Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Biking In Lesvos Greece -April 09": waking without coffee

Coffee, coffee, coffee, normally I have this sweet little Lexan coffee press that allows me to make my own coffee first thing in the morning. I came to Greece light bringing no cooking gear of any kind. My early morning craving for caffeine now signals that this was a real mistake. After breaking camp I back tracked towards the village I had passed thought yesterday afternoon. A gathering of cars and trucks in front of a mini market (the only thing similar to an American Mini Mart was the name) gave me a solid clue that there either was a big sale going on or coffee was available. I did a Nescafe double shot turned my bike around and headed out.

As I was now into the good habit of not predicting the road ahead I enjoyed the roller coaster ride of climbs and descents. It was only a few hours into the ride on this lesser road when traffic dribbled off. I had the road to myself..
The Mediterranean to my right the sun giving me warmth, a cold beer and a sandwich in my pack waiting for lunch this is the day we see in our mind as we plan our trips. Today was my high millage day of the whole trip. By late afternoon I had come halfway around the bay of Kalloni and was in a bustling town. Traffic was everywhere. Parking was on both sides of the street and a row down the middle. People stepped out into the street and crossed with confidence. I latter learned that if you hesitate everyone knows you are not Greek.

I had one flat along the way and looked for a bike shop to purchase a replacement tube.
The only bike shop in town (I latter found another on the outskirts of this village) had bike brands that I had never heard lined up out front. Inside the store there were another couple of dozen bikes but lining the shelves was not the typical assortment of bicycle related items but electric irons, rice cookers, electric tea kettles and other kitchen items.

'Honey I need to go get my bike tuned can I bring you home a rice cooker while I am there?'

A sidewalk café provided me with a great dinner, hard to beat a charcoal roasted chicken, Greek salad and fries washed down with a cold Amstel for less then seven dollars.
I had seen on a billboard tourist map that there was a large bird sanctuary just outside of town. I had figured that I could find some accommodations to pitch my tent. My choice was limited by the sun disappearing faster then I wanted. There was some kind of plant that was abandoned at the crossroad. I made a quick scout of it. It was new but empty and had been from the look of things for several years. I wedged my tent into a small patch of grass hidden for the most part of any casual by passer for the night.
Clouds hid the stars and sometime in the middle of the night it started to rain. Me I just slept through it all

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