Cycling in Greece

The night before we go down the road, Damianos(the tall guy) came from my brothers house, so that we will wake up early the next morning, for our first destination

, which is Dilesi. He came in, when my brother was giving me a haircut  😛  Thanks bro!

IMG_20150524_225534

We also took a selfie

IMG_20150524_235632

and went to bed early.

We woke up before dawn, at 05:30 and we loaded the bikes, on the van of my cousin, called “Kakalos”

IMG_20150525_060127

IMG_20150525_060409

which he brought us on the outskirts of Athens, while our route was the same with his, as he was going to his job  😀  Be well cousin, thanks a lot!

So he left us at Agios Stefanos, where we loaded the bags on the bikes and we started cycling. The first real day of the project was a fact! In the beginning we were driving on the sideroad of the highway, which wasn’t a good thing, cause the trucks were giving us a hard time… But after a while we turned and the real route started! The strong uphill in the beginning tired us, but also compensated us for its natural beauty and the alternative landscapes.

IMG_20150525_084834

We reached the sea after an hour, where we rested at a beach for a while and we continued till we reached Dilesi. Mission Accomplished  😉 

IMG_20150525_085556

My uncle Aggelara and my aunt Irini, were waiting for us there!

10352839_699908740114326_6177906716281930390_n

They welcomed us with a warm hug, a hot coffee, lots of questions about the project and a huge table with meat and potatoes  🙂  We relaxed after, until the afternoon, where we went for a walk at the beach with Aggelaras and then back home, to eat the super tasty pitsa of aunt Irini. We had a beer, talked and finally went to sleep.

Next morning we woke up at dawn, had breakfast, said bye to the uncle and aunt, took our sandwiches where Irini prepared for us and started our second day. Thank you so much for everything!

11334059_700173633421170_2816609806355709914_o

After our first 10km, we realised that we made a detour… After some time we got on the right track and crossed the new bridge of Chalkida which is stuning by the way and after that, we stepped on Evoia. We got out of Chalkida and reached Nea Artaki, were we relaxed in a park until the afternoon. Then we cycled for one more hour, until we got ourselves in the middle of nowhere, with an abandoned gas station, where behind of it there was an olive tree field, where we set up our tents. Damianos cooked rice with vegetables, we ate and we crashed inside the tents, after a busy day. 

IMG_20150527_072426

Next morning we continued our course and climbed our first mountain! It was incredibly toughm but at the same time incredibly beautiful, at the wonderful Evoias landscapes. At miday, we reached the top and started going down. At the end of the downhill, we came across saint John’s feast, where we ate to recover our energy. We continued in an extraordinary green landscape, full of huge plane trees, next to a river. After it got uphill again and the wheather got really bad. We could see the storm coming… We knew that when the uphill would be over, Rovies would be very close, where my friend Giorgos lives. Three km before Rovies though, the storm got us… Luckily then, George came out of nowhere and picked us up, with his truck. We loaded the bikes and went to Paliomylos, Giorgos project.

IMG_20150527_184442

I met Giorgos two years ago, when i was on a journey through ecovilages in Evoia and we had two undorgetable months, full of hard work and endless fun at the same time! Paliomylos is a project, which goal is sustainability and freedom for people, in all levels. Literaly, there is a huge olive tree field, some gardens with unbelievable varety of vegetables and herbs, a fantastic compost toilet, a test site made entirely from COB, lots of seeds, joy, creation and laughter! If you want to learn more, read HERE, what Giorgos is saying about it. 

So we reached the house and got warm inside!  🙂 

07490003

IMG_20150528_205557

After a fantastic dinner with Trahanas(Paliomylos special), we talked for hours and then we went to bed. The next day we had a “day off”m so we rested till late. Giorgos had so much to show us, that in those two years had evolved impressively much. Too much work, responsibility and dedication, turned the place(since the last time i saw it) in a real heaven! After miday, we started cleaning broad beans(!) and finished at night, since we had such great discussions!

IMG_20150528_175003

Next morning was slightly raining, but we decided to go anyway. So we said goodbye to our host. Thank you for everything brother!

The coastal road till Edipsos was imposing, with sharp cliffs ending at the sea, through the prism of rain.

IMG_20150529_120406

We reached Agiokampos, where we took the ferry to Glyfa. We disembarked there and continued till Achileo, where we spend our night on an abandoned bar…

IMG_20150529_191831

The morning we had our typical breakfast, nutella with bread  😛  and moved on. After a strong uphill in the beginning, the landscape started to become straight, as we were reaching the big valley of Thesalia. So at noon, we saw that from above, waiting for us…

IMG_20150530_101414

We continued and reached Velestino, where we rested at the square and after we reached the stadium, to see if we can sleep there. The keeper of the staduium suggested us to set our tents next to it, in a kindergarden! So we settled, cooked our lentals and slept like babies!

IMG_20150531_072338

Next morning we continued, with the intention to reach Larisa, the capital of the valley. The route was entirely into the valley and actually it was an endless straight line, from the beginning to the end. In three and a half hours we made 45 km and reached Larisa. We went straight to the house, where Damianos aunt was waiting for us with a warm hug!

To Be Continued!