Distance - 25km riding
The city of Ephesus - once the second largest city on the world (behind Rome) and home to the Ephesians (of Paul's epistle).
Here we found some amazing ruins of a once great city - and the ruins clearly indicate how grand that city was. Huge columns ornately carved, mosaic tiles lining walkways, and two stadiums for entertainment. Walking the streets we imagined how the city would have looked in 2 AD - when it was at its peak. We imagined the man-power that went into carving each piece and constructing the buildings. It was all very impressive.
After a couple of hours exploring this historic city we drove back to Ayvalik to catch our ferry to Lesvos. Leaving Turkey was the most simple customs process yet. We walked into a building and the desk was right there. Within minutes our passports were stamped and we were in no-man's land. It all happened so fast we forgot to spend the last of our Turkish money. Luckily there was some overpriced food and drinks on the ferry for us to buy. As we waited for the ferry to leave we watched hundreds of small fish swimming on the surface of the water alongside the pier. It was an amazing site.
The ferry was practically empty - about a dozen passengers on a boat that could carry almost 600. We lay down on some seats and slept for an hour until we arrived in the port of Mytilini.
In Mytilini we bought tickets for a boat the next night to Athens. These tickets were cheaper than the ferry from Turkey! Even though the voyage was almost ten times longer.
After buying our tickets we had less than an hour until it grew dark and we needed to find a camping spot outside of the city. We jumped on our bikes and rode hard - hoping to reach the outskirts of the population and set up our tent before dark. We stopped a few times to check out places, but it took us almost all of the light to find somewhere. As we rode, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the sunset and wished we could stop to enjoy it, but we had to find a camping spot. When we did, we weren't sure if it was a public park or part of someone's huge property. Either way, we climbed a small fence with our bikes and set up behind a patch of trees - the beach across the road. It was a cold night and we decided to forgo a swim until morning.
We had no water so Sam went in search of a shop while I got the beds ready. It was a long time before he returned and I was getting worried. He'd had to ride back about 15km before finding a small shop. We sat on some rocks by the water eating the best yoghurt ever and drinking our water, before climbing wearily into our tent.
It was a restless night - with Sam plagued by extreme fevers, profuse shivering and itchy hands and feet.