Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Biking In Lesvos Greece -April 09": The great circle route

Don't know what to call this day. Heavy rain clouds rolling past with huge patches of clear blue sky. I headed back to Koloni found coffee and then went off towards the beach on the nearby Bay of Koloni.
Passed the second bike shop, stopped in and traded a 'Livestrong' bracelet for a generous coating of chain lube a good trade after all of the rain and mud so far on this trip.

Closed hotels on a long empty beach, workers scurrying around getting ready for the season, lots of laughter and music drifting across the road. They eyed me as I rode past I know they were thinking damn the first tourist of the season, I thought we had more time. The tourist are coming, the tourist are coming.

Another bakery fed me, another café provided coffee I was getting into a real routine.

I wandered snapping photographs, running across a bicycle rental place (closed) that I had emailed a half dozen times from back in the states. Unfriendly barking dogs guarded the shops doorway and the steps that lead to the residency above. After I had found out that the Airlines wanted $200.00 each way for my road bike to fly with me. I had explored the option of renting a bike here on Lesbos. This place was the one and only bicycle rental shop. But six emails with zero reply forced me to go with plan B. (buying a folding bicylce) It turned out to be much better overall that they didn't reply.

With a re-supply from the only market I went looking for the famous bird viewing areas.
I sorta could see (sorta could see - defined as not lost but working on it) where I wanted to go. How I got there was really another story. Down muddy lanes with much wandering, great puddles that were inches deep to several feet. Oh but wait a large river that had a paved fording spot. Knee deep and cold, I had to shuffle across as I was holding the back end of my bike up to keep the Panniers out of this river.
I made it! A raised viewing blind that was locked up tight. You could still climb the steps to a small landing. The view was great; from there I saw the closed plant where I had spent last night it was just a few miles away. I think this was the great circle route.

Never been big on bird watching but there were flamingos so close that I sat and watched them until the rain started back up.
Making the choice between pavement or mud I rode back to the beach on the great circle route figuring that my ride total for the day was eight miles as the crow flies or 30+ as a wandering fly.

Looking for a place to stay for the night I asked a gentleman sweeping out a beach patio if he spoke English? He replies I would think so, I was born there. He knew of a local tavern that had rooms above. The tavern owner spoke no English but with hand gestures was able to direct me around back where he had a few rooms upstairs. The room was perfectly acceptable with its own private bath. I was also able to store my bike in the taverns back room. His daughter who spoke limited English asked me to come back as her dad wanted to cook me a traditional Greek dinner. I showered and changed ready for that traditional Greek dinner. Okay what can I say 'daddy can't cook!!!' It was horrid. I ate enough to be polite. Gestured that I was more then full and escaped. I said a little prayer before closing my eyes to ward off that meal coming back to haunt me.

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