By Filip Guraziu
The fifth part
Continues from last issue
Memorie.al / Since we didn’t know the terrain, and it was covered with snow, the depth of which we had doubts (the wind, in certain places, increases the depth of the snow too much), we didn’t have confidence to go to the camp until to the source, but only kambadoras. We filled our water bottles for the trip, ate bread and sugar and set off on the road, towards Mount Shoshi. Of the members of the group, I was the only one who had once taken the Red Stone road, which passed through the Shoshi Mountain, even then at night.
A local, whom we luckily met, showed us the direction and guided us to follow the tracks in the snow, that some others before us had that day, during their walk, on the road to Shkodër. We started the march, this time in complete silence; it seems that we were scared of the cold and snow, as well as the uncertainty created by not knowing the exact terrain.
The road was going uphill, the pace was slow, our feet were knee-deep in snow, but slowly we were getting closer to the highest point of the mountain pass, where we would cross.
When everything seemed to be going well, I felt a voice from behind with a disturbing tone, I turn to see Gjovalin, there was blood on his face and he looked like he was fainting. I was scared, I approached quickly and realized that the blood was superficial, coming from my lips from the cold wind, it was nothing serious, I was relieved, and I communicated to Gjovalin in a loud voice.
Muhameti took Gjovalin’s bag, and I put my arm in his, to help him, we started walking together. It seems that the state of fainting came from the panic that had created the blood on his face, because after a few minutes, Gjovalini recovered and continued on his way, at a normal pace.
The difficulties of the descent of Guri te Kuq, slowed down the walk too much, because the group was not used to this kind of road, we arrived before dark at the Prekal school. The hospitality of the two teachers we found was special, the pasta with peanut butter, which we ate that night was “the most delicious food I had tried, up to that moment in my life”.
We slept two people in one bed, in the opposite direction, because our bed was not dark. The next day, we thanked the teachers of Prekal for their hospitality and continued the march again on foot; we still had 5 hours of road (25 km.) to Shkodër. After 20 minutes of walking, luckily a cooperative owner picked us up. The journey in the October body seemed to us as if we had jumped into the most luxurious car.
At Ura e Mesi, we changed the vehicle, already in the body of a “ZIS” truck, which landed us on the outskirts of the city of Shkodra. I took Aisha, the teacher from Tirana, to my house, nana Inda and the two grandmothers, they welcomed us with a lot of love and were extremely happy for our arrival, first, we took a nap near the wood stove, then we washed and rinsed, with hot water and finally, we had delicious meals that our nana prepared for us.
After that day, I didn’t move from the house, I was very tired and wanted, I experienced a warm environment that only family can offer. The next day, nadje, I went to the bus of the Tirana line, accompanied by Aisha, I wished her a good journey and our best for the New Year 1968.
“Kryemadhja”, Riverside, Dukagjin
In the year 1967, I experienced the summer season for the first time, in the mountain environment and not the marine one. Although it was hot on the ‘River Bank’ during the day, swimming in the cold water of the Shala River kept the body temperature in balance.
In the evenings it was cool, the air layers full of steam from the surrounding mountains, and during the night they cooled and rained down in the valley. The good, stable weather of the season encouraged panoramic excursions to the mountain heights that towered over the River Bank, but the greatest pleasure was fly-fishing for trout in the crystalline waters of the Shala River. .
So great was this passion, so much pleasure it gave me, how often I thanked the Great God, for this special gift, that he forgave me, exactly, in one of the difficult moments of my life…!
I learned a lot about trout fishing from the director of the school, Ndue Zef Toma, whom I found on the Riverside when I started working, as well as from my own experience:
(- Trout fishing with a ‘butterfly hook’, recommended in the shade.
– Every splash of water, which flows behind an obstacle, creates the preferred environment of the trout for “attack”…!
-After two throws of the ‘butterfly hook’, without result in the same place, do not try the third one, but change position.
– The pull of the “butterfly hook” is directed, in the direction with the flow.
– It is recommended to place a “feather”, light, so that the “butterfly hook” can be submerged under water.
– Clothing with bright colors should be avoided.
– I need to walk as easily and noiselessly as possible during the shingle, near the river.
– It is not recommended to accompany another person while fishing, because talking loudly near the river can scare the fish.
