GREECE Aug 2008
When we left Oradea Romania, Oli contacted his friend Vali in Timisoara Romania to look after us! Romanian hospitality at its best, thanks heaps Oli! Vali was great, he met us, took us to a great, central hotel and showed us around beautiful Timisoara. We loved it there and stayed 4 days as there were bands playing in the central square most nights, great walks in the area, stunning mountain rides and Vali was there to keep us entertained!
Next destination was following the Danube River which is the border between Serbia and Romania. It was a glorious ride with spectacular scenery and we stayed in a riverside Hotel with really friendly people.
Serbia showed us some glorious rides, but a real shortage of accomodation. Most people were camping and if not, the hotels were about E60 per night. The roads were great, people friendly, tasty traditional food and unique scenery, what more could we ask for!
On our way south we passed through Kosovo, but only really saw the main highway. This is a very small country, we passed through in a few hours, but still had to pay 28euros compulsory 3rd party insurance. The rest of the countries there was no charge for us or the bike.
Macedonia was a real delight. We stayed a few nights in the charming capital Skopje and then drove along a very scenic road parallel to the border of Albania to stunning Lake Ohrid. We went for many long walks around the old town and along the lake...pure heaven...we just love exploring new places.
The next border crossing was back to Greece for the 6th time...our most visited and loved of all the countries in the world. We visited a gorgeous lake village called Kastoria in the North of Greece and did a wonderful picturesque ride around the lake...see the video one day!
Our next appointment was with Orestis in a quaint Greek village called Ambelakia. With our Greek guide we went for some great dirt mountain rides, roads that we wouldnt tackle alone, even if they were shortcuts! We spent a few days driving around Pilio mountain near Volos and swam in some of the most beautiful beaches in the Meditteranean. It was very hot, over 35degC everyday and very crowded being August school holidays, but we all had a great time. Poor Orestis had to get used to our schedule of lunch at 2pm, after lunch snooze, no dinner and to bed by 10pm! We then caught a ferry over to Evia and did some great rides, some the locals havent ever been on, stayed at some great beaches and dont forget the great Greek food!
Before we knew it, we were back in hot 40C, busy Athens getting the parts needed for our bike service. For the weekend we drove to the Peloponnisos and stayed in our favourite mountain villages of Stemnitsa and Dimitsana. That area is the best mountain area for great rides and spectacular monasteries built into the side of the mountain. Check out the photos of the magnificent hotel we stayed in: www.arxontikodeligianni.gr
We are now back in Athens giving the bike a final big service with a mechanic we trust before our final push east through Turkey and Iran to Dubai where we will store the bike for a year. We then hop on a plane to Hong Kong and then home to Cairns November 2.
Posted by Patrick Peck at 08:36 AM