Although the last week started off a bit slow, soon enough lots of fun and interesting things have come my way ^^
After some relaxing on a camping near the city of Preveza I made my way to the first island of this trip, Lefkada, but before even getting there luck had to leave my side and provided a flat tire to keep me company instead. Turned out the inner tube was pretty much worn out after more than 1500km carrying all that weight…… good thing I had bought a spare tube in Igouminitsa though :D
After fixing the flat I was quickly in the city of Preveza where unfortunately I couldn’t be hosted but would at least meet up with someone for something cold to drink and getting some good tips, really fun ^^ after telling my plan of taking a tunnel to the other side of a canal that needed passing, I was told that it is strictly forbidden for cyclists, whith kinda stressed me a tiny bit since the way around was abound 150km extra :O, but she knew of a solution, there is a truck service to take cyclists though the tunnel (and free too :D)
After passing the tunnel I the road was getting a bit difficult after an already long day since that’s where all the hills came back again, but eventually I made it to a pretty nice camping which was unfortunately located next to a pretty busy road, so sleeping was a bit of a challenge when some noisy cars/bikes were passing like crazy (or at least it sounded crazy :P)
Sunday (19-6-2016) was a typical one. I was feeling lazy and like not doing much at all but I didn’t wanna sit around on the camping wasting money, so instead I made the plan to go to another camping and visit some sights along the way there. However it really wasn’t my day and that plan kinda blew up in my face.
The sights I wanted to visit were not at all accessible by bike (thnx camping manager for saying they were) and not even worth trying to reach with a fully loaded bike, so that put a bit of a dent in both the plan and my mood. Instead of the plan I decided to go to a camping near a recommended beautiful beach, but again …. It wasn’t really my day since it was a real struggle to get there with all the hill that needed climbing, especially on a day of feeling very lazy/tired…..
But the struggle was won, and the hills conquered and even though exhausted I made it to the camping. After setting up camp I quickly went to the beach since it was slowly starting to get late and I REALLY wanted to enjoy at least some of the island, which I did. The beach really was beautiful as was the sea and there was some really nice music playing which almost put me in a party mood…… but I was still too tired to actually party :p
After the somewhat bummer day I had enough of the island and started making my way to a small village (Mitikas) on the coast along the way to Patra, of course I first had to conquer all the hills again first , but I was feeling more energized than the day before so it wasn’t such a enormous struggle this time ^^ at least for the first bit. When I had left the island there was a part of even more hills which I kind of underestimated and ended up walking for quite some bits since my legs just didn’t have it in them even so it was actually a pretty nice walk, not too steep and beautiful views especially in an almost completely abandoned hill/mountain village with as far as I saw had only 2 buildings left that were “intact” and in use. Good thing there was still a working water fountain with lovely and delicious cold water for cooling down and drinking, which I desperately needed ^^
When all that climbing was done and over with I was very quickly back at sea-level and found myself chilling at a beach equally fast :p After an hour or 2 of relaxing I continued my way to Mitikas which was a very beautiful route along the coast over the cliffs that dropped right into the sea, it was a lot of up and down, but after the nice long beach break my legs were up for it again ^^ when arriving in the village I had to look for a place to sleep that night since I didn’t see anything on google, turns out google does NOT know everything and I quickly found a relaxing and cheap camping where I also had a good rest day a day later (Tuesday 21-6-2016)
Wednesday (22-6-2016) however it was time to head out again and since I was planning on a long day I had a nice and early start which gave me plenty of time to have a nice long break to get out of the very hot midday sun. When I was doing exactly that and chilling in the sea in the first village I suddenly saw another cyclist with a fully loaded bike passing by, I tried to get his attention but he didn’t hear me…… and since he was going the same direction I was going I cut my break short and tried to catch up.
After about an hour or so of climbing and down hilling I saw him again…. Trying to fix a flat tire, I offered him some help and cold water but he was already done and after some chatting we went the rest of the way together. Luck would have it he had a friend of a friend that lives in mesolongi and asked him if it’s ok if a crazy dutch guy also joined for a nights rest or and barbeque, which was fine by him, YAAYYY :D
When we arrived he came and picked us up from the main square to his place where we could have a nice refreshing shower have some nice chats and visit his family farm plot in the mountains where we helped a little bit, not too much since he wouldn’t really let us saying we look too tired to do this or that :P all in it was really nice at the farm since some of his friends and family also come out and had some interesting conversations, when all the farm work was done it was BBQ time with some friends and it was a really fun evening. All very unexpected, but those make for the best experiences :D
Thursday was another chill out day ^^ after sleeping in nice and late Giorgio took us to one of his favorite beaches in the area which is very beautiful and nice/quite did some yoga there together played with his dog maya and of course lots of swimming ^^ around 4pm Giorgio had some things to do in his café so me an Raul mostly just relaxed some at the café which is really nice until he was done and we went for some groceries since Raul was going to make some nice tortillas for dinner, but first a nice tour of the area before dinner was to be made.
Friday (24-6-2016) me and Raul made an early start to try and avoid the hot midday sun again around 8.30 we were ready to go, said our goodbyes to Giorgio and made our way to Patra. The road was noting too special, but having some company made up for that easy enough. When we crossed a very big bridge we were already as good as in Patra and decided to cool down first on a beach and have a bit of lunch after which we were quickly in the city center, both our hosts wouldn’t be available until 9pm so we just hung around the center eating some pita gyros, ice cream and watch people go by.
