Thursday 14/6/12 to Sunday 17/6/12 Chios, Greece
It was difficult to leave the comfort of Chios Rooms, we worked on the blog sitting out on the balcony where the heat wasn't so bad. Set off south down the east coast at 1pm and the temp was about 32C. 15 mins later stopped for a swim and lunch. The road was a series of ups and downs about 20 ks to kallimasia. We went down a very steep dirt track toward the sea to find a camp spot but abandoned that idea when we thought about having to push the bikes back up. The Garmin showed that there were many dirt tracks linking up but they were more like stock tracks and tracks around the olive groves and orchards. We were very overheated pushing bikes back up to the mainroad, so it was an easy decision to have a cold beer at the local cafe. The owner thought it would be Ok to camp at the harbour which we did. The fishermen went out around 5.30pm returning at 10pm. Nice to hear the little boats engines putt-putting and to watch their lights on the water.
Friday 15/6/12 Left camp at 7.30am and hot already!! Nickie had to push her bike up the hill from the harbour...what a start!! got coffee in the town and spoke with a young man who recommended we continue on the coast road to the black pebble beach rather than take the centralmain road. Lots of climbing and passing by churches and small villages. Enjoyed the steep downhill run into Lilikas. Stopped for icecream and iced coffee with "Micheal Douglas" at the beach cafe. He has lived in Chicago for 30yrs, owned a restaurant there, but now returned to his hometown. Thank goodness it wsn't much farther to Emporio and the black pebble beach. 25ks today. We swam and lazed at the beach which was very busy. Pete got the OK to camp at the harbour by the mama who owned the local store. A beautiful spot.
Saturday 16/6/12 A very blustery morning. The wind is now blowing from the North, as we were told it would do, the temp has dropped a few degrees but now we have a vicious head wind!! Decide to take the shorter inland road and to see the village of Pygri, known for the patterned buildings and narrow streets. It is said that you can walk across the village on the rooftops! Pete helps Nickie wheel her bike up the most challenging hills. Very quickly the road climbs to 290m in 5ks!! The views are awesome. A little dog follows us from the entrance of Pygri and through the streets, he finds an old brush to play with, he rests with us when we have a coffee and pastry. What a character. The headwind is fierce and the hills hellish. A young lady called Nikki stops her scooter to ask if we are OK when she sees Pete riding nickies bike uphill and Nickie walking. She is a cyclist herself and a local girl though she has spent many years living in Crawley, England, thats where she learned English. We say we lived in Crawley too. Nikki seems concerned for us, offering Nickie a "lift" to the next village. We refueled with the last of our favourite turkish chocolate biscuits and within the hour we got to the top. What a great view down to Chios. Enjoyed the fast 5ks down to some small villages. narrow streets and walls of red stones/bricks. The road continued down to Chios, very pleasant riding sheltered by the wind, until we hit the coast. Found that there was no room to stay with Don at Chios Rooms, so got a room At Amalia Rooms on the waterfront.
Pete bought ferry tickets for 11pm tomorrow night and then a ferry to Ancona from Patras. We had an authentic greek meal at a little restaurant, whole baby calamari,meatballs and a "specialty" salad of zucchini in a dill flavoured dressing. Lovely Valentina, our waitress treated us to Ouzo and a small dessert of youghurt with some sort of syrupy candied fruit, maybe persimmon.