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Old 07-08-2009, 03:25 PM   #73
tserts OP
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Yunanistan (Stans baby!)
Oddometer: 2,717
Day 14 - I want moooooore!

We woke up really late, at about 11.30, and send one of us to the village to get breakfast. A little while later, coffee and pies were sitting on the table and we got busy.

We talked a bit more, worked on the bikes some more (always a must), and cleaned up the mess of last night’s souvlaki-battle…

Reluctantly we loaded up the bikes for the last time for this trip. We all wanted to stay together some more and fool around, but we had to move on. We took some pictures to save the moment and got on the bikes (or mini-van for Apostolos who had been forced to drive there as it had rained heavily last morning in his home-town)…

Alex escorted us up to Thessaloniki, and tried to guide us to the ring road, before taking the exit for his home.

I decided to follow the gps, which went through the city center. It was Sunday and I thought it would be a breeze, but we ended up getting stuck in traffic, thankfully not too heavy. A bit later we were out on the big straights towards Katerini…

As I have mentioned earlier, everyday on the highway we would increase our pace by a bit, today we went nuts. During the whole day we were riding almost double the speed limit and around 200 on the open stretches... Unfortunately, for some idiotic reason, my gps was not recording data that day so I don’t have the exact second by second analysis that I have for the rest of the trip… We were having a great time!

Our nerves were broken by the amazing toll system that is in use on that road. You actually have to stop every a few kms and pay 2 euros, or less, and then again a bit down the road. That happens because private companies have subcontracted parts of the road and each want their “fair” share of the pie, without any regard at the poor travelers. We didn’t see that anywhere else but in Greece. I would much rather pay, say, 15 euros and not be bothered for the whole road, than 8 euros but stopping all the freaking time, waiting in line, taking off the gloves, searching for change, then the whole reverse routine, every now and then… It’s really shameful and nerve-raking…

Anyway, we reached a part past Arkitsa, with very wide twists and perfect tarmac, we rode at about 160 on those turns (speed limit 70) and the result was something like this:

A bit later we stopped for a coffee on the highway and relaxed a bit. I’m always nervous at the end of a trip, and try not to let my guard down until I pull into my garage, and I told Yani to pay extra attention in order to reach home safely.

Thiva then Malakasa, we could smell our houses when we hit the notorious works just before Athens. These have been going on forever, and they create wonderful queues spanning kilometers on end, leading the drivers an inch before head stroke and madness. With an unloaded bike it is a minor nuisance, but with the side panniers on, it can get messy. It did.

Eventually we passed that point, sweated and tense, and finally entered the central madhouse we call our home. It took another 40 minutes to reach the south suburbs, luckily uneventfully.

Yani and I said our goodbyes at a traffic light in Glyfada, and soon after that we split, each going his own way after almost 20 days…

I reached my house at 21.10 on the 31st of April 2009.

I’m still unable to re-adjust to my normal life… To make things worse, I leave again on the 24th for Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Bosnia… Expect another saga late August on ride reports!!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it, I know I did, both living it and then telling you all about it!

See you on the road..
BMW F 800 GS 2010 - My Brunhilde
New toys to brake!
Road Rush (Romania, Serbia)
Peloponnese Peninsula on two Africa Twins
9 countries in 15 days -
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