A Greek welcome

After a long and dark night with thunderstorms and big showers we have some new land in our vision at 5:30 in the morning. At one side of the boat we see Albania with high mountains and big dark clouds above it. At the other side we see some islands and according to us the biggest one must be Corfu.

The first thing we do when we are standing on the land is find ourselves a place for a good cup of coffee and a sandwich. We didn’t take good care of ourselves during the boat trip, because we expected a small shop to buy something, but it wasn’t there. So we have breakfast in town and Steven tries the Greek coffee, which is a new experience for him. It’s not filtered coffee, so the face of Steven says a lot when he takes his last zip. We enjoy the sandwiches a lot. They are brown and salted which we missed in Italy.

We look for a campsite near the small town of Kerkira and we find one 20 km further along the coast. We put up our tent near a huge tree and we fall asleep. We decide to stay at this campsite and not to cycle further on the island. Corfu is a nice green island and people say it’s the greenest one in Greece. It’s not as peaceful as we expected, because there is a lot of traffic driving around on the main roads. But when we cycle to the other side of the island it is getting less crowded and there it is nice to cycle.

We spend five great days relaxing on Corfu, before we continue our trip. We enjoy the Greek kitchen at the restaurant on the campsite which we think is delicious. We go to town by hitchhiking and so we meet a very friendly Greek lady. She tells us a lot about Greece and in the evening we visit her and her husband again. When we leave our roadmap is full with circles of places worth to go in this country. It’s great how we encounter all these friendly people all the time!

On Monday the 8th of August we take the boat to Patras. We made a new plan to go to the Peloponnesus and cycle in two days to Athens. We reach Patras when it’s already dusk and we find out that there’s no campsite in town. So we have to cycle 20 km to the next town. We didn’t have a map yet so we follow the signs. After a few km cycling on a crowded road the road changes into an even busier highway with no change to turn around. Until we find a gap and we can escape with our bikes. It was really getting dark when we arrived at the famous bridge from Greek mainland to the Peloponnesus. It looked great with all the lights and we were glad we arrived at a campsite.

The next day we wake up and we discover that our tent is standing on a beautiful green and soft lawn. After all the dry grass of Italy this was a new experience. We were riding along the coast and we could see the other side of the water and mainland Greece. After riding for a few hours we were confronted with a beautiful beach and we couldn’t pass resist to take a dive. The water was very clear and it was a great refreshment.
After this break we were ready to go again but we discovered a flat tire at Stevens back wheel. After 4546 km this is the first puncture during our trip! After some professional inspection of the tire we find a small piece of iron which pieced its way through Stevens tire.

With a new tire full of air we start cycling again to a place with a campsite. But unfortunately this one was closed so we had to move on. The sky was getting darker and darker and after some time big drops of water were falling on our heads. We found a good shelter at a petrol station but after some time we decide to go further because it was getting late. We put on our reflecting jackets so the traffic could see us. At eleven PM we put up our tent and made ourselves a nice dinner by cooking in the kitchen of the campsite.

In the morning everything was dry again and we started cycling in the direction of Athens. It was a nice route along the coast and with a ferry to a small island. We cycled to the other side of the island and here we had to take a ferry again which brought us to Pireaus in Athens. We went to the tourist office to ask for a nice campsite in the capital, but it appeared to be that there wasn’t any…….We had to cycle 15 km outside the city for the first campsite which was also closed. So we cycled a 15 km more to arrive at a very expensive one which wasn’t worth it in our eyes.

So we made some new plans: we would go the next day to the harbor of Pareaus to look for a boat which could bring us to the island of Parros. If that would be impossible we would go to a hostel to explore Athens.

Corfu total: 102km
Patras – Konthiklia: 132km
Konthiklia – Varkiza (Athens) 112km

 

 

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