Around 9pm we started to see where each of us had to go for our hosts and turned out they live very close together, same building actually, when we arrived there it turned out his and my host are brother and sister living in the same house, so we could hang out a bit longer still ^^ All 4 of us had a pretty fun evening relaxing and playing go fish….
Crisis day…….. Saturday was not a good day, all in all it was a very relaxing resting day not doing much at all, except for me changing my breakpads and starting some subtitles on my latest video (of Albania, but it’s not finished yet…)
The first crisis quickly came to light when Raul was cleaning his bike and found that one of the screws of his baggage rack had broken off and was pretty stuck in the hole, but after some struggling and oil he got it out and I still had some screws that were the exact size he needed, crisis solved ^^
The second crisis was for me quite a bit worse…… as I was trying to make a photo of the city, my phone slipped from my hands somehow and made a suicide attempt by dropping 6 stories down from the balcony L fuuuuuucccckkkk !!!!!!!!! this is really bad for me since it is my main way of navigating, contacting hosts and finding needed information. Areti (host) luckily had a friend that fixes phones and such and he was willing to have a look at it, he said it’s just the screen hat needs replacing, but that it would take a couple of days and 80euro….. unfortunately I couldn’t stay that long so it was getting a little stressful he did have another second hand phone for sale for a 120euro (a Huawei p8 lite) and unfortunately due to time restrictions this was my best and only option, but at least I can still navigate, contact people and lookup needed info ^^ (but of course I’m still bummed out about the whole thing)
The next morning we left Patra again early and were happy to find the road was pretty much all flat, thanks to that we were able to cover quite some distance pretty quickly and found ourselves have a break at a beautiful beach after only an hour or two and 40km further ^^ After some swimming relaxing and cleaning egg from one of my bags, since Raul made soft boiled eggs instead of hard boiled eggs and didn’t tell me that one of them had cracked inside of it, we kept on going to the next place for a nice long beach break, about 30 km further.
Along the way there we found many orange trees an took some for ourselves as they were very easy to reach from the road yummmm. But soon enough we made it to the second beach for our break and likes it so much there we stayed for at least 2 or 3 hours and were actually thinking of spending the night there, but it wasn’t really a good idea due to the many beach bars there. So instead after the 2 -3 relaxing hours we again continued the ride and found a very nice spot along another beach, which had some forest along it as well.
A perfect spot for us to make camp for the night, nice soft and flat ground good cover from all sides and 3 meters from the sea/beach ^^ a beautiful and well deserved spot after around 100km in the saddle, a very nice 100km with many beautiful views too. After I made us some pasta dinner we made ourselves a small campfire on the beach, but after a little while 2 guys came by and told us it’s better to kill the fire since we could get in a lot of trouble if the fire brigade saw it, so we did and afterwards decided it would be better to go to sleep.
Monday (27-6-2016) we took our sweet time getting ready, since we were both still a little tired from the long day yesterday, had a nice morning swim, did some yoga and meditation and hunted down some breakfast in the near village. When we were all finished and packed we started out 30km trip to our first stop, Korinthos. We had some lunch on the beach at a beach bar there and stayed a couple of hours drawing, relaxing and talking to the people working there, really nice and fun people ^^
But we had to keep going to find a good place for the night again, after another 30 or km we found another beach with a park and decided it would be good enough for the night, which except for the mosquitos it was, good thing my tent is a good protective bubble against these dillholes :P
The next morning I woke up very early since I wanted to clean up the camp before anyone could see it, since it was a public park along the beach with not too much cover and didn’t want any trouble since my tent is quite the attention attractor :p but it gave me the nice opportunity to watch the sunrise again and go skinny dipping while enjoying the sun rising ^^
When we were all packed and loaded up it was time to make our way to Athens ^^ the road began really nice and beautiful, but after some hours it was mostly along big and busy roads with not much to look at unfortunately. After a couple of short breaks and a flat tire we quickly found ourselves on the outskirts of the city ^^ but still had some 20 km to do before reaching our destination, along that 20km we found a camping shop where I got a nice hammock since Raul sold me on the idea and it might help save some extra cash on accommodation ^^.
The closer we got to our hosts house the busier and noisier everything became, back in a big city again…… which took me some getting used to after only small cities and mostly villages the previous week or so, but that didn’t take me long luckily.
Finally arrived after crossing all that traffic and met with our host Alba, who is a friend of Raul and was nice enough to let me stay too, she is really relaxed and gave us the keys while she had to work although it wasn’t really necessary since we were both to tired to go anywhere :p
When she got back from work, we all went into town, met with a friend of hers and visited some nice places in the area and on top of a hill (hill of the muses) with a really wonderful view of the whole city we did a little bit of acroyoga, really fun, but also a little scary :P but the views were just stunning, especially since there was a thunderstorm rolling in and we could see lightning striking a lot in the distance.
Until the rain started rolling our way, we quickly tried to find some shelter and when it finally calmed down made our way to a pub for some beers and later some dinner before calling it a night ^^