Day 12 - Apollonia to Thessaloniki: Brutal day - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

January 27, 2015

Day 12 - Apollonia to Thessaloniki: Brutal day

The good news I made it to Thessaloniki. But it was a day to be endured, not enjoyed.

I was tired from averaging 90km/day for the past four days. My muscles were hurting, craving rest.

The day was dreary and grey, low clouds. The trucks were many, the dogs numerous.

And I was getting a migraine, possibly from sleeping in a smoker's house. That makes even perfect conditions unenjoyable.

The first part of the day was unremarkable. The second part, the last 15-20km, took me nearly 3 hours, I think.

I decided to avoid the main highway and take the other road on the map to Thessaloniki. People, non-cyclists, thought the hill before the city was brutal, so I didn't see how the alternate route could be any worse. And it wasn't, at first. Sure, it was steep and tiring, but not terrible.

Then I learned that what I thought was the top was nowhere near the top, with the highway already lost in the fog somewhere far below me. I imagine the conversation when they built the road went something like this:

Greek government employee 1: See this gap between these two ridiculously tall hills?
Greek government employee 2: Yes.
1: Let's not build the road there.
2: Sounds good. How about we put it right on top of this hill?
1: Ooh, I like. And let's put it on top of this even higher hill, too!
2: I didn't even think of that! We make a great team.

Yeah, I killed my legs and had to push the bike for a good long while. And still, the road kept going up. I was so close to the sea, I couldn't see how it was possible, unless the road went right off a cliff.

And it practically did. Leaving me dreading the way out of this city, but I won't dwell on that now. My poor legs can have some time off before I punish them further. I can hear them asking, "What did we ever do to you, other than carry you for your entire life?" I just tell them that life's not fair.

I thought this was the top, but it wasn't even close
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 64 km (40 miles)
Total: 703 km (437 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0