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Gulag Gurth Spaç

Route:Fushë Arrëz - LumëBardhe - Tuç - Gulag Gurth Spaç - Reps

Lenght:35km, 4hour

Driven: 2011 - KTM 690 RallyRaid, 2012 - Toyota Hilux

Level of Difficulty:The stretch across the saddle is difficult, passable by car, the rest of the route is easy gravel.

Description:The route passes through beautiful mountains past the most infamous Albanian gulag Gurth Spaç.
From Fushë Arrëz drive some 4 km on the main road towards Kukës. Cross the small bridge (Bridge_Fusheares) to the right and stay on the gravel road going alongside the main road. A decent dusty road swings across a saddle and it descends alongside a stream to the village of LumëBardhe. When you arrive at an intersection, turn right and follow the river downstream towards the village of Tuç (tuc). The road continues along the river in between the hills. There is a bridge 12 km further down the road and beyond it there is a mine adit opening with red water flowing out - a copper mine (dul_med). Turn to the right and cross the bridge. This is where the most difficult stretch of the route beings, the road is not used much and it is not maintained. Climb up to the ridge, passing a noticeable mining waste dump on your left and dilapidated buildings across the creek. This is the most difficult part. There is a small wooden cross at the crest.
The route goes steeply downhill past a large mine opening and it gradually gets better. Then there is a turn-off in front of the village. Turn-off uphill to the left and after some 600 m you will see a blue gate in the curve of the road (blue_gate). Keep on the main road, again past mines and across another ridge. Beyond the ridge there is a turn-off to the right, which will take you up to a view point (ViewpointG). Follow the serpentine curves down to a cemetery. Continue down through the canyon to the Gurth Spaç mine (Gurth-Spac). The road may show very few signs of use. The mines in the area are still active and the tracks may lead to a different mine each year. Sharp serpentine curves will lead you down to a dramatic canyon, where the Gurth Spaç mine is located. The next section to Reps is easy and you will hit tarmac in Reps. There is also a slip road to the highway in Reps even though it is not shown on maps.

Point of Interest:Gurth Spaç was the worst labour camp in Albania. Many people which the Communist regime wanted out of the way, particularly intellectuals, were worked to death in the copper mine here. The winters were very cold and there was no heat, while the summers were incredibly hot and the mining work was very strenuous.

GPX: I have feedback, that many of you had problem to find correct route to gulag. In this competition you made obviously mistake at point “Blue gate”. But at end of the route, in pine tree, I also lost this spring.
Download trace

Article about gulag

The main points are described in the guide.
Here is a list of missing points:

2gurthspac_001 N42 02.983 E20 03.454 Turn-off below Lumëbardhë
BlueGate N41 58.443 E20 04.064 Blue Gate
2gurthspac_030 N41 57.650 E20 04.032 Intersection in the forest
2gurthspac_032 N41 57.553 E20 04.333 Intersection in the forest
2gurthspac_033 N41 56.941 E20 04.268 Intersection in the forest
2gurthspac_034 N41 56.332 E20 04.236 Intersection in the forest
2gurthspac_035 N41 56.241 E20 04.048 Intersection in the forest
2gurthspac_036 N41 55.751 E20 03.794 Intersection before the lookout
2gurthspac_037 N41 55.880 E20 03.386 Intersection at the cemetery

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