Often it is the difficult days that we end up covering the most distance... I started the day feeling like I was pedaling through quicksand, and skeptical that I would make the 60km to the bridge near Patra... but I was surprised at how much distance we covered. Especially given the fierce headwind, that seems determined to plague us no matter where we are in the world, and which direction we are riding. We often dream of what it would be like to be going the other way, and firmly believe we're going the wrong way around the world.
Around lunch time we stumbled upon a sight familiar to us in Bayswater, but which we haven't seen for the past 5 months. Aldi. We dumped our bikes at the door and excitedly scoured the aisles. 500ml chocolate milk for 50 cents. Chocolate and vanilla pudding for 28 cents. The bargains were even better than at home! We grabbed a heap of food, spent 6 euro, and proceeded to gorge ourselves outside. Boy did I feel sick! There are very few occasions I can remember feeling so sick...
Once I regained my ability to function we rode to the huge suspension bridge (for my roads friends I read that it is the world's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge) joining the Peloponesse to the mainland. It was quite a sight! The bridge is considered an engineering masterpiece, as the difficulties around its construction were deep water, insecure foundations, seismic activity, and expansion from plate tectonics. But the engineers met the challenges and the bridge stands! We were lucky that a lane was closed for roadworks, but no works were happening, so we ended up with a whole lane to ourselves while we crossed the 2.25km structure.
On the other side we met a German couple cycling the 'right' way. In a combination of English, German, French and Italian we managed to communicate about our trips and the conditions of the road each was about to face. We were told no hills. Less than 10km later we were hit with two massive hills. Through the wind we battled. We were inland and we wanted to make it back to the coast, so we could wash before going to bed.
In the late afternoon we arrived in Mesologi. Our legs ached and we were tired. We ate some delicious souvlaki pitas for 2 euro and rode to a pier for a swim. The water in this area was surrounded by land on all sides, not really an ocean after all, so a bit dirty and stagnant. We found a pier to jump off, but when we landed we sank into various silt and sea plants that made us even dirtier. We crawled out not sure if the plunge had been worth it.
Our camping spot for the night was on a patch of dirt, behind some trees along the main road into the town. Barking dogs, noisy cars and the heat made sleep hard to come by...
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia