Last Ride In Greece: Beach Camp to Ferry from Patra. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

March 16, 2014

Last Ride In Greece: Beach Camp to Ferry from Patra.

The place I've camped is pretty much public with houses not far away, though at the same time hidden by the low bows of the trees the tent is between. Its greatest attribute is its closeness to the shore with the lolling sound of the waves which I woke up to this morning after a good night's sleep.

This is the first morning for a long time that I've alcohol for the stove, so I boil water to make tea. I'm fed-up of drinking what remains of yesterday's coke which has lost its fizz.

I'm on the road shortly after eight. Continuing with the coast on the right, passing through the narrow streets of many small towns. Good thing there is a modern highway built parallel as the traffic wouldn't fit through these small streets. This road I'm on I've seen on a sign in English is called "The Old National Road". It remains flat as the mountains on the left level out to the coast and there's more countryside today between towns, in lush green and yellow wildflowers of Spring. The only gripe is this continuing narrow track which at sometime was dug up then the resurfacing has sunk, leaving a recess to catch the front-wheel and possibly make me crash. There isn't enough space on the inside and riding on the outside, means I'm a bit far out in the road.

Old warehouses on the way out of a village and the grass which is full of the yellow bloom of buttercups.
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A lemon grove.
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About nine-thirty I pass a sign: Patra 57 KM, so, I'll be there by early afternoon and hopefully be on a ferry to Italy tonight, avoiding a day hanging around. For the moment I enjoy the countryside of lots of lemon groves with ripe lemons hanging from tree bows. Isn't it time they where picked. Even the houses have heavy-bowed lemon trees in their gardens, most of which have large vegetable plots of brown freshly cultivated soil, it being Spring and time to plant.

I stop at a café in one village and have my last Greek café, costing three euros; but, it come with a large slice of yellow and brown marbled cake and a big bottle of water. And, is on a terrace by the shore, so isn't an all too bad elevenses. Later I lunch on a can of baked beans and bread on the way into Patra sitting underneath a tree on an empty plot by a Lidl, shut on Sunday. I could've done with buying more food for the ferry, something I'll explain in a little bit.

Patra is an elongated city squeezed between snow-capped mountains and the coast and its a long ride through the centre until I reach the waterfront and see a ferry ahead. I find out at the terminal that the next sailing is to Bari at six this afternoon, so my day has worked out well. I'll be sleeping on the ferry tonight and tomorrow be cycling in a new country.

I now write this sitting on board after sailing away from Patra with its snow-capped mountain backdrop. A reminder that Spring has not arrive in other parts of Europe yet. This leg of my tour is days of sitting on ferries taking a large chunk out of the distance, as in a week I've travel nearly halfway cross Europe. So this route isn't for the purist wanting to claim they've pedalled the whole way. It also takes a large chunk out of the pocket. This is the third ferry since leaving Turkey. The price for this one is sixty-one euros and the total price for the three ferries so far is one-hundred and sixty euros. Then there's the prices on board which I cannot describe any other way than criminal. I've just paid three euros eight for a small frothy cappuccino. Later for dinner I pay ten euros for a simple chicken casserole and rice, plus two euros forty for a 33 ml can of coke. I think for the next ferry I'm taking all my own food as I'm fed up of this rip-off.

Today's ride: 77 km (48 miles)
Total: 12,188 km (7,569 miles)

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