Early one morning in the summer of 1908, a small party left the village of Thethi in northern Albania. And, having floundered through the waist-deep snow which still choked the Qafa e Peje or Cafa Pes, the travellers descended into the Ropojana valley, in what is now Montenegro.
The party consisted of Edith Durham, that redoubtable Balkan traveller and champion of Albanian affairs, together with her loyal guide and friend Marko Shantoja, the local Franciscan padre and his servant, and a headman from the village of Okolo (Okol). Their destination was Vuthaj (nowadays Vusanje), a small, predominantly Muslim village in the Ropojana valley which, along with the rest of the Plav-Gusinje area, was then still part of Albania.
Having passed a lake, "very blue and deep but made, I was assured, entirely of snow-water", they continued along the valley, to arrive at Vusanje, where Durham noted the small mosque with a wooden minaret.