Thursday, November 19, 2009
Biking In Lesvos Greece -April 09: as the sun starts to set
The gravel road wandered up and down, the sun shimmered on the sea and I was riding my bike in Greece. I have to keep saying that as sometimes the steepness of the road or the sweat pouring into your eyes makes you forget that this is not Kansas.
The road ahead was blocked by two small cars. One gentleman stood next to the other car passing the time of day with the driver. I used my entire knowledge of Greek and said ya-sue (phonic spelling) a catchall greeting meaning hello. The man standing greeted me back in English as the other man in the other car drove away. He asked if I was English and said that he spoke good English because he drank Ouzo. I then replied that I needed to drink Ouzo as my Greek was crap. He told me to wait and walked his house 30 yards down the drive soon returning with a 2 liter coke cola bottle ¾ filled with Ouzo, two glass tumblers and a bottle of tap water. 'I show you how to drink Ouzo so you can then speak Greek. He poured about an inch of Ouzo in the glass added the equal amount of water handed me a glass and said cheers. We moved to the shade of a large pine tree drinks in hand and proceeded to solve all of the worlds problems. Two hours and a good ¼ of that coke bottles contents later I begged off one more for the road.After that I was not sure if the road was crooked or if it was the Ouzo. Thankful with the exception of the car that blocked the road where I stopped, I had yet to see or be passed by a car the entire time I was on this section of gravel road.
One of the reason I had picked this island to tour was it had Hot Springs. One of my favorite ends to a day of riding is to take a dip in some natural hot springs. Here ahead was the hot spring building with it white doomed roof from my internet research. Five months ago it was just a photo on my computer. Now I was going to sit in its pool of hot water. Way Cool. The place is open year round with admission charged in the summer months. In the off season the large pool is open to all with the rest of the building locked up tight. There is a small changing area with a few benches from this room you have two choices one is to go through a small portal to the hot spring pool or the other is to exit outside through a small door to a beach area and the sea. I slipped out of my bike clothes and into my shorts then headed to the pool. Okay I love hot hot springs.
But OH MY GOD this water was ready for coffee grounds. It was 109*-112* at the cool end. I would have whimped out except for three young ladies who entered wearing just their underwear and climbed down into the pool like it was only warm. I had my honor, my country and my pride to protect as I joined them by lowering myself into this steaming cauldron. I also had one almost topless and two nearly naked Greek women sitting next to me, in Greece, in a hot spring. When I die, I want to come back as me.. After a few long minutes they used hand signals to tell me to follow. We all ran out the door into the cooling waters of the Mediterranean. My first hot spring experience in Greece was complete.
Town was roughly 5 miles farther on and I started to look for a place to camp. There was a hill close to the sea that looked interesting. Interesting was the right word as this hill was infused with abandoned camouflaged army bunkers. I camped at the bottom of this hill on a section of beach. This time I set up my tent making a proper camp for the night.
Sitting on the beach as the stars came out listening to the waves, the lights of Turkish villages clear across the channel it was great to be here.