Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Pilgrimage from Thessaloniki to Gerakarou 11/05/08

Of course I still have shit strewn everywhere when I wake this morning. The idea is to get an early start but it is never going to happen…and my bloody sleeping mat is still leaking, I don’t know why I never get around to fixing it! Hopeless!!! :) So much for getting things organized in my day off in Thessaloniki…

But the main thing is we had a great time! Thessaloniki is a super cool place!

Anthony accompanies us down to a cafĂ© for a morning coffee before we say our goodbyes. He couldn’t have been a better host. Cheers mate, you are a champion!!!

To the right is a copy of the map we had to get out of town. I don’t think you could make it look any more like a maze if you tried! Incredibly we do manage to weave our way through to the road we want without too much drama…well, not quite the road we want but one that will do the job anyway :) Once again we get treated to some great views but the downfall is it’s all uphill! After a day off we are both struggling. The body always seems to hurt more after a day off than if you use it every day, it’s just one of those things.

Winding our way through the hills is quite enjoyable until it starts to rain :( Taking shelter in a restaurant we sit drinking wine and playing backgammon until it stops.

Clearing the last ridge we can see the town we want off in the distance and the road taking a very long way to it. Looks like a perfect place for a shortcut :) Making our way down the hill on a small dirt track we approach a farmhouse. A dog jumps up and starts to bark at as we near, then another and another and another!!! Thirty seconds later we have ten big angry dogs noisily blocking our way. Luckily they were all keeping their distance as there wouldn’t be too much we could do if they wanted us for lunch :) Backing away down the road we find another path but unfortunately it takes us back to the main road…oh well, better than getting eaten :)

Rounding a corner I see one of the funniest sights I’ve seen in a long time. This little fella standing on his hands, using his back legs to push a piece of shit four times his size up a hill!

“I know how you feel mate!” ;)

Reaching the next little village we stop for dinner and some more wine. By the time we get moving again it’s 8pm and raining slightly. We have noticed that on our map there are some hot springs 30kms ahead and we are both pretty keen to get some more kilometers done today so we can reach them early tomorrow. It probably had something to do with all the wine drunk today but we both set off without our raingear on, telling ourselves “it is going to clear up”. But of course it doesn’t ;) Just after dark it starts pissing down. I manage to get all my raingear on except for the little plastic covers that go over the tops of my shoes. This isn’t good…soon enough my shoes are full of water.

So now we are in the worst possible situation, cold, wet and looking for somewhere to sleep in the dark. If I can set my tent up before it starts raining there isn’t a problem to camp in the wet, but to set up after is a nightmare. And to top it off we have forgotten to dry our tents from last time :( Better just to keep walking…

So we did. Keeping our eyes peeled for anything that would offer us cover we plod on. Finally around 10pm the rain stops and we have a huge field next to us with a bus shelter out the front. Perfect… :)

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