|We rose early full of piss and vinegar. Ate a full breakfast of eggs and salami, fruta, meli, yaourti, mountain herbs and potions, then took off like a band of hoplites after runaway helots. We tried a shortcut to skirt Sparti so we could connect to the highway to the south without the traffic of Sparti Kentro. But, sacre, we wound up back in Sparti anyway, however, on the southside, so we saved some time. We sped south with a snack pouch of freshly made orange cake. A few miles south of Sparti is the modern town of Amyklai and just a few kilometers down a stoney trail is the ancient remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo Amykleos, once one of the largest cultic centers of the worship of Apollo in the ancient world. Not much there now. 3 hills, a tiny Orthodox chapel, some large, dressed stones, and lovely views of the valley. Apollo is so lonely up there these days. We did what we could to cheer him up, but the Panagia in the chapel kept a close watch on us. She's got Apollo securely squashed beneath her holy thumb, and she ain't about to let the pressure off. All the pre-Christian sites we've visited so far have a Christian chapel sitting squarely in the middle. The weather today was November moody. Overcast with blump, purple clouds wreathing the crowns of Taygetos and Parnon, fog in the river valley, cool and damp. Little patches of soft, lemoney, winter sunlight peaking through gaps in the cloud cover added some drama to the hills, olive groves, orange orchards, cliffs, escarpments, and to the home of Poseidonos, Lord of the Sea.