Thursday, December 3, 2009
Early to Rise
Up at 4am surprise didn't need the alarm clock. Put all my gear back on the bike I was ready to head out for the last time. The guest house had a supply of Nescafe and a hot tap allowing me to make coffee in a water bottle as there were only ceramic coffee mugs on the shelves. The plastic water bottle felt like it was going to melt in my hand. Where was the idiot warning label that all American products must wear? 'NOT INTENDED FOR USE WITH BOILING WATER'. to understand how large this ferry was that dark blur all the way down that alley way is a four door car
Arrived at the ferry terminal before the ferry. The gathering crowd swelled with each minute, I had only been able to buy a deck ticket as the Easter holiday made this trip a sold out affair. When the ferry pulled in only a few cars and trucks offloaded. I was waved on into the depths of this huge ferry. Given permission with a nod that I could lock up my bike to a baggage cart I offloaded my gear into the secure baggage cart locked my bike and headed to an upper deck. There were some stragglers that raced to get on board at the last minute. But one lady who ran to the ramp was denied boarding even though the ramp was down and easily crossed. A line had just been cast free, the signal to the boarding officer that no more allowed. He told the lady so, and then stepped across the ramp back as she yelled what only could be interpreted as fond wishes for a pleasant journey.
The ferry was remarkable. New, clean with the look and feel of a cruise ship, what a difference from the first ferry I used to get to this Island. I pulled up a deck chair and enjoyed the island cruise for the rest of the day.
So that's it my ride in Lesvos Greece was complete.
Would I go back?
Yes, in a heart beat
What where the people like?
I and others I talked with defined the locals in two groups. Group one totally ignored you. Group two was out going and would offer to help with a smile.
Did you feel safe?
Always, never had that Spidey tingle that warned me that I was in the wrong part of town or around bad people. Riding my bike was better on that Island then many places I have ridden in the states. Drivers are just more aware of small motor scooters zipping around the streets and roads of Lesvos so sharing the road wasn't a foreign concept as it is in many parts of the states.
Did you have problems not speaking Greek?
Pantomime has always worked well for me. There were enough people that spoke English that I was able to find an English speaker to translate when I really needed the help.
I am adding a different kind of map to my touring bag. In my travels when people ask where I am from I tell them Oregon. When I was in Greece saying Oregon was to most somewhere in the USA but where was totally unknown. So I am going to search for a small printed cloth map that could have multi uses. Would be nice to point out on this map showing them that New York City is just a 5k ride away or the west coast is more then California. I may sew a map of Oregon to the back side.. > These are my small world photos- this young lady's roommate in college is from the same small town where I live in Oregon. We met by chance at the Acropolis in Athens on Easter Sunday.
Also since I am shooting digital I left a few shots of the local area on the card before going. Now I know that ten or twelve good shots would have been better as all of the folks I showed the scenic Columbia Gorge wanted to see more photographs.