In Greece also there are ski resorts.
Ice cubes, it is well; but in the pastis, it's better.
Arrivals in Greece rather fresh...
Sunday, November 2, is the Albanian-Greek border, at 1000 m altitude. Follows a great descent where a super spot near a river on a lawn of cozy. The mountains all around, the little Creek... the place is paradise if that bears are reported in the region! We at 800 m altitude and 9 p.m., the counter shows 0 ° - Frost forms on the tent.
Fortunately, Thomas is committed to the creation of a good campfire! We accumulate all possible clothing layers and we we Let's warm up at the corner of fire... that away may be bears (which reassures us a little). But okay, given the time, Baloo buddies should rather prepare their hibernation in the den!
The night finally not happen too freshly through the downs closed at max (basically it has that nose protruding!) and survival by top cover. Yes, Yes, they rather slept well!
In morning, Thomas sees a deer running into the River a few metres; sniff, I was in the tent, I saw nothing! It raises the fire. The water bottles froze during the night (cf. the Things to do:) Make ice cubes) ! During the morning, it is only 13 km away: but 600 m of ascent! The mist of the morning will dissipate gradually, the Sun begins to (re) heat and the snow-capped peaks appear. In fact, snow also appears at the edge of the road and increases with altitude. If it was expected it!... All this puts us in a good mood.
Arrived at the top, the road opens... on a ski resort! CA, it was not at all expected, it's really great! It was our lunch in the Sun on a table at the foot of the slopes. What better?
Then it's downhill during... 25kms! Even regularly stop to warm up!
Found the plain (at 700 m altitude anyway). Between a small mountain and the outskirts of a village, it arises near an Orthodox Chapel to prepare for the night. Towards the end of dinner, a shepherd who passed by here comes to see us. By a few signs, he tells us that we will get cold and there are dogs lying then he shows us a small reserve and the chapel making us understand that it will be better to sleep. Indeed, it is much warmer in the chapel. Go, we dare and opens carpet floor and duvets in a corner. There are even electricity to recharge the batteries! An hour later, a car parks beside... Let's see: three men present themselves as police and want to know what we are doing. We explain our adventure, they reflect, and after a quarter of an hour, they leave in us having given their agreement to sleep there; but with a few instructions: nothing fly (this is an Orthodox Chapel then ya stuff in gold), and that women do not have the right to pass into the back of the chapel behind the curtain. Okay, okay, it is not overly restrictive!
An hour later, one begins to fall asleep when we hear out a grunt, which becomes stronger and flustered... a bear? Really, it will say a bear! Thomas throws himself on his camera, and it sticks to the window. In fact,... These are kind guard dogs that roam in packs... It was not thought that a dog could issue such a sound! It was not at all like a dog Growl!
We say that fortunately, was in the Chapel: in the tent there would have fear of our lives! Can you imagine believing it a bear next to you and without being able to watch?
Training of stomachs to distant lands
In short, after a good night warm in this golden environment, we take a little the steep: it heats, as it is only 6-7 ° wake up.
An hour of road about Thomas begins to be nauseous. It drags all day and the afternoon, it is worse and worse. It was decided to go to the next town to find a corner to warm; the concern is that further needed to be pedaling 20kms! Fortunately all is downhill, but it's really hard for him; He starts shivering and has be very uptight. Arrived painfully in the city centre, lies a hotel. It is 4: 30 p.m.: a good shower warm and the bed overnight 10: 00! The evening was a little hard, fever is mounted 39 ° and he saw the Bowl almost, but at least it was warm in a comfy bed! Imagine in the tent...
It gently resumed our frames late morning the following day. The curves are easy, lot of downhill or flat, so it goes. We spend our end of day between cotton fields that are in full harvest, trucks are going back and forth and means harvesters until late at night. There are cotton everywhere on the side aisles, and sometimes one has the impression that it is snow!
The road to reach Thessaloniki overnight (Wednesday) is really not top: Great Plains and industrial areas. As often, approach major cities to bike, it's not funny. But we warm the heart, it has the right to a super time noon when preparing meals: a girl who passes by just argue about where we come from and everything. She leaves... but comes back 10 min later the arms full of food that it has to offer, including a bottle of super oil Greek olive and bacon!
Okay, Thessaloniki, to summarize it was top!
It was greeted at Nikos, a couchsurfing host. Left us her bedroom, he taught us to make true "Turkish" coffee, were exchanged on our country, our lives, photography, and especially, we spent two great evenings with him and his buddies. We talked for hours of politics, psychology, travel, and so many other things. All discussing our respective cuisines: them did we discover wines Greek and even some local Rakhi (Yes, even of Rakhi - it is honey and is drunk hot one there), and we cooked them a french meal!
Thursday we also visited a little town. The lower town is lively with lots of Nice super bars, market, the waterfront; but really not very nice. The city high, residential, is made of small alleys and pretty coloured houses. In short, two very different sides!
As we felt here and we were a little tired, was Rab remaining Friday to sleeping and make a super dinner in a typical Greek Taverna. ate meat from kebab of hyper tender chicken with Cretan salad and tzatziki. Nothing to do with what can be eaten in France!
Ah yes, and then Nikos did us a small interview to write an article about our journey and try to pass it in a newspaper in the town. The class, non? Promised shown you it once was!
Saturday, November 8: recovery in the rain. It will follow us throughout the day intermittently, and the next day also. This is the first time in this adventure is really wet long.
In the after - noon, a young dog Foley hounds us after and we turn around. It will follow us until the evening, 8 km! It is super cute, hides when he sees cars, we catch up then.
Evening, we stopped in a bar by the roadside as rain becomes really strong and the wind rises. Where will we well be able to sleep? The Server helps us giving us a house under construction but abandoned, just in front. We spend an evening and a night dry, it is royal! In the morning, Rex (Yes that's how it has dubbed our new dog!) is always in the vicinity and course jump us on it when it comes out of the House. But it will stop there to follow us: he found a lover! A young bitch who seems to live next to the bar.
We take the road both, in fog and drizzle. Lunch we took refuge in a restaurant from a village to eat a small cheese pies, specialty of the corner. When we leave, the Madam would two more in a bag for our dinner slides in to us!
The afternoon is still very wet... We find the seafront, where it arises for the evening. The showers are more scarce. But everything is wet, no way to make a camp fire to warm up!
The next morning, oh happiness! the Sun is back. It was dry on our bikes our affairs wet for two days. Here, the landscape is really not bad actually here! It had not had the opportunity of realizing these days. We advance quickly, between the fields of olive trees and almond trees (nostalgia for our first week of journey!), then on a road that runs along the waterfront. Lunch, lunch, a family of cats just keep us company. In Greece, dogs and cats are an integral part of our daily lives. When it stops, it is often greeted by a meowing or barking (stray dogs are really affectionate and not at all aggressive here!). In short, it's good!
We enjoy the return of good weather for landing on a beach at night. But not swimming, it's still cold! A good fire warms us our evening.
What brand in Greece...
- Is that people are really nice.
- It is not too disoriented, culture is fairly close to ours, finally. Last country before long where there are our guides!
- Everywhere on the roads, there are mini-chapelles, of sorts, of all styles. It is filled, it is in memory of people who died in road accidents, or in thanks to God for having survived a serious accident.
- The Greek alphabet: it's not simple! What moment of solitude when you shall find good intercom bells! Fortunately, on the roads, the panels have the double alphabet.
- The fall happened here also. The evenings are well cool, and multicolored trees. As Nikos, the couchsurfing has told us: ' well Yes, in Greece, there are 4 seasons! "