Monday, 19 May 2008

Pilgrimage from Aspri Ammos to Chaidefto 17/05/08

No luck with my bloody sleeping mat! I think I will have to get a new one...even though after two months of sleeping on it empty I'm sort of getting use to it ;)

The alarm gets us out of bed by 06:45 and we are determined to get an early start. By 07:15 we are on our way :) Our small windy road leads us down the headland towards a little beach, but then ends!!! I don't believe it, it's just someones driveway! The beach isn't very far away but our main problem is that there are two big dogs barking at us from inside the yard...

We manage to sneak down the side of the fence and getting to the beach look to see if we can "rock hop" our way around the headland. We know that there is a big port just the other side, so if we can make it around this headland there is bound to be a road. It looks possible so we give it a go...

Jumping around rocky headlands like this is normally a lot if fun, but with 25kgs on your back it isn't so nice. The strain on the knees and ankles isn't good so we take it easy.

Slowly, slowly we make it around and sure enough the port greets us on the other side. Following the road back to the highway we realize we are only 500m from where we turned off last night! Two hours walking down the drain, but the views probably made it worth it...probably ;)

We are now straight into a huge industrial area. There are big factories everywhere and car dealerships dotting the highway. All the towns start to loose the "touristy" feel they have had over the last few days. And best news is everything has suddenly halved in price! We stop at a little canteen and get charged €0.50 for a Coke and €1.50 for a hotdog. Amazing :)

By afternoon the factories have given way to farmland and even though most of the rivers and creeks we have passed so far in Greece have been completely dry, there is no shortage of water here. It has the feel of an area that has been irrigated for millenia!

The roads are long and flat with nothing but fields and dams in between. A perfect environment to plug myself in to my iPod and drift away :) And so i do...

The long straight roads continue and we are setting a good pace. Stopping for dinner we are just in time to see Nadal and Dochavich playing an epic game. It was great tennis. They are one set a piece and just as we are creeping towards the end of the match the bar starts to fill up with locals...

"Are you watching this?"


"Hmmm, the final for the football is about to start, how long before it ends?"

Nadal is just about to serve for the game "About five minutes"

We all watch in horror as Match Point after Match point slips by. Ten minutes later they are up to their eighth "Deuce" and I feel the locals are about to riot! Luckily the tension was all a bit too much for Dochavich as well, and we all let out a sigh of relief as he puts his dropshot into the net.

Trying to stay off the main roads as much as possible we head off into the fields, hacking a path through all the mosquitoes. There is a road marked on our map which we want to take, but there are also many roads that aren't marked all heading in the same direction!

We randomly pick one, and of cause it isn't long before we have to turn around and hike a kilometer backwards. We aren't impressed. We are lost, getting eaten alive and there are gunshots ringing out a short distance to our right...

The only consolation is the stunning sunset over the dams. Absolutely awesome!

Finding our way back to a main road, we find out we have strayed 3kms south. Oh well :) Time for bed anyway...


Steph said...

hi ben,

it's a glorious full moon night here in my little house overlooking the long green valley that runs all the way to the sea.

my friend brunette tried to blog you but try as she might she couldn't retrieve her password, so she has asked me to pass her message on to you. she said: 'i hope ben and sabine are pelted with goodwill.' and then she said she had a quote to pass on 'to the young man with such a vital spirit' and it is this: you cannot consent to crawl if you have the urge to fly (anon)'.

your writing is so rich and full - i'm sure we're not the only ones with you every step of the way.

lots of love,

steph x

Nicu Panaitescu said...

no steph, you're not the only ones :)

Steph said...

hi nicu - i have long wanted to acknowledge your presence on the journey.

thanks for connecting with us.

Ben :) said...

hi guys

great to have u all here :)

and yes, pelted with good will has been about right for the last few days. it' been amazing!

say thanks to brunette from us...