Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Slept late, found bakery for a fresh cheese bun, found coffee by following a group of men that headed into a tavern on the harbor. Still amazed by the coffee standard that the Greeks use, Nescafe right from the jar was what was being whipped up. This Barkeep added a tourist tax as she charged me $2 Euros for a single cup. I gave her a cold stare when she said two dollars and she just shrugged her shoulders. I didn't press it, but I know she knew she was overcharging me.
All the fishing boats were in the harbor with the fishermen tending to their nets. They had been out fishing during the night this was cleanup time.
The morning light was perfect and the photographs were some of my best on this trip.
I went off with no clear route in mind. I was less then 30 miles from a complete tour of the island and in no rush to head back to the capital city. I stopped in the next village at a real full sized supermarket to load up on some deli cheese and meats. A bakery for a few fresh rolls and I was rolling. Went looking for a castle up a side road that twisted and turned until I came to a unmarked Y in the road. I went left as it looked like the most used road. Gee was that fun. Back in the same village I had passed through an hour or so ago. I was back on the main road again this time just waving as I rode past the castle turnoff. The salt marshes off to my right, a nice warm breeze, some sunshine, I could get used to Greece. Next was the search for the 4thBC Greek Temple. It was marked on the big roadside map as the second road on the left after the bridge. I made a quick map on a post it and was off. Crossed the bridge after about 10 miles and started looking for the second road to the left. After passing the first one went several miles without seeing the a second road. Turned around and went back. Followed the first road after the bridge for a few miles it turned into a muddy mess that then dead ended.
I was confused, on my way to return to that roadside map when I came across another dirt road that was maybe a mile before the bridge. It went in the right direction, I was in no hurry and off I went. Big mud puddles went from road edge to road edge, rock walls on either side forced me to ride through and eureka a little less then a mile and a half up this road was the temple. I still don't know why I kept riding on this road as there just was zero indication that it was the way to the temple. Dumb luck!
The place was abandoned but had been recently mowed. I walked through the ruins touching columns carved 2500 years ago. Saw a lava kiln that these folks were able to get hot enough to re-melt the lava. That's not an easy chore I was impressed.
The road makes a nice climb that had several sections of modern roadway. Wide two lane with shoulders that would go back to traditional 1.5 lane shoulder less Greek road.
I much preferred the small highway as trees shaded the roadway making riding pleasant.
A manned detour blocked my way. No English vs. no Greek, universal hand gestures about me & bike being able to make it, then he waved me through.
I was now riding along another large bay on this empty road when I spotted an olive grove that looked abandoned. This was a rare sight.
Most olive groves that I had passed were fenced in and being pruned. No fence, no house, no DOG, equal invite. I parked at the top of the drive and did an investigative tour. No tire tracks, no houses or buildings hidden down in the trees. My last night here will be stealth camping by the shore under a full Greek moon