Land of SurprisesNovember 18, 2016 in Greece
German Version on www.cyclingfornepal.com
The rainy weather in Albania and Macedonia had been bad on my mood. It was time to enjoy a few sunrays. Greece is known as an autumn domicile and so I went on with my trip to the Greek border with full euphoria. In Macedonia, I had thought about my further route through Greece. My dad suggested that we meet in Antalya, enjoy the sun and spend some relaxing days together. This sounded great and so the approximate direction was fixed, south to Athens.
On the way to the border to Greece I met Keith from Canada on the roadside. He has been riding a singlespeed bike (only one gear) for several years. He was just assembling a smaller chainring to the crank because several climbs followed. The effort would be too way too much for me, but he probably belongs to a handful of people who are cycletouring like this. After it was raining again, we decided to look for a suitable place to stay. We found an abandoned house on a resting place, exchanged our travel experiences and let the evening end with good food. The next day, our paths separated. I cycled further south to Greece, Keith to the north.
The following days in Greece were very rainy. At first I was still on gravel roads, but I remained stuck in the mud, so I switched to paved roads. In the evening, I fortunately found in a canopy, under which I could sleep. I just arrived at the new sleeping place, two small dog-puppies ran out of the abandoned side building. There was no trace of the mom.
Both dogs, who I dubbed Blacky and Whitey, spent the whole night with me. I would have loved to take both with me.
In the morning the sun finally came out and the landscape became greener and more mountainous. In the late evening I arrived in the small village of Meteora. The name sounds very special and so is the landscape surrounding the small village. Huge ridge towers rising in the air as if they had fallen from the sky. I stayed couple days to go hiking and enjoying the views.
After three days I set off again. I stopped at the supermarket and to my surprise I met two other cyclists. Ruggero from Italy and Brian from the USA. Both of them met in South America and went cycling together for a month. Meanwhile, Ruggero has been on the bike for two years and is about to end his trip. Both had arranged for a trip to Greece and were also on the road to Athens. We decided to go to Athens together, which was a great pleasure to me. We three were immediately on a wavelength.
We cycled through lonely mountain roads, fought rain, found shelters in churches, were invited by local people to have breakfast and a Ouzo (which usually amounted to three / four). The people were incredibly friendly and helpful.
Arriving at the sea, we took a bus to Athens, where we spent two days together and walked through the city. Then our paths separated. Meanwhile, Ruggero has returned to Italy. Brian is now biking in Central Asia.
My path now led to Turkey. There was the possibility to take either a fly or a ferry. I chose the ferry, which is much more relaxed with the bike. The ferry drove over night to the Greek island of Rhodes. I arrived at noon, but on the same day no ferry left for Turkey. I checked on the mobile phone the size of the island, which is with a length of about 100 km is not too big and decided to circumnavigate the island in two days. The sun burned down and the 32 degrees caused my first defect on the trip. My tires had too much pressure, whereupon the front tube burst. In the parking lot, where I just changed the tube, a couple tried to get their scooter to run. A tube on the engine was torn and my broken tube was quickly misused. A few minutes later the scooter ran again. Apparently, it was no coincidence that this should happen at this parking lot.
After 220 km in the legs I arrived the next day on time at the port and took the ferry to Turkey.
Greece was full of surprises and everything came out quite differently than I had planned and expected. These are the moments that make such a trip so special.Read more