Friday, November 20, 2009

"Biking In Lesvos Greece -April 09": Barking Dogs

Today was one of those great days that only an elite group of biking tour-ers get. That first real total feeling of disconnect, you wake up to a gorgeous sunrise, hear the waves lapping at the shore and ponder 'what day is today?' No watch, no cycle computer, today is today wow what a great feeling.
I broke camp and peddled back to the hot spring. At that early hour I was all alone and used the small pool of hot water that bubble up on the outside of the dome as a sink. A good wash with a hot towel shave and I was ready to face the day but only after finding coffee.
I crested a small hill and saw a few miles away a large castle that loomed over a cluster of white and tan houses. The road ahead had a four way split, barking dogs to the left, castle to the right. I headed towards the castle and what I hoped was town. (cue laughter)
Several miles later the road forked again with me taking the lower fork. Mistake as I got no closer to the town or the castle. But here was a sign pointing to a campground. So I took another road and after a few more miles I was back at the barking dogs now to my right and the castle to my left. Not more then 20 yards to the right was what had looked like an closed business with a water truck parked in the driveway. In reality it was the office of a local camp area still closed for the season. The gate was open. I did a short tour it was nicely laid out. As I was not sure of my plans for that day I just made a mental note how to get back here if needed.

Back to town and this time I actually made it all the way. It was still early but I found a small café with coffee (Nescafe) and pizza, 2 slices. This little café was a gathering spot for the locals with the same early morning clusters of men coffee in hand meeting and greeting as I have seen in rural towns across America. Just as I finished my second cup a man walked up and asked if I was looking for a place to stay? He said he owned a small guest house a few blocks away that was available. I hesitated but asked how much? Shocked when he said twenty a night, I said sure as I wanted to wash some gear. A much larger issue was overhead. Big black rain clouds heading towards us. I had seen on an extended forecast before I left Athens that I was in for a few days of rain . It looked like today was the day.

We walked up to his guest house on real narrow cobblestone paths. This village had some streets wide enough for a small car but there were many that were just wide enough to allow myself and my bike. When we arrived I was in for a shock this place was nice. This would have been a 100+ per night room in any B&B. Here I was sharing a house with no one, had my own private bath, kitchen facilities, a garden courtyard, and a sunning deck,
I planted my bags and this became base camp for the next two days.

Did my laundry in the sink, glad that I had a roof over my head instead of hunkered down in my tent as sheet after sheet of hard rain washed over this village

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