Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Estefini to Athens.

 Estefini to Athens. 28 miles.

Still got on the road nice and early despite not having far to go, I know what it’s like when I go into big cities I always get lost and yes as per normal I did! Once I sort of found the centre I found a hotel booked in to make sure I had a room and got a city map from them so I could go in search of the sights, mainly the Acropolis. Whilst I was checking in it started to pour really heavily with rain, so I sheltered in the hotel lobby for an hour or so and picked the receptionists brains as to where bike shops were and where I could get some packaging material from.
The rain just wasn’t letting up so I just went for it I needed to get on.
I found the Acropolis but unfortunately it was up a big hill and not accessible with my bike so never really got my picture taken with it.
Managed to sort packaging and bags for my stuff, the only thing I haven’t sorted is a box for my bike, hopefully I’ll get one tomorrow!

Tuesday 15th October 2013 – Kamena to Elefsina.

Kamena to Elefsina. 106 miles.

Well today didn’t go quite according to plan but that was the gamble I took yesterday afternoon, the route I should have taken went up another mountain and I couldn’t take another climb, not late in the day anyway! The route I took knew turned into a motorway, I was just hoping to either ride on it ( there aren’t any signs saying you can’t and a local did tell me that nobody would stop me because I’m a tourist) or maybe there was another road that wasn’t on my map.
It all started ok and I was making good progress flying along on the motorway until I came to a toll booth, I knew I should have got off before it but I was just hoping that it would have been like it was in China where I just used to ride through! Not the police got me before I got there and made me cycle back to the last exit, the one I should have got off at!
The police were ok really, they seemed more interested in my big stick I was carrying in case of dogs, when I explained to them what it was for they just smiled.
I did manage to follow the motorway for a good few more miles on the service road that ran along side but even that run out and I found myself on a dirt track heading away from the motorway! I eventually found my way back and then at the first opportunity headed in land on a road that was on my map.
Think I might have pushed myself a little bit too much today, not sure if it was the heat or lack of food but I felt really faint this afternoon and just had to stop and have something to eat and drink, I could really feel myself going, I was going up another big climb at the time and I’d already done ninety miles! Luckily I still had plenty of water and some Gummy bears to get my sugar level back up, after about 10 minutes I felt fine and continued up the climb.
Finished in the dark again tonight, but I’m more or less where I wanted to get too, think I’ve got about a ten mile ride into the centre of Athens, although I don’t know what or where I’m exactly heading for!

Monday 14th October 2013 – Larissa to Kamena Vourla.

Larissa to Kamena Vourla. 93 miles.

Got told by some other cyclist yesterday that it was flat all the way to Athens! Now I don’t know what drugs or what he’s been smoking but it certainly wasn’t flat not with a 1200m climb anyway! But I always take what other people say with a pinch of salt, I hope their right but I’m not disappointed when their not!
My dog stick came in handy today I had to fend off some other dogs today, really not enjoying the dog situation!
I’ve been in the clouds for most of the day (some say I’m permanently in the clouds!) and not been able to see anything at all, it was even raining for a while but it’s so humid the sweat just pours off of me!
Nice hotel tonight or rather the locations nice right on the seafront, I’m sitting on my balcony writing this with the sound of the sea lapping on the beach.
Sometimes you just wish you wasn’t alone! But only for a moment!

Sunday 13th October 2013 – Kozani to Larisa.

Kozani to Larisa. 81 miles.

The day started of a bit misty and murky I even put my lights on so other drivers would see me, but after an hour or two as I started to climb up another mountain it cleared and it was lovely sun all day.
I was about three quarters of the way up that 1000 metre climb when I was set upon by five dogs! Normally I can out run them but not when I’m crawling up some mountain! One dog a huge great white brute of a dog was particularly aggressive he even bit my bike and caught one of my straps nearly causing me to fall off, luckily it didn’t I just stopped, not wanting to hang around with five snarling dogs around me I soon started pedalling for all I was worth, but these bastards wouldn’t give up particularly the big white one, I threw some bread at them that I was carrying hoping they’d stop for that, no chance they just wanted me! I was really starting to worry after a kilometre of this pack chasing me, not sure if I could keep what little speed I had going, luckily the road levelled out a bit and I was able to get enough speed up so I could loose them!
A pretty scary 20 minutes or so, I’ve had plenty of dogs chase me and go for me but never actually had one that’s made contact before! Must admit it did shake me up a bit, but I’m alright and so’s the bike so no harm done in the end!
Had another big climb this afternoon, only 500 metres though this time, but when I came down the other side all the mountains had disappeared and it was nice and flat for the last 15 miles or so, first time I’ve not seen a mountain in my way in about four weeks!