Embarking on an Unprecedented Expedition Along the Vjosa River in Albania!

Hi all!

Last time I wrote an article on here was a sad day, the day I had to cancel my AT thru-hike due to COVID.

But today is a new day, and I am very proud to present a new project that will combine thru-hiking and protecting the outdoors!

In exactly one week, on November 10, 2021, I will start an attempt to hike the entire Vjosa River, without assistance and in total autonomy. An extraordinary and wild course of 272 km (170 miles) between Greece and Albania (Europe) to raise awareness of the exceptional character of the site and the need to mobilize to save it.

La Vjosa Р©Gregor Subic

The Vjosa River, a Unique Case in Europe

The Vjosa river is the last great wild river in Europe. The site miraculously escaped all human intervention until today and shelters exceptional biodiversity. But projects such as the construction of dams, an airport, and a hotel threaten the balance of this still-preserved natural site.

Scientists are particularly passionate about the flow of sediment carried by the Vjosa. Its long-term study could serve as a model for the renaturation of European rivers, and better understand the phenomena of erosion.

Part of the Albanian political class, the local populations, many international NGOs, and even the European Parliament are campaigning for the establishment of an unprecedented statute of “Wild River National Park of Europe” which would permanently protect the site. A project now put on hold by the Albanian government.

An Unprecedented Expedition – A Major Sporting Challenge

This hike will be the first in the history of the river and is organized in partnership with the NGOs EuroNatur, EcoAlbania, and Riverwatch. No one has walked the entire site until today. On this journey, my photographer friend will capture the flora and fauna.

Several photo exhibitions are already planned for 2022 in France to present the majesty of the Vjosa river to the public.

Follow the day-to-day evolution of our wild expedition on our ‘grams! (@sandra_hikes and @nicolasjehly¬†)

Cheers!
Sandra

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