Two weeks into our journey a diurnal rhythm has emerged – 8:30 breakfast (including a briefing on the day ahead by Richard, who has generously taken responsibility for most route planning and hotel booking). 9:30 – hit the road. Mid morning – coffee break. Light lunch at least-bad roadside cafe. Mid-afternoon – coffee break. Roll into hotel circa 4 or 5. Shower, catch up with emails blogs etc. Group dinner at 7:30.
Susan asked whether it’s possible to enjoy the scenery while riding. The answer is ‘yes’. Although riding requires constant focus on the road ahead, somehow one also absorbs the broader panorama. It’s not at all like being in a car because (as on a bicycle or horse) you don’t just see it, you feel it – the weather, the smells, the splat of the bugs… And, of course, there’s no distracting radio or conversation. So, a very different experience of the world from that of the car driver, but (for me at least) more intense and memorable.
And, because of the focus and physical involvement, the hours fly by.
Today we started by riding through wide, flat, fertile valleys, then Susan chose a route away from the sea and up into the mountains. Fabulous riding. And all the villages were more attractive and better tended than any we’ve seen so far in Greece.
One curious development in Greece is the evolution of the roadside shrine. These used to be made of wood and local stone, hence each was unique and blended to some extent with its environment. Now they are bought pre-made and constructed from brightly colored plastic…
Hey ho…such is ‘progress’.
Ended our day in a modern seaside hotel outside Alexandropolis, positioned to hit the Turkish border first thing tomorrow morning.
Best to you all,