An Olympian day

Well, ok, the title of this post may lead you to believe that we have cycled a little further and harder than we actually have… but I am writing this while looking at a beautiful view of Mount Olympus! We are wild camping just off the road past a little place called Dolchi, on our way around Mount Olympus and down to Katerini on the coast. Just because we are going around the mountain sadly doesn’t mean the road is completely flat and we can see the switchbacks we have to climb tomorrow from our camp spot. Still the views are beautiful.

We left Kalambaka on Sunday morning after a very enjoyable rest day exploring the monasteries of Meteora. Well, I say rest day but because we had to cycle up a very big hill to get to them, John has banned me from calling it that… The monasteries are in an amazing setting, perched on the top of great stone pillars that rear up from the ground. We didn’t get to see inside as many as we wanted to due to bad planning on our part but they were very interesting all the same.

When we returned to our campsite after visiting Meteora we were slightly astounded to find two people we recognised checking in. Through a lot of Croatia and on the ferries to Greece we had spotted a distinctive green Irish post van on the campsites and concluded we must be following similar routes. It seemed a crazy coincidence to bump into them yet again though but here they were! We spent a really nice evening with Karine and Kathy and ended up with serious van envy… The last straw came when they cooked us dinner on their fabulous two ring gas burner stove (with grill) I have informed John that the next trans continental trip we do will be in a van…

The ride yesterday took us from Kalambaka to a little wild camp just past Damasi. We started out on the main roads to Trikala and then Larissa and they were amazingly flat and straight so we could get some good speed up. We camped in the grounds of another church and set off this morning into another day of sunshine.

Today’s ride has been very sociable. Just 6k up the road and an old gent insisted on buying us a cup of coffee, despite his speaking no English and our speaking no Greek! Then a small boy in Elassona wanted to take a picture of the bike and we’ve had lots of horn toots and thumbs up signs from passing drivers. The funniest one was a guy on a scooter who came past us but then pulled in up ahead and waited for us to catch up. He asked if we were from Germany (everyone assumes we’re German here) When we said we were from England he gaped at us, pointed at the tandem and said ‘with this?!’ We nodded and he drove off shaking his head in wonderment! At some point this morning our cycle computer told us we had cycled over 2000 miles. Maybe the guy on the scooter was right to be amazed…  

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3 Responses to An Olympian day

  1. Dad says:

    what an achievement – I can guarantee if you had the little green van for a day you would then be itching to get back on the tandem ,,,,,,,,,,, xx

  2. Adrian Platt says:

    Hi John & Rachel – just wanted to say how much I am enjoying reading your postings – sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure and seeing lots of interesting sites along the way. Makes me want to go on my own two-wheeled adventure! Safe cycling the rest of the journey… Love, Adrian

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