From Italy to Greece

Trip Start Apr 11, 2012
1
24
34
Trip End Oct 10, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hostel

Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On the way to the ferry in Brindisi, I had a spoke in my rear wheel snap. Not too big a deal for now, but that added one more chore to the list for my time in Patras. While boarding the ferry, I bumped into a French couple in their 50s who were doing a tour on their tandem bike. They were visiting islands mostly, and had come down through Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily. Next, they were going to visit some the the islands in Greece before ending their trip in Istanbul. It is always fun to meet fellow touring cyclists, but it struck me that they are the first cyclists on a touring trip that I have seen since riding into Italy a month prior. I still find it strange that there aren't as many cyclists as I had imagined there would be.

The ferry ended up being rather empty, so it was no problem finding a padded bench to sleep on. Sixteen hours is quite the journey time, but my Amazing Kindle made it pass quickly. It was also entertaining to be able to go out on the deck and watch the crazy blue water and nearby islands when the air was a pleasant 80 degrees. I have never seen water this blue before and something about it doesn’t seem natural.

Patras doesn’t seem like the kind of place I would choose to stay for long, but luckily, it does have what I need. Right after checking into a hostel, I was able to get my wheel fixed at a bike shop, then I found an electronics store that sells cameras. All this in one afternoon! I love it when things are easy. I did have to settle on the camera, though. The selection wasn’t too great, but after what happened to my last camera, I decided to get a water and shock proof camera. I got the Olympus TG-320, which cost me $210, a bit more than the $130 price tag on Amazon.com. It looks solid, but I am going to miss all those manual controls I was just beginning to understand on my more advanced (but now broken) Canon S95.

Patras is cleaner than the Naples area, and the roads are certainly better. As far as the traffic is concerned, it is easier to ride here than in southern Italy, but then, who knows, maybe the rest of Greece will be much different. I have heard from several different people that they had not gone to Greece because their parents told them it was dangerous. I don’t understand such thinking, for while they are indeed having economic difficulties, they haven’t degenerated into a state of anarchy. The place seems perfectly normal for a Mediterranean country so far. And with the really clear and blue water here, I think I prefer this to the Italian coast. Just watching the sunset reflect off the water my first night here has been incredible. The water almost glows…strange.
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