Every late afternoon, when the sun was visible behind the mountains and the shadow fell on the transparent water of the river, fishing began. The instinct of self-defense of the trout, which lay in the sun during the day, gave them security and aggressiveness to find food during those hours, when the water was shaded. Every evening I returned to the apartment where we lived, full of trout, so dinner was guaranteed.
However, there was something wrong; I was the cook of the group, I bought the fishing hooks, which cost 100 lek each, I took care of the fishing and, when I came back in the evening, I had to clean the trout and then cook them, to eat them together, with the others!
But, for this kind of concern, I had complete understanding from my friends, who decided that the purchase of fishing materials, considering it an expense of the collective and, only for cleaning and cooking the trout, I would not be in the role of the cook, which , that others will blame.
On Saturday, in the afternoon, August 20, 1967, I went out for a walk more than for fishing, but as always, I had the butterfly hook apron in my pocket.
The day was beautiful, the coolness of the evening had begun to fall over the valley, the fresh mist that formed after the sunset by the river gave pleasure.
I walked slowly in the direction of Nderlysa and stopped in front of a large rock, positioned on the right side of the river’s flow, about 1 km., away from the school building.
This rock, which created the water flow, was the cause of the many sandy deposits of the river, where I was standing. In that position, the depth of the river exceeded 30 m., on the other side of the river, the depth was greater.
As if in vain, I prepared the fender and threw the ‘butterfly hook’ in the distance, quite close to the opposite shore. I didn’t mind fishing, but suddenly an obstacle blocked my hook pull, I got upset because it often happened that the hook got tangled in the roots of plants, etc., and I got ready to undress, to unhook the hook in the depth of the water, but When I saw it, I said to myself, I’m trying one more time to pull it harder, maybe it will unlock…!
I pulled it hard. Surprisingly, the hook moved, together with the obstacle, did you catch some rust or maybe the hook had caught on some cattle skeleton, thrown into the river? I continued to pull the heavy obstacle, and when it came near, my spirit was shaken; I spotted a giant trout, which looked like a “submarine” under the water! I was very excited, but I didn’t lose my mind.
Since I was fishing with thin ivory, I didn’t have to use much force, so I gave way to the trout with a thought, which pulled me back, and so “let go and pull”, until they got tired. But the trout took the direction of the rock, went under it, and tried to cross to the other side…!
I was afraid that in friction with the rock, the thin ivory might break, so I decided to pull it with force, and I brought it up to me.
He gave me the impression that he had surrendered, because he did not make any objection…! At this moment, I made the fatal mistake: I tried to pull the trout out of the water, pulling…!
The ivory snapped, the trout fell into the water, but in that position, due to the sandy deposits, the water was so shallow that its long tail, which was moving without stopping, did not reach the strength it needed to escape. I immediately jumped into the water, and with my body blocked the trout’s escape to the river, then quickly put both hands under it and threw it ashore.
The place where the trout fell was steep and from the movements it made, it could slide back into the water, then I took a stone and forcefully hit it on top, the trout didn’t move anymore. My heart was racing, I couldn’t breathe because of the excitement, I sat on the ground and rested for a few minutes.
Emotion and joy stayed together! After carefully examining the trout, I realized that I had fished “Kryemadhen” (as according to the local dictionary); in reality, the trout was large-headed, had three pairs of teeth in its mouth, and was gray to pink in color with spots. (When we cleaned it for cooking, we found another trout in its belly, weighing about 300 gr.)
With the razor that I had with me, I almost cut off the branch of the “mrina”, a bush that is found in most of the banks of the river, where I hung the “chief”, and I headed triumphantly towards the school. During the walk, I noticed that his tail was melting to the ground; I had to hold it a little like a nalt, which also strained my arm because it had a lot of weight, which was almost 7 kg.
The first one I met on the way was the former agronomist of the locality, the former academician, the late Ahmet Osja. The word “got it”, as soon as I entered the school, before the initial enthusiasm of the teachers ended, many other friends started to come, to see the “principal”.
My fellow teachers, their lips hung a little; that night, the “principle” faltered. Every friend who came to school tasted a piece of it. Today, I consider myself lucky to have experienced the fishing adventure of the “major”. Memorie.al
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