Last year I went from north to south along the coast of Albania, then to the SE corner, and a bit along the Albanian/Macedonian border before crossing over into Macedonia. Originally I had intended to do the complete loop inside Albania, but the more I read about the NE the more I realized I needed more time to really enjoy it. Apparently it can be a bit wild, but I don't think there are many issues these days with security. Apparently some of the towns in the NE that used to be completely lawless have been cleaned up by the government. I'm looking forward to heading back there when I have some more time. As far as crossing into Kosovo, my sources say it isn't a problem, but you do have to buy separate insurance for the province. There are more small hotels about Kosovo than there were just a few years ago (I used to work there), but they can be a bit expensive. I think that trying to push thru to Girocaster in one day would be difficult to impossible if the weather is not good. Girocaster is not that exciting anyway (even though it gets a lot of write-up in the books). I say take your time in the NE and enjoy one of the last "remote" areas of Europe. Let me know how it goes for you.