Monday, 19 May 2008

Pilgrimage from Loannis to Loutra Eleftheron 14/05/08

It's a pleasure waking up in our little beach hut, but like like all good things it comes to an end too soon ;)

Within a kilometer we stumble upon a sign stating "Macedonian Tombs". Peering behind the fence we can see the entrance in the side of the hill and before I have the chance to blink Sabine has dumped her pack and jumped the gate. Why not :) So I follow suit. The tombs are pretty cool, completely empty but with an ancient feel.

Walking around the coast we are greeted with beautiful beach after beautiful beach. The sands are white, and still being early summer, nearly deserted.

Spotting a big holiday complex we decide it's time for breakfast. Three young guys are lounging around the reception...

"Do you guys do breakfast?"


"Do you do coffee?"

More laughing and joking between themselves..."OK, yes over there"

One of the guys rolls his eyes and leads the way. We walk past a room which appears to have just sat 200 people for breakfast...Hmmmm, why did they tell us they don't do breakfast? Sabine asks our guide and it turns out this place is only for school camps, this morning they just finished with 1000 kids. I now feel lucky that they are letting us have a coffee...they are all exhausted :)

And the best news is that we are actually 4-5kms further down the road than we thought. No wonder nothing was matching up on our map!

With the thought of a hot bath at the end of the day spurring us on we make good time. The only problem is that 3kms after leaving the camp our map lets us down again (or we just couldn't read it right ;) ), so once again we don't know where we are! Our map is quite old and doesn't have the new highway marked properly...or that's what we tell ourselves anyway. Some days are just like this though, nothing is as it should be.

Spotting a sign for a "Macedonian Tomb" we go to investigate. The gates are locked but we can see from the road it looks quite we have no choice but to jump the fence :) The place is pretty cool, completely empty but in really good condition.

We walk and walk and walk but there is still no sign of our spa. Sabine suddenly has a bad thought...

"What if the spa is just like the one we saw a couple of days ago...just old rocks where Alexander the Great took a bath?"

This hadn't occurred to us before, maybe there will be no hot bath tonight at all :( And here we are pushing our bodies to the limit for what might be no reason. Our spirits are dampened but we soldier on.

Hitting the main road again we realize we have already walked 32kms today. Probably about five more to go. The problem is that our bodies are giving up. Every step hurts and we are forced to take breaks every 45 minutes to message our feet.

After completing the next five kilometers it's 20:30 and there is still no spa to be seen! Collapsing on the side of the road once more we have a decision to make. Keep on going to what might be a sad ending, or try for a spa in the morning...

Our bodies end up making the decision for us. We are too exhausted to go on!

Finding a perfect camping spot on a cliff with a stunning ocean view we call it a night, dreaming of the hot bath we will have in the morning...

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