While Waiting: Last Day in Rhode and The Ferry. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

March 11, 2014

While Waiting: Last Day in Rhode and The Ferry.

The rain starts drowning out the music I'm listening to and builds to a crescendo, hammering the tent so hard I'm afraid the tent will come in on top of me. This morning the rain is still rumbling away on the taut drum-like tent material. Then eases off and it goes silence except for the traffic from the highway. I unzip, look out and see the cloud is clearing; looks like it's going to be a good day.

Look-out from where I camped.
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Breakfast this morning is muesli with yogurt and while waiting for the tent to dry, I take some snaps of the holiday-apartment block across from where I'm hidden amongst the bushes. Then take the tent down and pack everything on the bike ready to go. My feet then get horribly wet wading through long grass, pushing the bike to the track back out to the road.

Quayside.
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Back at the port the ticket office is open this morning. The guy behind the glass informs me that embarkation will begin at three this afternoon for the five thirty sailing and the fare is fifty-nine euros, meaning I must visit an ATM in town. I cycle along the waterfront and into the old town, spending quite a while looking for a café. One with not only a good WiFi connection, but also a plug in to recharge the battery. Clement, the French cyclist I met on Sunday has the right idea, running a dynamo hub in his front-wheel which keeps his phone fully charged. I on the other hand have to make do with power complimentary of coffees I buy.

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I find a place at last. The barista kindly lets me connect my cord to the socket behind the counter on which I open the netbook and take a seat. I remain until two o'clock creating, uploading pictures and writing two entries for this journal, by which time I'm famished, so look at the menu. The barista recommends something called a club sandwich. The most expensive thing on the card at seven euros fifty. I settle for a pachuta ham and cheese sandwich for five euros. When it come, it is small; just enough to stave off hunger for the present.

Returning to the port with plenty of time to buy a ticket and board the ferry, it strikes me how stressful the traffic is here. Vehicles race around and would run you down if you happen to get in their way. Rhodes is only a small place, so I dread to think what its going to be like in Athens.

The same guy I spoke to this morning sells me my ticket and directs me to the ship and I now sit on board writing this. The economy fare doesn't include a birth, so I suspect I'll be sleeping in one of these seats tonight. I hope the food is good and not overpriced after such a light lunch. Meanwhile I'm extremely thirsty. The café having not served me complimentary glasses of water.

At the bar there's a woman holding things up by trying to pay for a one euro twenty cup of coffee with a hundred euro note. I'm dying of thirst while the barista tries finding change. Then the man after her is so undecided and fussy about which card to use in payment. Come on now please. I should have been to a supermarket and got water, but I'll let you in on a secret, it isn't easy to be in the supermarket and be updating this journal simultaneously at the same time. As it is, the half litre bottle come to a reasonable fifty cents.

My feet are still damp from this morning. I'm hoping they don't smell when I take my shoes off. Meanwhile the safety announcements are ongoing. The English, a miss-translation, goes "...for safety, press your lifejacket down if you have to jump from a high altitude..." Surely that should be "from a height."

Out through the window as the ship is sailing, I see bare mountainous islands. It must be hot there in Summer without any shade. I try concentrating on my book but every few minutes that tannoy goes ding-dong, with some announcement or other like, "the restaurant on deck..... is opening...." Then the two year old boy in the next seat begins to ball his head off in one continuous sob that drills into my brain making concentration impossible.

Later I try out the cafeteria. The food looks tired. I opt for something which is grey with dark green in the juice, looks like spinach and the meat is lamb when I ask. Along with rice its nine euros and not wanting to drink another bottle of water, I point out a 33 cl can of Amstel beer in the fridge. It come to a stupendous two euros ninety. suffice to say I don't have a second one.

When I get up and leave I go to another lounge without kids and in there see a Korean couple I saw on Sunday's ferry from Marmaris. They recognise me and calls me over to their table. Of the two, he speaks only a little English, tells me his name is Lee and wife Ran. He is fifty-four and a retired teacher from Korea's third biggest city.

Today's ride: 9 km (6 miles)
Total: 11,953 km (7,423 miles)

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