Wednesday, June 22, 2011

19th/20th, Greece

Managed about 6 hrs kip on the ferry, and set off North. Garmin the Challenging, had us going up tracks and lanes that a enduro bike would have been made for, but Batty held her own despite her rider's anx. Harry the Idiot had forgotten to reprogram the routing system, so the shortest route, included tracks.
Once back on hard stuff, I was taken into a world of natural beauty and quiet yet thrilling roads, that it had me re-gauging my index. Historically I had the Pyrenees as the prettiest mountains, then the Alps in my experience to date, but the Veloyxi are top of the pops for me now.

This natural beauty was then complemented by the people I met. First off a local farm insisted on buying me a drink in a bar an hour or so after arriving in the country, only to be followed by Kostas and Anna Noetakitz standing me dinner in the evening. I had met them as I turned up at a taverna, just a short way from the guesthouse I was staying in. Batty again, you see, was the magnet. A delightful couple on a 3 day break from Athens visiting her home town of Loutra Smokovou. I was there because it had got about 6pm and I needed to find a bed and happened upon this idillic spar village. Kostas spoke good English, although he claims that it was just from school- he must have been top of the class. they told be much about this magical place and I had the best day and evening of the trip having left friends 1000 miles back.
Batty clocked 5000 miles today.

This whole area was at Philippe's hints and he was very right. He also suggested going to the Meteora area...reminding me of the James Bond films when Roger Moore scales a fantastic rock face on service to her Majesty. I hadn't realised that there are a host of them:

Having spent a few hours at these marvels, it was off to the beach for me. Paralia is a classic seaside resort with thousands of holidaymakers and highly geared for the job. It is easy and mindless and perfect place for a couple of days R&R. I have taken a room 150 yrds back from the beach for a gentle €25 per night. It is a weird place...and particularly my street, where all you can buy is fur coats. I am sure it gets cooler in winter, but in 33 degrees, it seems a bit odd.
That all said I seem to have spent the day planning Turkey, some work things and other trip related admin/research.

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