Hello to all after our long silence,
Turns out not all of the little places have an internet cafe in fact we are in the only one in town and it has a total of one terminal.
Since we last wrote in Capetown we have covered a lot of geography.
After a 20km ride to the airport in Capetown, beginning at 4:00PM, we boarded our aircraft 4 hours late and departed at 12:30AM for Athens Greece. Arrived in Athens at 10:30AM and after a 4 hour wait we pedalled off in the rain for our hotel which was some 25kms from Athens. Great hotel but since it was late PM we were unable to do any sight seeing of this historic city. We figured the organizer figures if you have seen one pile of old stones you have seen them all. We along with many others decided to take matters in our own hands and rented buses for the following day and organized a sightseeing trip. We feel sad for those who decided to mount their bikes the next morning at 7:00AM and ride off into the Greek country side. Had a great day and met up with the group for the evening meal. Slept four to a room designed for three with Mary opting for the floor.
After a less than filling breakfast it was off on a beautiful ride along the shores of Greece. This was one of our finest rides of the whole trip, great terrain and reasonable miles (106km) Camped by the sea where it was cold as hell and the food lines were long and food ran out.
Next day after a nice breakfast it was off to Sparti this was a long day with a long 30 km climb cold at top with the snow capped peaks getting to close for comfort. Camp site had been changed from the one on the route guide to what we called Diesel Land II, cold showers, line ups for food, plugged toilets etc. We chose a hotel over squaller.
Following another meager breakfast it was off to Pylos. This historic day began with a gruelling 20km climb in rain, sleet then snow. Stopped at the summit to warm all parts of our anatomy then it was off in the snow and clouds to a nerve racking descent. There was one serious accident as a rider went down and broke his hip. There were other falls but none as serious. We took our time and emerged no worse for wear. Arrived in camp to pouring rain, no showers set up, no gear truck and all in all some very upset riders waiting in wet conditions to get cleaned up. Once again a hotel won out over a serious storm.
Following a wonderful breakfast it was off to Olympia, great ride, not to many killing hills and the weather was cold but sunny. The campgrounds were unique so we opted for a low cost Penssion. Dinner was great but breakfast left much to be desired, who likes eating standing up eating cold food in the cold? Visited the Olympic ruins the next morning before leaving on a train for Patra where we were to board a ferry for Bari, Italy.
Ferry loading went well and the trip was great. Thankfully the Greeks are well organized and efficient when it comes to getting their ferries away on time. Food was served efficiently on time and we enjoyed a cabin for our overnight sail. Arrived 8:30AM in Bari and off loaded efficiently. This was followed by an 80km ride to our first nights stay at Alberobello. Neat town with Trulli homes (circular and built from flat stones. Opted for a hotel after checking in and seeing that things were not set up and the camp ground had been occupied by more dogs than people as evidence of their presence was everywhere to be seen including the showers. Decided to return for dinner which was a mistake. 7:00PM serving time turned into 8:20PM, the food was meager in the beginning and their was a lynch mob mentality percolating. Apparently more food arrived around 9:30 but by then most everyone had left or found alternate food. All in all, a very bad night.
The next morning it was off to a place called Metroponto where we stayed in a hotel as the camp grounds had been changed at the last minute to the grounds surrounding the restaurant where we had dinner.
It was then off to Scalea for a much needed rest day. This is a little seaside resort town, which is now sound asleep as there are no tourists except us. The hotel is adequate and the food has proven to be sufficient for most everyone's needs. Have enjoyed the day off and we are on the bike again tomorrow for a short day (109km) ride along the coast.
Will close for now as there are very hostile Odyssey 2000 riders waiting to access this one terminal.
Dave & Mary
PS. Please keep those prayers and good vibes coming we need all the support we can get.