  WP 17     N42° 13′ 40.1″ E19° 35′ 05.2″   425 m   Crossroad, 252º  from west

18*  WP 18    N42° 13′ 34.3″ E19° 34′ 52.0″    373 m    Ancient Church

19*  WP 19     N42° 13′ 32.7″ E19° 34′ 49.7″   372 m    Recent Church

20*  WP 20   N42° 13′ 32.1″ E19° 34′ 48.8″  364 m  Water source near the Church of Kok-Papaj

21*  WP 21    N42° 13′ 15.3″ E19° 34′ 18.2″     282 m   Mulliri i Vjetër “the Old Mill

22*  WP 22     N42° 13′ 10.9″ E19° 33′ 52.8″    321 m   Guri i hijes “Shadow Stone

23*  WP 23     N42° 13′ 12.7″ E19° 33′ 44.6″   324 m Crossroad, SouthWest-Ballex, north-Dodç

24*  WP 24     N42° 13′ 30.8″ E19° 33′ 43.4″   475 m   Water source of Dodç

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